Three Virginia graduate students have been named finalists for the 2014 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. This year’s finalists from the Commonwealth will advance to Placement Week in Washington DC in fall 2013, where they will be placed with hosts in the executive branch of government.
The Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is a prestigious program offered by the National Sea Grant College Program. Established in 1979, it provides a unique experience to students who have an interest in national policy decisions affecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. The program 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.
Whether she is speaking at international conferences on zooplankton or working with high school biology students as a National Science Foundation GK-12 fellow, Samantha Bickel is as passionate about generating original research as she is about sharing it with the public. The Knauss fellowship, she says, will provide her with the opportunity to learn more about current areas of concern in water resources, as well as how these findings can be effectively communicated to policy makers, stakeholders, and the public at large. Bickel holds undergraduate degrees in biology and mathematics from Carthage College, a master’s degree in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in marine science at VIMS.
Anna Killius entered law school to become an informed advocate for those who need someone to tell their story. She soon realized that the story she wanted to tell was about the importance of coastlines and oceans. An advocate, she says, is the Rosetta Stone of policy change – providing the bridge between scientific study and regulatory language. Through the Knauss fellowship, Killius seeks to connect the fields of science and law by interpreting and informing strong environmental policies. Killius holds a bachelor’s degree in history with an applied mathematics concentration from the University of Dallas and a J.D. from the William & Mary School of Law.
Bonnie Myers has always sought to combine her lifelong interest in environmental conservation with a richly varied background in scientific research. Her interdisciplinary research background allows her to understand not only fisheries biology concepts, but issues in climate change dynamics, landscape variations, and biodiversity as well. Through the Knauss fellowship, she hopes to take the data collection and analysis component of research to the next level by educating stakeholders and collaborating across agencies on environmental issues. Myers holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries biology and management from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in fish and wildlife conservation from Virginia Tech.