MEES Students Receive Knauss Fellowships
Three graduate students in the Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Science (MEES) program at the University of Maryland are recipients of Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships for 2001: John Adornato, Brian Badgley and Wendy Morrison, all finishing Masters degrees. The Fellowship program, begun in 1979 and coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Sea Grant Office, provides graduate students across the country with an opportunity to spend a year working with policy and science experts in Washington, DC.
John Adornato, III is spending his fellowship year with Senator Daniel K. Akaka, a Democrat from Hawaii. His work will focus on aquaculture, coral reefs, fisheries and other marine-related issues. John received a B.S. degree in biology with a minor in Russian language from Tufts University in 1996. Following his graduation, he worked in Phoenix, Arizona for the USDA, Agricultural Research Services' New Corp Division and their Global Climate Change research group using Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment research technologies. Since the fall of 1998, he has been a graduate teaching assistant for genetics and general biology in the College of Life Sciences at UMCP and was recently honored with a distinguished teaching assistant award. John also helped conduct wetland plant research in the Chesapeake Bay directed by Dr. Andrew Baldwin, a professor in the Biological Resources Engineering Department. In addition to that work, John designed and undertook his master's research investigating the damage from Hurricane Lili and the initial regeneration of forested wetlands on Hummingbird Cay, Great Exuma, Bahamas. He has successfully defended his Master's Thesis and anticipates graduating from the Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences Program this December.
Brian Badgley is working with NOAA's National Ocean Service in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. He will be working closely with management issues for the reserves in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. In addition, he will be part of two groups - one examining how to approach expansion of the reserve system and target new areas for reserves, and one focusing on the implementation of a system-wide training initiative for coastal resource managers. Brian obtained a B.S. in zoology from the University of Georgia, followed by work as a research assistant at the Key Largo Marine Research Lab in Florida and as an instructor at the Jekyll Island Environmental Education Center in Georgia. He is currently writing his thesis. During his graduate career, he researched nutrient dynamics on coral reefs at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research and was a teaching assistant for a Biological Oceanography class and associated lab. In 2000, he was a research assistant at Maryland Sea Grant College, where he helped prepare for the recent external program assessment and aided with other management and administrative issues.
Wendy Morrison is spending her fellowship year with NOAA's National Ocean Service, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Biogeography Program, where she will work on projects aimed at providing ecosystem-level information on the distributions and ecology of living marine resources, including projects in central California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wendy received her B.S. degree in marine science and biology from the University of Miami in 1993, which included one year of study at James Cook University in Australia. After graduation, she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer working with subsistence fishermen to increase the sustainability of their resources. She spent a year teaching high school science in Miami, Florida before enrolling in the MEES program in 1998. Her work at Maryland, advised by Dr. David Secor, has focused on understanding the biology of American eels with an emphasis on an unfished population in the Hudson River, New York. She plans to graduate this fall.
Over the years, Knauss Fellows have gained experience in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government in locations such as the offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives, on Congressional subcommittees and at agencies such as the National Science Foundation and NOAA. Fellowships run from February 1 to January 31 and pay a stipend of $32,000.
Knauss fellowships are awarded with the help of Sea Grant programs across the nation. The selection process begins with the submission of applications by candidates recommended for their excellence by Sea Grant Directors. The National Sea Grant office then conducts a rigorous review process and awards fellowships to the top candidates. Maryland was one of the few programs to receive three fellowship awards this year.
The application deadline for the Knauss Fellowship Program is April 1 of the year preceding the fellowship year. To qualify for a fellowship, students must be enrolled by May 1 of the year of application in a graduate or professional degree program in a marine-related field at an accredited institution in the United States. Those interested in applying for 2003 fellowships should check with the Maryland Sea Grant office for guidance and possible volunteer opportunities now. For more information, check the web at www.mdsg.umd.edu/Policy/knauss.html and www.nsgo.seagrant.org/Knauss.html, or contact Susan Leet, Maryland Sea Grant College Program, 4321 Hartwick Road, Suite 300, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740, phone (301) 405-6375, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.