Meredith Ferdie Muth believes that “the cornerstone of good policy is reliable science,” and as Virginia Sea Grant’s 2010 Knauss Fellow, she will pursue her interests in uniting science and policy.
Muth’s study of marine science has taken her across the globe. From Central America to Africa, she has taught and studied in a variety of marine settings, including seagrass, mangroves, coral reefs, intertidal flats, temperate lagoons, and salt marshes.
However, Muth’s interest in marine policy started long before her research. During her undergraduate years, she found herself sharing a house with two commercial lobstermen in Key West, Florida, during the time the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary was established. The local fishermens’ response to this process moved Muth, who witnessed how policy can impact the livelihood of individuals.
“From that point on, I was always interested in conservation and management of natural systems, especially regarding how it affects the humans that rely directly on those resources,” Muth said.
As a Knauss Fellow, Muth will work in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Program Office. There she will work with the Office’s Deputy Director, Ms. Ko Barrett, on international climate activities, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).
Muth holds a Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia, where she studied marine plant ecology in East Africa. She also holds a masters in biological sciences from Florida International University and a bachelors in cellular and molecular biology from the University of West Florida.
The Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is a prestigious program that provides a unique, year-long education experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions affecting those resources. More information on the Fellowships can be found at www.seagrant.noaa.gov/knauss