S.C. Graduate Student Selected for Knauss Fellowship
Courtney Gerstenmaier was selected as a 2015 fellow for the prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Nominated and supported by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, she was among 52 chosen from a pool of more than 100 candidates submitted by the nation’s Sea Grant College Programs.
Gerstenmaier completed a M.S. in marine biology from the College of Charleston. As a Knauss fellow, she is serving as an ocean science educator/communications specialist for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).
“I am pleased Courtney was selected for this year’s class,” said Rick DeVoe, executive director of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium. “The Knauss Fellowship experience will greatly benefit her professional career, NOAA Fisheries, and NMNH.”
In this newly created joint fellowship, Gerstenmaier is serving as a bridge between NOAA Fisheries and the NMNH. Currently she is recruiting NOAA scientists for the museum’s “Expert is In” program and designing education activities on topics such as how climate change impacts, including ocean acidification, can affect fisheries. She also is creating a series of ocean-related events at the museum for young professionals. “I hope to increase my knowledge about the research that NOAA is conducting,” said Gerstenmaier, “and how natural history museums can incorporate ocean science research in order to stay relevant with society’s interests.”
To further the education of future leaders, the National Sea Grant Office has sponsored the Knauss Fellowship program since 1979. The fellowship brings a select group of graduate students to the nation’s capital, where they lend their scientific and policy expertise to federal agencies and congressional staff offices while learning about federal policy regarding marine and Great Lakes natural resources.