Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia student Ben L. Carswell has been named a recipient of the 2011 Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.
Carswell is a master of science candidate in the fisheries program in the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He has been studying under the direction of Cecil A. Jennings, an adjunct professor in forestry and natural resources and ecology. Carswell’s research focuses on the effects of tidal regulation in South Carolina marshes on the assemblage composition of early-life-stage fishes.
The Knauss program places highly qualified graduate students from the nation’s 29 regional Sea Grant offices in positions with federal government host offices that establish and implement national policies related to the marine, coastal or Great Lakes resources.
Carswell’s candidacy for the fellowship, which is sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program, was endorsed by Georgia Sea Grant. Headquartered at UGA, Georgia Sea Grant promotes educational, research and outreach activities relating to Georgia’s coastal ecosystems.
“The Knauss Fellowship is an exceptional opportunity for me to advance a career in the service of responsible marine stewardship at the federal level,” said Carswell.
Carswell will be one of 43 fellows serving in 2011 and will be the only fellow representing Georgia Sea Grant. He recently returned to Athens from an intensive week-long placement process in Washington, D.C., during which he interviewed with 15 host offices.
“I was truly honored to sit down with many key figures whose work shapes our understanding and approach to human interactions with the marine environment,” he said.
The placement process matched Carswell with the Marine Debris Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. Marine debris encompasses all oceanic litter including abandoned vessels, derelict fishing gear and drifting plastics. The program is charged with investigating and solving the problems that stem from marine debris through research, prevention and reduction activities that protect and conserve the nation’s marine environment and ensure navigation safety.
For more information on the Georgia Sea Grant or the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, see www.marsci.uga.edu/gaseagrant.