We’re trying to encourage folks that are just getting out of graduate school that are in resource management programs to identify state and federal resource management jobs as potential career tracks because we feel like we need newer, younger folks to get into this field.

– Tony Watkinson
Habitat Management Division Chief, VMRC

2021 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship

Deadline: April 23, 2021




Receive on-the-job training and hone your professional skills while improving the stewardship of the Commonwealth’s coastal and marine resources. This fellowship develops and supports exceptional post-graduates by partnering them with a state government or non-governmental organization host office mentor. The program also aims to increase the capacity of the host offices by supporting fellows who are working on mission-relevant programs, and leveraging the knowledge and capacity of Virginia’s academic institutions.

Past-participating offices include:

  • Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources 
  • Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Virginia Marine Resource Commission
  • Hampton Roads Planning District Commission
  • The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve
Coming soon

Past projects and assignments include:

  • Total maximum daily load and water pollution
  • Shoreline erosion
  • Coastal community resilience 
  • Coordinating environmental document reviews and comments
  •  Implementation of electronic permitting
  • Blue crab fisheries management

Real experience, real professional growth opportunities

Commonwealth Fellows work alongside mentors in their host office to address pressing coastal and marine resource issues, while learning about the policy and management process occurring at the state level. This experience and knowledge have positioned past fellows to be highly competitive for opportunities at the conclusion of the fellowship year. The majority of our alumni have accepted full-time positions at Virginia agencies.

The Nature Conservancy

Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources

Virginia Marine Resources Commission

Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation


Virginia Sea Grant and the Virginia Environmental Endowment anticipate supporting three post-graduate fellows for the 2021 Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship.

Length: 12-month, nonrenewable fellowship assignment

Start Date: October 1, 2021

Funding: $35,000 stipend, $5,000 for critical expenses and professional development activities

Samuel Lake, Ph.D., Fellowship & Research Program Coordinator
sjlake@vaseagrant.org    804-684-7436