Graduate students work with Oregon lawmakers on ocean and coastal policy issues

Applications due: August 15th, 2016 by 5:00 pm PST (submit intent to apply to by August 1) Next Deadline: Summer 2018

Oregon Sea Grant will sponsor a State Legislative Fellowship during the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session for a graduate student with an interest in marine and coastal issues.

Purpose: The objectives of the Fellowship are:

  • to provide technical expertise on marine and coastal issues to legislators;
  • to provide timely reports on current coastal issues for Sea Grant and other interested parties;
  • to help a student develop knowledge of the legislative process as it relates to coastal and ocean issues;
  • to encourage a student to develop skills necessary to work with various levels of government and with private and state resource organizations.

Duties of the Fellow: The Legislative Fellow will provide a variety of professional services to the legislature, but will not assume a political position or take the role of advocate or lobbyist on any issue.

The Fellow is expected to be objective and cooperative on issues where personal opinions may differ and to maintain a non-partisan position.

Between November and January, the Fellow will need to prepare for the legislative session. That preparation must at least include:

  • Studying the Oregon legislative process and the Oregon Coastal Management Program.
  • Studying the results of the previous legislative session that address issues pertinent to coastal communities.
  • To the extent possible, Sea Grant will also arrange preparation that may include:
    • Attending an orientation meeting in Salem for new legislators.
    • Attending an Emergency Board meeting or Interim Joint Legislative meeting.
    • Attending a meeting with coastal legislators (the Coastal Caucus) prior to the Session.
    • Attending a meeting of the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association (OCZMA).
    • Attend meetings with coastal stakeholders and community members identified by the Coastal Caucus, OCZMA, and others

When the legislative session begins, the Fellow will be expected to work full time with primary duties in Salem until the end of the legislative session or August 31, 2017, whichever comes first. The Fellow will:

  • Provide some direct staff support to the host legislator, but not routine clerical work.
  • Provide professional services, as a marine and coastal expert, to the Coastal Caucus and to natural resources committees.
  • Serve as a resource for communication with coastal constituents and key stakeholder groups.
  • Monitor and research legislation and legislative issues affecting marine resources and the Oregon coast.
  • By arrangement of the Coastal Caucus, draft timely reports on significant legislative issues and a summary of important happenings on issues affecting the Oregon coast.
  • Through frequent visits, maintain contact with the staffs of the Caucus members and the staffs of committees handling coastal resource issues.
  • Staff weekly meetings of the Coastal Caucus, which includes working with the Coastal Caucus Chair to manage the agenda, incorporating requests by Caucus members and others for agenda items/speakers, preparing copies of documents relevant to agenda items, and ensuring that meetings run smoothly through proficiency with the teleconference and projector systems.
  • Organize informal meetings of the Coastal Caucus staff at regular intervals to maintain a flow of information on the progress of coastal issues and bills through committee hearings.
  • Produce informal quarterly reports and a final scholarly report analyzing the progress and outcomes of marine and coastal issues dealt with during the session and discussing potential implications for Oregon Sea Grant and other interested parties.
  • Attend Oregon Sea Grant meetings, as appropriate.
  • Other duties may be assigned during the course of the fellowship by Coastal Caucus members.

Schedule of Dates:

  • Announcement released: July 13
  • Informational Webinar: July 29 at 10:00 – 10:30 am PST; register by emailing by July 26 (Please include “Webinar: Oregon Sea Grant Legislative Fellowship” in the subject line.)
  • Submit intent to apply to by August 1
  • Application due: August 15, 2016 by 5:00 pm PDT
  • Interviews at OSU: Late August – Early September
  • Decision announced: October
  • Fellowship begins: November
  • Orientation Period: November – February (meet with coastal caucus legislators and staff)
  • Legislative session begins: February 1, 2017
  • Fellowship ends: Ten days after the end of the legislative session, no later than August 31, 2017

Fellowship Duration: The fellowship will begin three months prior to the beginning of the Oregon Legislative session and conclude 10 days after the session ends or on August 31, 2017, whichever comes first.

Stipend: The stipend provides $3,000 per month from November until 10 days after the session ends or until August 31, 2017, whichever comes first. In addition to living expenses, the stipend may be used to support travel funds and educational materials. Please note that Fellows with Oregon Sea Grant are not eligible for benefits or privileges, such as health care, received by employees of Oregon State University or Oregon Sea Grant.

Eligible Applicants: The applicant must be enrolled in a Masters, Ph.D. or professional degree (e.g. law school) in any discipline at an accredited college, university or non-profit academic institution of higher education physically located in Oregon, or have completed his/her degree after December 2015. Women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply. Previous Legislative Fellows are not eligible to apply.


Applicants must demonstrate the following qualifications in their application:

  • Suitable professional background and interest in coastal and marine policy issues.
  • Excellent academic ability.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to deal objectively and tactfully with a wide variety of people under stressful and hurried conditions.
  • Ability to maintain a non-partisan, non-political position.
  • Flexibility in time scheduling and willingness to work long, irregular hours during the legislative session.

How to Apply:

If you plan to apply, you should do the following no later than 2 weeks before the application deadline (by August 1, 2016):

Notify Oregon Sea Grant that you plan on applying by sending a short/simple email expressing your interest to All emails to Oregon Sea Grant regarding this Fellowship should reference “Oregon Sea Grant Legislative Fellowship” in the subject line. We are rolling out a new online system, eSeaGrant, for fellowship application submissions. We will use the email address and first and last name you provide in your email of interest to register you for eSeaGrant. Further instructions on submitting your application via eSeaGrant will be emailed directly to you.

Application Materials:

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. All application materials must be received by August 15, 2016, 5:00 p.m. PST in order to be considered. Applications that do not follow the formatting guidelines will not be considered.

A complete application will include the following 4 elements:

  • A current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV). The résumé/CV must be in 12 point font with 1” margins, must not exceed two (2) pages in length, and must include the following elements:
    • name and contact information (including address, phone number, and email);
    • education history, including current or final GPA;
    • work and volunteer history;
    • any publications;
    • if applicable: any funding support, either current or pending, and any previous awards; and,
    • any other résumé /CV information you wish the reviewers to consider.
  • A personal narrative statement expressing why you are a good fit for the Fellowship, why you want this particular position, how the fellowship relates to your career goals, and how you would address the purposes and duties of the Fellowship. The personal narrative statement must be in 12 point font with 1” margins, use 1.5” or 2” line spacing, and must not exceed two (2) pages in length.
  • Copies of official up-to-date transcripts* of all graduate and undergraduate coursework. If possible, please redact your birthdate, social security number, and/or student ID number redacted, if included on your transcript. Please do not have these sent separately, but include the copies of your official transcripts with your application.

    *An official up-to-date transcript is one printed on official transcript paper and sent to you by your school’s Registrar’s Office or sent to you as a secure electronic (PDF) document with Registrar's signature/school seal, displaying your course work to date at that institution. You may make a copy or scan the official transcripts to submit with your application.

  • Two letters of recommendation (one must be from the student's major professor or advisor). Letters of recommendation will be submitted separately from the rest of your application, directly from the letter writer. Further instructions on using eSeaGrant to submit letters of recommendation are forthcoming. Make sure your recommendation writers have sufficient time to get the letter to us by or before the application deadline; letters of recommendation must arrive by the application deadline for the application to be considered.

Applications due August 15, 2016 by 5:00 pm PST.Next Deadline: Summer 2017


Any questions related to this fellowship can be directed to:

Mary Pleasant

Research and Scholars Coordinator