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Four S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Nominees Earn Knauss Fellowships

Dec 19, 2019

S.C. Sea Grant Consortium nominees Shelby Butz, Michelle Harris, Brittney Parker, and Chris Pickens have been selected for the prestigious Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, providing them the opportunity to spend a year living, working, and learning in the Washington, D.C. area.

The competitive fellowships are offered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program. Recipients are matched with host organizations in the legislative and executive branches of government.

Butz earned a bachelor’s degree in marine science from Coastal Carolina University, as well as a master’s in marine science and a doctorate in environmental health sciences, both from the University of South Carolina. Her graduate work focused on the accumulation and impact of silver nanoparticles in algae and shellfish.

She will be a Fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Coastal States Organization (CSO), a group that seeks to advance coastal management needs through legislation, funding, and partnerships with federal agencies.

Photo of Shelby Butz by Joey Holleman, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental geography/geographic information systems at Sam Houston State University in Texas, and a master’s in physical geography from the University of South Carolina. Her thesis evaluated the efficacy of sand fences on dunes impacted by hurricanes.

She will be a Fellow with NOAA’s National Ocean Service’s Integrated Ocean Observing System.

Photo of Michelle Harris by Joey Holleman, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Parker earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and the environment at the University of Connecticut and a master’s in environmental studies from the College of Charleston. For her graduate work, she sampled ecologically important fish species across the Charleston estuarine system to quantify the microplastics they ingest.

She will work in the hazard mitigation field with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and CSO.

Photo of Brittney Parker by Joey Holleman, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Pickens earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and geology from Oberlin College in Ohio and a master’s in marine biology from the College of Charleston. His thesis examined how the implementation of marine protected areas off the southeastern coast has affected snapper and grouper species.

He will spend his fellowship year working for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather.

Photo of Chris Pickens by Joey Holleman, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

The Knauss fellowship program, named for one of Sea Grant’s founders, is designed to provide educational experiences to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions that affect their use, management, and conservation.

Applications for the 2021 Knauss Fellowship are due February 21, 2020.

More Information About the Knauss Fellowship