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Knauss Fellowship Blog

Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured
Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured

Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never...

Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured

My Fellowship Position

Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured

By: Naomi Lewandowski. For nearly 10 years, I’ve made career choices based on one very sacred metric: would my eight-year-old self be proud of me? As I navigated college, temporary lab jobs, and graduate school, I held this metric dear. However, after becoming a Knauss fellow, and starting down an unexpected and, potentially, brand new career...
“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship
“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship

“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work...

“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship

Communication

“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship

By: Maggie Chory. When thinking about my experience so far as a Knauss Fellow, I am struck by the fact that many of the skills I learned and practiced as a graduate student play into my day-to-day work now. One skill that I was surprised to discover would have so much importance this year is the ability to conduct a productive and meaningful...
On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success
On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

Tips and Advice

On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

By: Brianna Shaughnessy. While I now live in Washington, D.C., and have committed to a career in science, it was only six months ago that I packed up my favorite corkscrew and bottle opener to begin my adventure as a Knauss fellow. Five of the lessons I learned through my bartending experiences stand out as those that I believe make me successful...
The Power of a Poster
The Power of a Poster

The Power of a Poster

The Power of a Poster

Communication

The Power of a Poster

By: Rachel Hager. I’m a Knauss marine policy fellow at NOAA because of a poster. Seven years ago, I saw one small poster pinned to a brown cork board in the hallway of a research center in Maryland. I decided to apply for the Knauss fellowship as an inland fellow from Utah because I kept thinking about that poster.   
A Tale of Two Offices
A Tale of Two Offices

A Tale of Two Offices

A Tale of Two Offices

My Fellowship Position

A Tale of Two Offices

By: Brittney Parker. I knew the Knauss Fellowship was the perfect way to take on a new challenge while pushing myself out of my comfort zone of scientific research. Little did I know prior to placement week that through my Knauss Fellowship I wouldn’t just be learning the ins-and-outs of a single executive branch office; I also would be...
The Business Case for Knauss Fellows
The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

Tips and Advice

The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

By: Meredith Richardson. Knauss Fellows have the unique opportunity to follow their own interests during their fellowship year, rather than exact roles laid out in a job description. It’s this flexibility that allows fellows to serve as connectors between departments and agencies, identifying areas for improvement and increasing...
One NOAA ‘Ohana
One NOAA ‘Ohana

One NOAA ‘Ohana

One NOAA ‘Ohana

My Fellowship Position

One NOAA ‘Ohana

By: Alexandra Skrivanek. NOAA’s mission of science, service and stewardship is vast in scope, spanning the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean. I can personally attest to this because, in the first 24 hours of traveling with RDML Gallaudet in Hawaiʻi at the start of my fellowship year, we covered most of this breadth.
You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans
You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

My Fellowship Position

You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

By: Cheyenne Stienbarger. Before we begin, there is something you must know about me. I like organization and need to have a plan, whether it’s a plan for the trip to the grocery store, for the year, or for the next five years. I live to plan. Spoiler alert: you just can’t plan for some things. I discovered the Knauss...
The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention
The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention

The power of purpose, personal connections and paying...

The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention

Alumni Profiles

The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention

By: Alexandra Skrivanek. Stuart Levenbach began his career in marine policy exploring how anemones, macroalgae, sea urchins and fish interact on rocky reefs off southern California. Less than two decades later, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of NOAA. Dr. Levenbach always knew he would play a role in advancing natural resource policy in...
How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill
How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

My Fellowship Position

How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

By: Kat Montgomery. Did you know that most of the salmon you see in grocery stores and restaurants comes from a fish farm? In fact, aquaculture, which is the farming of fish, shellfish and seaweed in fresh or saltwater, produces about half of the world’s seafood supply. I became interested in aquaculture sort of by accident, and that newfound...
Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate
Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate

Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme...

Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate

My Fellowship Position

Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate

By: Christine Bassett. Given my experience thinking about past climate and oceans, it might seem peculiar for me, a geoscientist, to spend my Knauss Fellowship year in the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Office of Observations. Read about how my work at the NWS gives me the opportunity to bring my focus on past human-climate interactions...
From South Korea to America: How I embraced my cultural identity in between
From South Korea to America: How I embraced my cultural identity in between

From South Korea to America: How I embraced my cultural...

From South Korea to America: How I embraced my cultural identity in between

Alumni Profiles

From South Korea to America: How I embraced my cultural identity in between

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. In this article, former Knauss fellow Lisa Kim explores her Korean identity and how it has influenced her early career journey with coastal science policy.
A long and winding road: Knauss alum, Emily Larkin, shares her career journey within NOAA
A long and winding road: Knauss alum, Emily Larkin, shares her career journey within NOAA

A long and winding road: Knauss alum, Emily Larkin, shares...

A long and winding road: Knauss alum, Emily Larkin, shares her career journey within NOAA

Alumni Profiles

A long and winding road: Knauss alum, Emily Larkin, shares her career journey within NOAA

By: Josie Lindsey-Robbins. Coming from a small town in rural Missouri, Emily never imagined she would end up living and working near Washington, D.C. Today, Emily serves as the Director of Formulation and Congressional Analysis (FCA) for NOAA Research. She began her journey in NOAA as a 2005 Knauss Fellow, placed within the National Ocean Service...
Far from HOMES*: The importance of place-based stewardship
Far from HOMES*: The importance of place-based stewardship

Far from HOMES*: The importance of place-based stewardship

Far from HOMES*: The importance of place-based stewardship

My Fellowship Position

Far from HOMES*: The importance of place-based stewardship

By: Kirsten Rhude. Even though my work as a Knauss Fellow makes me feel connected to coastal communities, lately I’ve been missing my time spent in nature. While I may not have realized it initially, my sense of stewardship and love of the natural world, which made me so passionate about becoming a Knauss fellow, have deep connections to...
Decreasing Marine Debris: From Coastal Communities to National Efforts
Decreasing Marine Debris: From Coastal Communities to National Efforts

Decreasing Marine Debris: From Coastal Communities to...

Decreasing Marine Debris: From Coastal Communities to National Efforts

My Fellowship Position

Decreasing Marine Debris: From Coastal Communities to National Efforts

By: Amanda Dwyer. One of the Knauss Fellowship’s most exciting opportunities is to explore areas of marine science that are outside your academic field of expertise. With my placement at the NOAA Marine Debris Program, I am working to support NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) Zero Waste Initiative to promote zero waste efforts in...
The Power of Connection: Knauss Fellow and Alumni Engagement During a Pandemic and Beyond
The Power of Connection: Knauss Fellow and Alumni Engagement During a Pandemic and Beyond

The Power of Connection: Knauss Fellow and Alumni Engagement...

The Power of Connection: Knauss Fellow and Alumni Engagement During a Pandemic and Beyond

My Fellowship Position

The Power of Connection: Knauss Fellow and Alumni Engagement During a Pandemic and Beyond

By: Emily Y. Horton. Social connection. It’s part of what makes us human and it’s fundamental to our wellbeing. So how does the 2020 cohort of Knauss Fellows network when required to “physically distance” at home? In this blog post, I share about virtual alumni-engagement initiatives our cohort is leading and discuss how in...
Therapy bakes for the anxious
Therapy bakes for the anxious

Therapy bakes for the anxious

Therapy bakes for the anxious

Tips and Advice

Therapy bakes for the anxious

By: Jennifer Le. Most recipes on the internet begin with a quirky story related to the author, recipe or dish. In a similar vein, this “recipe” is a step-by-step story about how baking has helped me, personally, work through my anxiety both during graduate school and the current pandemic.
From Katrina to COVID-19: Influences on a Career in Environmental Policy
From Katrina to COVID-19: Influences on a Career in Environmental Policy

From Katrina to COVID-19: Influences on a Career in...

From Katrina to COVID-19: Influences on a Career in Environmental Policy

My Fellowship Position

From Katrina to COVID-19: Influences on a Career in Environmental Policy

By: Connor Fagan. In August of 2005, the winds and waves of Hurricane Katrina smashed through the city of New Orleans. A middle-schooler at the time, my life, along with millions of others, as a New Orleanian would never be the same. Since then, I have directed my studies and career towards environmental policy as a result of Hurricane Katrina and...
Conquering the Quarantine: How Knauss Fellows are Overcoming Challenges Brought on by COVID-19
Conquering the Quarantine: How Knauss Fellows are Overcoming Challenges Brought on by COVID-19

Conquering the Quarantine: How Knauss Fellows are Overcoming...

Conquering the Quarantine: How Knauss Fellows are Overcoming Challenges Brought on by COVID-19

Fellowship Logistics

Conquering the Quarantine: How Knauss Fellows are Overcoming Challenges Brought on by COVID-19

By: Zuzanna Abdala. As of April 1st, 2020, the entire DC metro area is under stay-at-home orders. Although we may not be able to navigate this fellowship year in the same manner as our alumni counterparts, this situation has created opportunities for thoughtful and swift problem-solving, strong communication and creative thinking.
Photo story: 5 lessons learned during my Knauss Fellowship
Photo story: 5 lessons learned during my Knauss Fellowship

Photo story: 5 lessons learned during my Knauss Fellowship

Photo story: 5 lessons learned during my Knauss Fellowship

My Fellowship Position

Photo story: 5 lessons learned during my Knauss Fellowship

Over a year ago, I packed my belongings and moved from Long Beach, California, to Washington, D.C. to get firsthand experience working in the federal government as a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. Embarking upon my year, I knew one thing for sure: it was bound to be full of surprises. I’ve learned a number of important lessons...

Friday, May 31, 2019

From the dock to the bridge: a shift in perspective on maritime navigation

For the past five years, my typical field day was spent waist deep in marsh mud wielding the tools I needed for success: sunscreen, bug spray (lots of it), and a GPS.  My work day as an environmental scientist and salt marsh ecologist is a very different world from the one I recently jumped into as a Knauss Fellow in NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, the nation’s nautical chart makers.

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Friday, May 24, 2019

Around the U.S. in Eight Hours

Annapolis. Honolulu. Oakland. Charleston. Minneapolis. St. Petersburg. Gloucester. My desk is in Silver Spring, but we also work in Saipan, Stennis, and Seattle. Working with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management means working with regions across the nation’s states and territories and sometimes changing my surroundings, virtually, every hour.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Lasting Humatak Watershed Adventure

“Look! This is where we live?! I can’t believe we’re still on Guam! It’s so beautiful!” That was the genuine reaction of a middle schooler as our bus climbed a hill, revealing to us a breathtaking view of Sella Bay in southern Guam. We were en route to our first stop on the Humatak Watershed Adventure, which I was co-leading as a part of my extension project for my University of Guam Sea Grant Fellowship.

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Never Underestimate the Power of a Free Meal

If someone told me a year back that I’d roll out of bed, wear formal clothing I’d never owned previously, and walk into work (with my own desk and everything), I would have laughed my loudest! Prior to 2019 I was the typical graduate student, living the lab life in my jeans and sneakers, and never having heard of the Knauss Fellowship. How did I end up here?

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

My Knauss Story: A day in the life of a Congressional staffer

As the air horn blew, I couldn’t help but laugh. Even NBC News caught me laughing. During a committee hearing, Representative Cunningham (D-SC) wanted to illustrate that seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic ocean would be as loud and disruptive to the endangered North Atlantic right whale as his air horn blast was to the hearing.

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