Program: John D. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

Assignment:  Brett Hartl spent his Knauss Fellowship working on marine policy issues for the Democratic members of the House Natural Resources Committee. 


Brett has had a love of the oceans since he was a small child spending his vacations playing on Long Island’s public beaches. It wasn’t until he spent a summer as a park ranger on the wilderness coast of Olympic National Park and saw the unfathomable amounts of garbage that the North Pacific Current deposits on the park’s beaches that he became interested in marine conservation. As an environmental studies major in college, he spent ten weeks in the Sea of Cortez studying fisheries management and conservation, working alongside artisanal fishermen to promote sustainable fishing practices. After college, Brett spent multiple field seasons on oceanic islands in California and Hawaii working with endangered seabirds, marine mammals, sea turtles, and great white sharks.

Professional and Research Interests: 

Eventually, Brett realized that the most significant way of improving the conservation status of marine resources was to become involved in the policy process, which drove him to enroll  at Lewis and Clark Law School, where he focused on environmental and natural resources law, earning a certificate in those areas. As a student, he worked on wave energy issues in Oregon and on a lawsuit seeking to improve the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of ballast water discharges from ocean-going vessels. As of 2015, Brett was working as endangered species policy coordinator for the Center for Biological Diversity.