For the second year in a row, Virginia students have earned five of the coveted Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships, and no other state secured more of the fellowships. That means that 12 percent of all fellows, and 20 percent of the prestigious legislative fellows are from Virginia colleges and universities.
The Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship matches highly qualified graduate students with “hosts” in the legislative or executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one-year paid fellowship.
Virginia’s 2012 Knauss Fellows
Stacy Beharry will work in the National Science Fundation’s Ocean Section. Some of her duties may include faciliting peer review and award decisions for proposals, developing workshops on new areas of oceanographic research, and hosting special sessions and giving presentations at scientific meetings related to NSF ocean sciences programs.
Beharry, who has a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Old Dominion University, is most excited about the opportunity her fellowship will provide her to “read and review proposals in and outside my area of expertise and gain learning experiences through involvement in the peer-review panel process,” and “to meet researchers from across the globe and use my skills to influence policy decisions.” She hopes her experience during the Knauss fellowship will help her build a career in resource management.
Lindsey Kraatz will work as a legislative fellow in the office of Congressman Mike Thompson of California, where she will concentrate on ocean, energy, and fishery issues as they relate to California’s North Coast and the Nation.
Kraatz, who is finishing a Ph.D. in geological oceanography at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, says her fellowship placement “will allow me to be involved in a wide array of legislation that ranges from oil drilling off the continental shelf, to salmon conservation, to water quality. I have no doubt that I will gain a vast amount of knowledge about the legislative process and environmental issues.” She plans to apply this knowledge to her career as a researcher and teacher.
Chris Prosser has been placed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Ecological Health and Protection Branch, where he will assist in setting water quality standards based on phosphorus, nitrogen, and chlorophyll.
Prosser, who has a Ph.D. in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, chose his placement to combine science and policy, “so the decisions that I will assist in making have immediate impacts.” Through the Knauss fellowship, Prosser hopes to gain experience balancing environmental protection and economic growth. He plans to pursue a research career.
Emily Susko will work in the National Sea Grant Office as the Coordinator for the Sustainable Coastal Development and Hazard Resilience Focus Areas.
Susko is finishing a master’s in fisheries science at Virginia Tech. She says that what drew her to her Knauss placement was the opportunity to pursue her interest in sustainable development and urban planning. “Coastal community hazard resilience has a strong personal appeal to me,” says Susko, “as I am from the New Orleans area and know very well the challenges and heartache associated with living in hazard-prone areas.” After her fellowship, Susko hopes to pursue a career in fisheries resource management.
Charlotte Weaver has been placed in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources – Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs, Minority Staff. She will be involved in all aspects of the office’s work including interacting with and briefing Members and staff and developing legislation in response to requests from a variety of Member offices.
Weaver holds a Master’s of Public Administration with a Certificate of Graduate Study in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech. “I chose the House Committee on Natural Resources because it offered a wide range of natural resources policy issues to work on and an opportunity to use my undergraduate background in Wildlife Science,” says Weaver. “I am looking forward to participating in the legislative process and interacting with the many people interested in natural resources policy.” After her fellowship, Weaver plans to pursue a career in marine policy.