The Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Program has focused on broadening participation and diversity by restructuring our recruitment and review processes to make them more equitable. Our intent is to be more inclusive of applicants from various cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds with unique lived experiences, skills and interests, including applicants that may have had fewer opportunities in the marine policy field. In line with this initiative, applicants will have the opportunity to demonstrate how their experience with diverse stakeholder groups and communities might apply to this fellowship and how they think this fellowship will advance their long-term career goals.

You can sign-up for the OSG Fellowship Announcements Listerv to receive information about upcoming opportunities. You can read more about some of our current scholars below.

Past Opportunity

2023-2024 West Coast Ocean Alliance Fellowship

This is a full-time, one-year fellowship positions intended to provide first-hand experience in natural resource and ocean policy and science at the state and regional levels along the U.S. West Coast. In so doing, the fellows contribute to policies and planning that will benefit natural resource managers, interested parties, and user groups. In 2023-2024, OSG is offering this opportunity jointly with the 2023 OSG Natural Resource Policy Fellowship. For the 2023-2024 opportunity, the West Coast Ocean Alliance Fellowship program placed at four West Coast Ocean Alliance Fellows with a state or federal agency or Tribal Government along the West Coast. All positions are one year in duration, starting October 2023.

This fellowship is currently underway and the application period is now closed. For reference, additional details about this year's opportunities can be accessed in the 2023 OSG NRPF/WCOA Fellowship Joint Request for Application (PDF).

LOULI ZIELS

ASSIGNMENT: As an Oregon Coastal and Ocean Information Network (OCOIN) Fellow, my work will align with OCOIN’s mission of supporting informed decision-making for Oregon ocean and coastal management through data and information that is easily accessible, relevant, and current. In a building year for OCOIN, some main focuses will be creating an interactive mindmap to illustrate connections between regional information networks and advocating for processes that ensure equitable accessibility of marine information.

I will also be an Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) Fellow, supporting the OSG Summer Scholars Program with administrative tasks and working as a near-peer mentor during the summer session of scholars!

EDUCATION: I graduated from the University of Portland (UP) with a B.A. in Environmental Ethics & Policy and in Spanish. Prior to starting my fellowship, I was an OSG Scholar for two sessions, collaborating with OCOIN to support their information-sharing objectives while developing a strategic plan for the upcoming year. Most recently, I worked as a subcontractor for Sea & Shore Solutions to help build a coastal research inventory. Apart from this, and most importantly, I am an ongoing student of freediving, surfing, and my grandmas.

PROFESSIONAL AND RESEARCH INTERESTS: I am moved by the intersections I’ve observed between coastal research, data, policy, knowledge, and art, and the interplay that can occur between them to form an understanding of how to best care for our coast. Specifically, I am curious how existing marine information can be shared in a way that informs policy, identifies data gaps, and encourages collaboration. I am eager to learn how networks that inform understanding can be complementary to each other, avoid duplication, and support purposeful data collection.

YSABELLE YRAD

ASSIGNMENT: Sustainable Energy/Community Development Fellow with the Sustainability and Community Development Department at Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Government.

EDUCATION: B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Organismal Biology from the University of Toledo in 2020. M.S. in Environment and Sustainability with a specialization in Sustainability and Development from the University of Michigan in 2023.

PROFESSIONAL & RESEARCH INTERESTS: Ysabelle is broadly interested in the intersection of ecology, hydrology, and community well-being. Her undergraduate thesis mapped urban access to various food outlets in Lucas County, Ohio, and discussed the rise in community garden plots as a sustainable, resilient solution. She also enjoy participating in environmental education programs, including public outreach on renewable energy and water quality topics. Ysabelle's master's capstone focused on water related perceptions, conservation projects, and hydrologic mapping in the newly re-imagined Obtawaing Biosphere Region (a UNESCO designation in northern Michigan named after the Anishinaabek word meaning "at the halfway place"). As a WCOA fellow, she hopes to bring what she has learned from the Great Lakes and build new knowledge and impact on the West coast. Ysabelle is also interested in environmental policy, particularly as it relates to collaborating with communities, decision-makers, and researchers for interdisciplinary climate adaptations. Lastly, she is committed to centering environmental justice and local/regional contexts in the work that she does.

 

CARINA BURROUGHS

ASSIGNMENT: Working with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service on the West Coast Offshore Wind Team. Carina will join the team’s work to minimize the impacts of offshore wind development on living marine resources, their habitats, and the ecosystems upon which they depend.

EDUCATION: Carina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Affairs and Ecosystem Science and Policy from the University of Miami and recently earned a master’s degree in Coastal and Marine Resource Management from the University Centre of the Westfjords/University of Akureyri. Her graduate research focused on social and ecological changes in the coral reef ecosystem at Islas Marietas National Park in the Central Mexican Pacific.

PROFESSIONAL & RESEARCH INTERESTS: Carina is an interdisciplinary scientist who is passionate about marine social-ecological research and the development of coastal management strategies that promote sustainable resource use. As a scientist, she is interested in research questions with practical management applications, and she employs both ecological field methods and social science methods to answer these questions. In the realm of resource management, she is interested in the development of policies and planning that support both healthy ecosystems and the needs of coastal communities. She has a strong interest in the intersection of renewable energy and marine resource management, and looks forward to contributing to this field in her role as a WCOA fellow.

 

AVERY CALHOUN

ASSIGNMENT: Avery will be working with the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Offshore Wind Team. She will be working to curate their geospatial datasets and develop GIS (geographic information systems) content for the West Coast Ocean Data Portal and other uses. Avery aims to increase the connectivity and availability of ocean and coastal data to better inform policy development, resource management, and conservation.

EDUCATION: Avery graduated with a B.S. in Marine Science from California State University, Monterey Bay, and an M.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon. Her graduate work centered around seafloor habitat characterization and suitability modeling for deep-sea chemosynthetic invertebrates in the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to her graduate degree, she also worked on mapping endangered butterfly and shorebird distributions in central and southern California.

PROFESSIONAL & RESEARCH INTERESTS: Avery has a deep interest in how ecology changes across space, especially the distribution of animals across different habitat conditions. She has worked with a wide range of ecosystems and species, from endangered butterflies on mountain peaks to snails found on deep-sea methane seeps. These experiences have cultivated a passion for scientific communication and outreach, something she supplements with scientific illustration and graphic design. Through this fellowship, Avery hopes to further develop her communication skills, learn more about marine policy implementation, and support the development of clean energy on the west coast.

 

SUZANNE QUINN O'NEILL

ASSIGNMENT: Suzie will be working with NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region to assist the Oregon Aquaculture Association and state partners in developing a statewide aquaculture plan. Suzie will also support efforts to broaden NOAA’s support of Tribal aquaculture and to address invasive species infestations in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

EDUCATION: Suzie received a B.A. in Geo Physics from Brown University in 2022, as well as an Occupational Endorsement in Alaskan Aquaculture from the University of Alaska Southeast during the fall of 2022.

PROFESSIONAL & RESEARCH INTERESTS: Suzie is passionate about sustainable aquaculture and its dual benefit to communities and the marine environment. After working on an oyster farm in Rhode Island and studying kelp, shellfish, and salmon enhancement aquaculture in Southeast Alaska, Suzie is excited to dive into the policy realm to contribute to meaningful coastal management that promotes healthy marine ecosystems and uplifts marginalized voices.


MEGAN CONSIDINE

ASSIGNMENT: Megan will be working with The Nature Conservancy's Global Aquaculture Strategy Lead, Global Aquaculture Manager, and TNC staff from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska to explore the potential to invest in and create restorative seaweed aquaculture farms in the Pacific Northwest.

EDUCATION: Megan graduated with a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Caroline and recently earned her M.S. in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University. Her graduate research involved working directly with oyster farms in Oregon to detect and prevent an invasive pest that poses economic and ecological risks for this region’s oyster aquaculture industry.

PROFESSIONAL AND RESEARCH INTERESTS: Megan is interested in community based regenerative aquaculture because of its potential to provide food sovereignty, while maintaining and in some cases even improving the environment through key ecosystem services. She looks forward to gaining hands-on experience in community engagement within an emerging seaweed industry and robust exposure to experts in the regenerative aquaculture field.

Connect with Megan at LinkedIn or Research Gate

 

KAEGAN SCULLY-ENGELMEYER

ASSIGNMENT: In this position, Kaegan will support the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) activities related to Oregon’s Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia (OHA) policy. In particular, Kaegan will collaborate with other federal and state agencies and academia by assisting with the convening and facilitation of a scientific-technical workgroup. This workgroup’s charge will be to define and develop scientifically-supported methodologies for assessing OAH impacts in marine territorial waters that can be used to carry out water quality assessments within DEQ’s Clean Water Act assessment program.

EDUCATION: Kaegan is a recent graduate from the Earth, Environment, and Society Ph.D. program at Portland State University’s School of the Environment. He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon in 2009. He worked for several years in natural resource management projects in Oregon, ranging from wetland conservation and management to endangered species recovery. His graduate research focused on landscape-scale topics along the Oregon Coast, including human dimensions of coastal and marine resources and connections between forestry management practices and freshwater and estuarine bivalves.

PROFESSIONAL AND RESEARCH INTERESTS: Kaegan’s research and professional interests center on coastal water quality and land management issues. He is particularly interested in applied research and policymaking. During this fellowship, Kaegan is excited to gain hands-on experience working with policy staff and decision-makers to develop and implement water quality policies along the Oregon Coast.

Connect with Kaegan on LinkedIn.

Melissa Symmes is an Oregon Sea Grant Public Access Research Fellow MELISSA SYMMES

ASSIGNMENT: Melissa is an Oregon Sea Grant Public Access Research Fellow currently working for The Oregon Coastal Management Program in the Department of Land Conservation and Development. Her work will aid in developing a community-oriented public access policy framework in Oregon by informing policy development through community-specific research. Her research will help enable more equitable and sustainable public access to shorelines in Oregon.

EDUCATION: Melissa is a second year Master of Public Policy graduate student at Oregon State University. She will graduate with a concentration in Environmental Policy in 2022. Melissa graduated from Boise State University in 2020 with a degree in Environmental Studies and a double minor in Biology and Sustainability. She played 5 years of Division 1 college soccer at Boise State University and finished her last year as a graduate transfer at Oregon State University. In summer 2021, Melissa researched public perceptions on recycled water use for crop irrigation in the Sammamish Valley of Washington state. She is also currently working with Conservation Northwest examining how perceptions about non-lethal wolf management options impact the willingness of ranchers to ranch alongside wolves in Washington. Her graduate thesis will be determined from her research experiences.

PROFESSIONAL & RESEARCH INTEREST:Melissa is interested in environmental policies intersecting with conservation, wildlife, or natural resource management. During her fellowship she looks forward to working with policy professionals, applying her skills, and gaining insights into how policy impacts the Oregon coast and shoreline access. Looking ahead, her professional aspirations are to work in Washington D.C. helping create and impact policy decisions related to the environment.

Oregon Sea Grant Executive Fellow, Astrea StrawnASTREA STRAWN

ASSIGNMENT:As the Climate Change and Natural Working Lands Coordinator Executive Fellow, Astrea works with Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) and the Oregon Global Warming Commission to assist state agencies in implementing Governor Brown’s Executive Order (EO) 20-04: Directing State Agencies to Take Actions to Reduce and Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Astrea utilizes science, policy research and public engagement tools in support of Section 12A of the EO, which calls for a multi-agency proposal to the Governor regarding the adoption of state goals for carbon sequestration and storage by Oregon’s natural and working landscapes.

EDUCATION: Astrea has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Prescott College and an M.S. in Marine Resource Management (MRM) from Oregon State University, with a minor in Risk and Uncertainty Quantification in Marine Sciences. Her thesis research examined impacts of policy change on coastal communities and the commercial fishing industry. While studying at OSU, Astrea was also the social science lead on a trans-disciplinary fellowship team examining climate change impacts on the West Coast Dungeness crab fishery, and fishery dependent communities.

PROFESSIONAL AND RESEARCH INTERESTS: Astrea enjoys working in the intersection of human and environmental needs. Her professional interests have evolved from social science research specific to commercial fisheries, to encompass outreach, engagement, and policy decision making with natural resource groups across Oregon. Astrea is particularly interested in applying her skill set to climate change planning and mitigation in terrestrial and marine environments.

Connect with Astrea on LinkedIn.

OSG/OASE Industry Fellow Doug RossiDOUG ROSSI

ASSIGNMENT: As the 2021-2022 OSG/OASE Industry Fellow, Doug will work with The Tofurky Company as their Environmental and Sustainability Program Coordinator (ESPC). In this position, Doug will get first-hand experience in the research, design, and implementation of an environmental management system (EMS) and the beginnings of a sustainability program that aligns with this plant-based food manufacturer’s mission, business model, and environmental goals.

BACKGROUND: Doug grew up in Colorado but came out to Oregon for college. He recently graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Ethics & Policy as well as a B.B.A in Marketing from the University of Portland (UP) in May 2021. Starting in his junior year, Doug interned at a start-up company called Produce Mate that was started by a previous UP alum. At Produce Mate Doug oversaw all things related sustainability, and guided the company to begin the process of becoming a B Corp.

PROFESSIONAL INTEREST: Doug not only wants to help companies and people become more sustainable, but to also encourage conversation. More now than ever, Doug feels that it is important for us to have conversations about difficult topics, especially with those who have differing opinions. Doug hopes to be someone who can help build community and support those in need, all while doing better for our planet. This fellowship offers him the opportunity to listen to a diverse set of perspectives and to create an EMS that will consider the needs of many. 

Connect with Doug on LinkedIn and Facebook.

2021 OSG Resilience Fellow- Felicia Olmeta-SchultFELICIA OLMETA-SCHULT

ASSIGNMENT:As the Resilience Fellow, Felicia will be working with staff at Oregon Sea Grant and other partners to increase the resilience of Oregon communities to the impacts of climate change and coastal natural hazards (e.g., coastal erosion, earthquakes, and tsunamis). She will conduct engagement and outreach to local stakeholders to better understand and assess impacts of climate change and coastal hazards, and how to mitigate the impacts of hazards through improved practices and policies.

EDUCATION: Felicia has a B.S. in Oceanography from Hawaii Pacific University, a M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University. Her dissertation investigated the North Coast of California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative by studying how stakeholders interacted and were involved during the marine protected area (MPA) planning process and how they perceived socio-economic and ecological effects of MPAs. She was a 2018-19 Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Washington Department of Ecology Shorelands & Environmental Assistance Program where she participated in the Washington Coastal Resilience Project.

2020 OSG Aquaculture Fellow- Amy EhrhartAMY EHRHART

ASSIGNMENT: As the Aquaculture Fellow, Amy will be working with staff at Oregon Sea Grant to coordinate aquaculture efforts in the state and US West Coast region. Her main objective is to conduct a statewide needs assessment for developing shellfish and seaweed aquaculture opportunities in Oregon.

EDUCATION: Amy has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Southern Utah University where she conducted research on sea anemone feeding behavior. She completed her PhD in Earth, Environment, and Society (Environmental Science) at Portland State University in December 2020. Amy’s dissertation research focused on pharmaceutical contaminants in coastal ecosystems in Oregon and Washington, and their effects on the commercially grown Pacific oyster.

PROFESSIONAL AND RESEARCH INTERESTS: Amy’s research interests are centered around anthropogenic effects on marine ecosystems and sustainable use of marine resources. Professionally, she is interested in the role of scientific research in decision making and aspires to work in an environment that links these sectors in solving real world problems. Through this fellowship, she hopes to gain experience in stakeholder engagement, and provide a resource to inform future research, outreach, and policies surrounding aquaculture in Oregon.