North Carolina Sea Grant
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News Releases

July 12, 2017 | Katie Mosher


Katie Mosher, 919-515-9069,  
John Fear, 919-515-9104,

The National Sea Grant College Program today announced finalists for the 2018 John A. Knuass Marine Policy Fellowships. Here is a link to the national release.

Five North Carolina graduate students have been selected as finalists for the 2018 John A. Knuass Marine Policy Fellowship program, sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program. Four will continue through the fellowship process, while the fifth has accepted a separate full-time position in Washington, D.C.

The fellowship gives recent graduate students a year of working in the nation’s capital on marine-policy issues. Finalists will head to Washington, D.C., later this fall to meet with potential host offices in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. The fellowships will begin Feb. 1, 2018, contingent on adequate funding in Fiscal Year 2018.

“We are excited about the talent and perspectives the 2018 Knauss Fellowship finalists will bring to their executive and legislative appointments next year,” notes Jonathan Pennock, Director of the National Sea Grant College Program. “The Knauss Fellowship is a special program for Sea Grant, and we are proud of the professional development and opportunities Sea Grant has provided our alumni, the current class and now these finalists.”

The students were selected through a stringent national review process after being nominated by North Carolina Sea Grant, which had its own extensive review of initial applications. “The Knauss fellowship continues to be an excellent bridge for talented students to transition from graduate programs to the working world, with a focus on the roles of coastal and marine science in federal policy,” adds John Fear, North Carolina Sea Grant deputy director.

North Carolina Sea Grant has had about 70 national Knauss fellows since the program began in 1979, among the most successful in the Sea Grant network for placements.

Meet the four 2018 Knauss fellow finalists from North Carolina who will continue with the matching process.

Elizabeth Clark

Elizabeth Clark expects to complete her doctorate in marine science and conservation at Duke University this year. Her dissertation focuses on dynamics of markets and political institutions in fisheries governance. She has a master’s degree in environmental technology and ecological management from Imperial College in London and an undergraduate degree in biology from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been a graduate fellow for the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and earlier was a sustainable fisheries analyst with MRAG Americas and a marine policy research assistant for the Zoological Society of London.

Brianna Elliot

Brianna Elliott recently received a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she majored in environmental science and minored in journalism. Her master’s project focused on sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico as endangered species. In summer 2016, she was protected species policy intern for the State of Hawaii. She also had several years professional experience as a reporter and editor for Oceana, The Huffington Post and the National Audubon Society.

Devon McGhee

Devon McGhee recently received her master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University, along with a certificate in natural hazards resilience from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her master’s project focused on effectiveness of buyouts on Staten Island after Superstorm Sandy. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from Boston University. She has been a coastal policy fellow at the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, and has been active in the Duke chapter of The Coastal Society.

Seth Theuerkauf

Seth Theuerkauf expects to complete his doctorate in marine conservation biology at North Carolina State University this year. His dissertation focuses on the use of geospatial modeling in shoreline habitat restoration, conservation and management. He also holds a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from NC State, and an undergraduate degree in biology and environmental science from the College of William and Mary. At NC State, he has been a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow. He also completed two North Carolina Sea Grant fellowships, one in partnership with N.C. Space Grant and the other in partnership with the N.C. Coastal Reserve. He also was among the organizers of the initial SciREN Triangle program of the Scientific Research and Education Network.

Knauss alumni go on to have prospering careers in all sectors of society. To learn more about some past Knauss fellows from North Carolina, along with where other former fellows from North Carolina Sea Grant are now, check this map


North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast

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