North Carolina Sea Grant and its partners offer many fellowship opportunities for the state’s graduate students. Fellows learn about the management, policy and scientific research that affect the state’s and nation’s shorelines.

“Training the next generation is one of Sea Grant’s primary missions. These stellar students will receive unparalleled experiences through these fellowships that will greatly enhance their competitiveness in the job market,” says John Fear, Sea Grant deputy director. “I remain convinced that supporting student fellowships is one of the best possible uses for our funding.”

Several new fellows began their appointments in the latter half of 2014.


Liza Hoos

Liza Hoos

• Liza Hoos, who has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Duke University, is the 2014 Sea Grant/N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries joint fellow. She will estimate bycatch “hot spots” using fishery-independent and -dependent data.

This fellowship, based in Morehead City, is patterned after the national Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The projects provide professional education and training to the fellow, and assist the state on marine fisheries management concerns.

Her research applies geospatial analysis to marine conservation issues, with a goal of developing and determining management solutions. In particular, she uses habitat models to focus on identifying the distribution and essential habitat of marine species.

Hoos also holds an undergraduate degree in physical geography from McGill University in Montreal.


Rory Fleming

Rory Fleming

• Rory Fleming is the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center’s 2014 environmental law fellow. The program gives law students experience in environmental law and policy, with a coastal and marine focus.

As a fellow, he compiles legislative updates, edits and revises the Legal Tides newsletter, and researches visual mapping tools to chart the effects of climate change.

Fleming is in his final year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Law. He holds undergraduate degrees in English and economics from the University of South Carolina Columbia.


Kimberly Hernandez

Kimberly Hernandez

• Kimberly Hernandez and Amanda Santoni recently began two-year positions as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Management fellows. Both received master’s degrees in environmental management from Duke.

Managed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, the fellowship offers on-the-job training for postgraduate students in coastal resource management and policy. Candidates are matched with state coastal zone programs to work on projects chosen by NOAA.

Amanda Santoni

Amanda Santoni

Hernandez works with Maryland’s Chesapeake and Coastal Service. She helps to improve how stakeholder feedback and data are used in decision making and policy development.

Hernandez also holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and international studies from the University of Kansas. Read about her work as a 2014 N.C. Coastal Policy fellow with the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center on page 32.

Santoni helps Delaware’s Coastal Management Program quantify the economic value of Delaware’s tidal wetlands. She assists with wetland protection and acquisition by identifying areas with specific characteristics based on the ecosystem services they provide.

Santoni received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.

For more information on fellowships offered by North Carolina Sea Grant, visit and click on Funding Opportunities.

This article was published in the Holiday 2014 issue of Coastwatch.