Learn and Network While Working in D.C.

The Knauss Fellowship Program provides a unique educational experience to students enrolled in graduate programs in fields related to marine or Great Lakes studies. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative branch, the executive branch, or appropriate associations and institutions located in the Washington, D.C. area. Recipients spend one year working on substantive national policy issues related to marine issues.

The National Sea Grant Office hosted a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program 101 Webinar on Tuesday November 10th for an overview of the program, career spotlights, and a Q&A session with Knauss alumni. The webinar recording is available here.


Any student, regardless of citizenship, is eligible to submit to this opportunity if:

  1. The student is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2020 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 19, 2021;
  2. The graduate degree will be awarded through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories, and;
  3. The student has an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Details and application requirements from grants.gov are available under opportunity number NOAA-OAR-SG-2022-2006631 and you can find additional details about becoming a Knauss Fellow here. Interested and eligible applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Stephanie Ichien or Sarah Kolesar at least one month before the application deadline. 


Oregon Sea Grant uses eSeaGrant for fellowship application submissions. To access eSeaGrant, send an email to [email protected] declaring your interest in applying. Please include the name of the fellowship you wish to apply for in the subject line. An eSeaGrant account will then be created for you. All components of your application, including letters of recommendation, will be submitted through eSeaGrant. Stating your interest does not obligate you to apply. We are here to provide assistance as needed; however, please do not wait until the last minute to apply. Here is a link to the 2019-2020 PowerPoint for the winter fellows and a link to a recording of the 2018 winter fellows webinar.


The next deadline for this fellowship February 19, 2021.

John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows

Katherine Dziedzic (2020)

Assignment: Katherine is a 2020 Knauss Executive Fellow with NOAA Headquarters as a Congressional Fellow in the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Education: Katherine completed her B.S. in Marine Science and Biology at University of Miami, FL in 2013 and her Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University in 2019. Following her Ph.D., she was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Oregon State University in the Department of Integrative Biology.

Professional and Research Interests: Katherine is a coral reef biologist passionate about finding ways science can be effectively communicated and applied to management and policy. Her graduate research explored how corals can adapt to changing ocean temperatures using genomic techniques. She conducted experiments across multiple coral species from Panama and the Indo-Pacific to determine differences in the capacity for adaptation and survival – information that can help pinpoint more at-risk coral species for priority in conservation and management efforts.

In addition to her graduate work, Katherine is very passionate about communicating science to a variety of audiences such as the general public, scientific audiences, and policy-makers and managers. She is constantly thinking about different ways to effectively communicate science and educate her audiences about what is happening to coral reef ecosystems around the world. She has taken part in many science communication courses and workshops at OSU, has been a guest on a local radio show to talk about the current and future state of coral reefs and her research, and was an Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Science Communication Fellow.

Feel free to check out her website at katherinedziedzic.com or follow her on Twitter @_K_Dziedzic.

Leah Mupas Segui (2020)

Assignment: Leah Mupas Segui is the 2020 Knauss Executive Fellow in the NOAA Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division as part of the GEO Blue Planet team.

Education: Leah completed her B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Biology and a minor in Geography with an emphasis in Natural Resources and the Environment from San Diego State University in 2010 and her Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University in 2019.

Professional and Research Interests: Leah's dissertation explored the role of stage structure in species interactions and its consequences across levels of biological organization. Specifically, her work on crayfish contributes to our understanding of how life history traits affect feeding rates, nutrient cycling, gut microbial communities, and the impact of introduced species on the recipient ecological community. She is passionate about community building and social justice and has led efforts to support diverse and inclusive communities in STEM.

Checkout Leah's website https://leahsegui.weebly.com/, not to be confused with https://crayoftheday.weebly.com/ or follow her on Twitter @LMSegui.

Katie Morrice (2020)

Assignment: Katie Morrice is serving her Knauss fellowship as an executive fellow with the U.S. Department of Energy at the Water Power Technologies Office.

Education: Katie completed her B.A. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Marine Sciences at Smith College and her M.S. in Marine Science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. She is currently a PhD candidate at Oregon Health & Science University working on a degree in Environmental Science and Engineering, with a concentration in Estuaries and Ocean Systems.

Professional and Research Interests: Katie is interested in oceanography, fluid dynamics, and fisheries and how modeling can be used to improve our understanding of physical processes and their influence on estuary and coastal systems. Her PhD dissertation focuses on the Columbia River estuary and how it supports juvenile Chinook salmon, with a particular emphasis on how river dynamics and spatio-temporal variability influence migration patterns. She is particularly interested in marine spatial planning and how modeling can be used as a tool to address management questions and to inform decision-makers on how to sustainably manage marine resources. Previously, she worked as a fisheries observer in the Bering Sea and as a California Sea Grant State Fellow at the Delta Science Program, an agency tasked with providing the best available science to inform water and environmental decision-making in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Papers: Environmental and behavioral controls on juvenile Chinook salmon migration pathways in the Columbia River estuary

An Individual-based Model to Evaluate Juvenile Chinook Salmon Migration in the Columbia River Estuary

Vanessa Constant (2020)

Assignment: Vanessa Constant is a 2020 Knuass Legislative Fellow with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Education: Vanessa received her BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University in 2014 and her PhD in Integrative Biology from Oregon State University in 2019.

Professional and Research Interests: Vanessa is a coastal ecologist passionate about finding ways to couple science with policy for the development of practical solutions to complex environmental problems. Her dissertation research explored the role of marine subsidies in invasive beachgrass growth and the significance of this relationship for coastal protection along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast. Throughout her graduate program, Vanessa also pursued opportunities in science communication and interdisciplinary collaboration, delving deeply into the role of science in policy, management, and public understanding. Vanessa is particularly interested in using scientifically-grounded and stakeholder-informed strategies to build coastal adaptive capacity.

Katie Darr (2020)

Assignment: Katie Darr is a 2020 Knauss Executive Fellow with the Marine Protected Areas Center in NOAA's Office of Marine Sanctuaries. 

Education: Katie received her B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University in 2017 and completed her M.S. in Marine Resource Management at Oregon State University in 2019. 

Professional and Research Interests: Katie is interested in communicating the connections between people's lives and the ocean with the goal of promoting ecologically and economically sustainable resource use. While Katie's thesis research focused on illuminating these connections between Oregonians and their deep sea, she is looking forward to highlighting these social-ecological connections in the context of recreation and tourism in Marine Protected Areas during her fellowship year. Ultimately, Katie is invested in developing coastal management strategies that support a healthy environment, economy, and community.


Kathryn McIntosh (2018)

Assignment: Kathryn McIntosh is serving her Knauss fellowship as an executive fellow with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Engineer Research and Development Center.

Education: Kathryn completed her B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Redlands and received her L.L.M. in Global Environment and Climate Change Law from the University of Edinburgh, School of Law. Kathryn graduated from the Lewis & Clark Law School in May 2017 with an Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Certificate.

Professional and Research Interests: Kathryn’s graduate work and legal background centered on developing practical skills and tools to advocate for the protection of coastal and marine environments. While completing her masters at Edinburgh, her studies touched on international environmental law and the sustainable development of natural resources. Her L.L.M. dissertation examined U.S. regulations on the management and enforcement of Arctic oil and gas development.

These interests continued while Kathryn completed her Juris Doctorate and are reflected in her commitment to understanding environmental law, the federal regulatory process, and sustainable resource use and management. She developed practical environmental litigation experience while working as a law clerk at the Earthrise Law Center and as a volunteer with the Northwest Environmental Defense Center. She also gained experience working on international marine and coastal policy issues as a law clerk with the International Section of NOAA’s Office of General Counsel in Washington, DC. During her final year at law school, her capstone project examined the effectiveness of Florida’s state and local coastal artificial lighting regulations on minimizing the impact to threatened and endangered sea turtles.

Janan Evans-Wilent (2018)

Assignment: Janan Evans-Wilent is a 2018 Knauss Legislative Fellow with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, serving on the Majority Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. 

Education: Janan completed her B.A. in Environmental Studies at Connecticut College in 2011 and her M.S. in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University in 2017.

Professional and Research Interests: Janan is a coastal scientist passionate about developing creative, interdisciplinary strategies for effective and adaptive coastal management. Her graduate research explored how complex coupled natural and human systems dynamically respond to varying coastal adaptation policies and climate change scenarios. Her research worked directly with stakeholders in Tillamook County, OR and Grays Harbor County, WA to co-develop and explore how a variety of coastal adaptation policies, (such as constructing hard protection, rebuilding dunes, nourishing the beach, or relocating homes) change through time under a changing climate. This allowed community-members to visually and quantitatively explore important trade-offs, like protecting private property versus maintaining vital habitats. Janan is particularly interested in bridging science and policy to more strategically communicate about coastal hazards and changing climatic conditions in order to build adaptive capacity and increase resilience in vulnerable communities.

Chante Davis (2018)

Assignment: Chante Davis is serving her Knauss fellowship as an Executive Fellow in the NOAA Fisheries office of sustainable fisheries with the Highly Migratory Species Management team.

Education: Chante completed a B.S. in Earth Systems Science and Policy from California State Universities at Monterey Bay, a M.S. in Marine Science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and a PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife from Oregon State University.

Professional and Research Interests: Chante is interested in the ecology and evolution of life history traits and how these factors shape population structure and growth. Her PhD dissertation focused on how migratory fish responded to environmental change, using molecular and ecological tools. However, previous work included understanding the biology of deep sea skates in the eastern North Pacific.

Sabra Marie Tallchief Comet (2018)

Assignment: As a 2018 Executive Knauss Fellow, Sabra will be working in the NOAA NOS US Integrated Ocean Observing System office.  As a Malouf Scholar, Sabra developed baseline data on the past (ancestral) and present (recent, within the current generation) uses within Oregon’s newly established systems of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). She drew upon her past involvement with the California MPA network and several northern California tribes to capture a rich dataset of tribal input for the MPA process, as well as preserve and allow the future utilization of this information by tribal resource users.

Education: Sabra received her B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Zoology, from Southern Oregon University, and completed her Master’s in Environmental Management at Portland State University in 2017.

Professional and Research Interests: Sabra plans to study and develop professional and scientific expertise in marine resource planning and the mechanisms and institutions that guide interactions between tribal and non-tribal resource managers. She hopes to broaden her understanding of how other entities (public, private, federal, local governments) engage in marine issues, and incorporate the tribal perspective into the larger multi-jurisdictional framework of the MPA system.