Virginia’s First NOAA Coastal Management Fellow: Julie Sepanik

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Virginia’s First NOAA Coastal Management Fellow: Julie Sepanik

Julie Sepanik.

By Emma Fass, Summer Science Communication Intern

Julie Sepanik’s time working for the National Weather Service imbued her with awe at the complexity of coasts.

“I witnessed both the good and the bad of coastal development, and felt compelled to educate the public on these risks,” she says.

Julie Sepanik.

Julie Sepanik.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently awarded Sepanik a two-year Coastal Management Fellowship—and she is Virginia Sea Grant’s first applicant to secure the fellowship. She will be working with Oregon Coastal Management Program starting this fall.

Sepanik says she has experience working with a number of federal agencies, and looks forward to the opportunity to work directly at the state level.

“I believe working at the state level will provide a meaningful local connection with citizens and the projects,” she says.

Sepanik graduated from University of Maryland in 2003 with a concentration in environmental mapping and data management. She received her master’s in environmental science and policy from George Mason University and will begin her fellowship in September.

Sepanik says in the future she plans to draw on both her education and extensive professional experience to continue working to manage our coastal areas.

The Coastal Management Fellowship is a two-year fellowship established to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students. The program matches postgraduate students from a variety of environmental disciplines with state coastal resource agencies to work on coastal projects proposed by the state and selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center. Virginia Sea Grant is proud to assist in coordinating applications for Virginian candidates for this program.