Fellowship institution:U.S. Department of the Interior
Nicole Bransome was the inaugural Knauss fellow for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Ocean, Coasts and Great Lakes Coordination team. As a policy and communications specialist, she coordinated Interior’s work on oceans across the department’s bureaus and with federal partners.
Bransome pursued a master’s degree in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences Graduate Program at Maryland. She chose the fisheries area of study because it allowed her to use science to sustain fisheries and the ecosystems, economies, and food supplies they support. For her thesis, she modeled restoration of diadromous river herring in Maine and the resultant potential recovery of their groundfish predators, like Atlantic cod.
Originally from Maryland, Bransome found a passion for marine science while volunteering with National Park biologists on studies of tidepools in San Diego. She also spent a year working for AmeriCorps in the Maryland Park Service, where she led canoe trips about marsh ecology and taught elementary-school children. At the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, a part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, she led efforts to raise money for student research and served as president of the American Fisheries Society Student Subunit.