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2022 Knauss Fellows Begin Service


Katie Mosher,

The application period is open now until Feb. 18, 2022 for next year’s Knauss Fellowships.

NOAA and the National Sea Grant Office have announced placements for the 2022 class of the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. The fellows include three graduate students from North Carolina: Olivia Vilá, Anderson Tran, and Colleen Baker.

The highly competitive Knauss Fellowship is a year-long program for graduate students interested in national policy issues affecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. Since 1979, over 1,400 fellows have completed the program, becoming leaders in science, policy, and public administration.

The new fellows join about 90 others from North Carolina who have served during the four-decade history of the Knauss Fellowship. NC State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University provided the educational training grounds for the state’s newest fellows.

Olivia Vilá will serve in the Midcontinent Region Office of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Vilá is a Ph.D. candidate at NC State University and works with multiple interdisciplinary teams on hazard mitigation and resilience research. Her current work uses environmental justice, leadership, and policy frameworks to assess communities’ ability to engage in recovery and mitigation, as well as to support improvement.

“I look forward to being pushed outside of my intellectual and professional comfort zone,” she says. “By the end of the fellowship, I want to be empowered to influence policy through research and advocacy.”

Anderson Tran will serve in the Office of U.S. Representative Don Young (AK).

Tran received his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After years in the hard sciences, he shifted his career to law to become more involved in policy decisions that affect fisheries and other coastal resources.

“I am excited about the Knauss Fellowship and the opportunity to experience policymaking at the federal level,” Tran says. “I hope to bring my merged scientific and legal training to help craft effective policy that will sustain our coastal resources to use and enjoy for generations to come.”

Colleen Baker will serve in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Marine Conservation.

Baker holds a master’s degree in environmental management, with a focus on coastal environmental management, from Duke University. Her research focuses on small-scale fisheries and fisheries governance.

“I have spent a lot of time understanding management decisions and evaluating fisheries policies, but the Knauss Fellowship offers me the opportunity to be on the inside of decision-making and implementation,” she says. “I’m excited to gain that new experience and insight and to apply it throughout my career.”

North Carolina Sea Grant is accepting applications now from North Carolina graduate students for the next class of Knauss Fellows. The deadline to apply is February 18, 2022, at 5 p.m. Eastern.

apply here for a 2023 Knauss Fellowship