Athens, Ga. - University of Georgia student Kate Segarra and Savannah State University student Sanya Compton have been selected for the prestigious Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Segarra and Compton are two of only 51 students across the country selected for the program.
The Knauss program places highly-qualified graduate students from the nation's 32 regional Sea Grant offices in positions with Federal Government host offices that establish and implement national policies related to marine, coastal and Great Lakes resources. The Georgia Sea Grant office is housed at the University of Georgia.
Segarra, a Ph.D. candidate in UGA's department of marine sciences in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, studies microbial biogeochemistry and global change under the direction of Samantha Joye, UGA Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences. Segarra's research explores the patterns and controls of seasonal carbon cycling in freshwater sediments with a focus on methane production and consumption.
"The Knauss Fellowship is a perfect opportunity for me to use my scientific training to help solve some of the biggest problems facing our waters," said Segarra. "One of my career goals is to facilitate better marine management and conservation practices by narrowing the divide between scientists and policy-makers."
Sanya Compton is a graduate student in the marine sciences department at Savannah State University studying under the direction of Dionne Hoskins, associate graduate professor of marine sciences. Compton, whose focus is marine policy, is originally from the island St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. Her thesis will assess coastal resource management in developing island states of the Caribbean.
Knauss Fellows work with either the executive or legislative branch of the government. Recently selected Knauss Fellows will be assigned to a specific D.C. host office in November.
UGA student Ben Carswell is currently a Knauss Fellow with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine debris program, which works to research the impact of marine debris and prevent and reduce marine debris in the environment. As part of the fellowship thus far, Carswell has attended marine debris conferences and meetings in Honolulu, Seattle and San Francisco and traveled to Iceland to take a class on marine mammal field studies, where he examined the effect of marine debris on humpback whales.
"The Knauss Fellowship has been an exceptional experience for me," said Carswell, a master of science student in the fisheries program in the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. "I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in marine policy and administration at the federal level."
Georgia Sea Grant, which promotes educational, research and outreach activities relating to Georgia's coastal ecosystems, endorsed Segarra and Compton's candidacy for the National Sea Grant College Program-sponsored fellowship.
"I am very thankful to the Georgia Sea Grant office for guiding me through the application process and to NOAA for funding this amazing fellowship," said Segarra. "I really feel like the program was designed for me - I couldn't ask for a better opportunity to try my hand at scientific policy."
For more information about the Knauss Fellowship, see the National Sea Grant website at http://www.seagrant.noaa.gov/knauss/. For more information about the Georgia Sea Grant, see http://www.marsci.uga.edu/gaseagrant/.
Note to editors: An image of Segarra is available for download at http://multimedia.uga.edu/media/images/knauss_segarra_2012.jpg.