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University of South Carolina Student Awarded Knauss Fellowship

Apr 26, 2011 | News

​Sierra Jones, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, has been awarded a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship for 2011. She is serving as a congressional affairs specialist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Her task is to facilitate communications between NOAA scientists and Congress on a range of issues, including invasive species, harmful algal blooms and hypoxia, education, and oceans and human health.

“I am greatly enjoying my current position at NOAA, primarily because of the interaction I have with both scientists and legislators,” Jones said. “I would like to continue working in NOAA because I feel that it is an agency where there are opportunities to be involved in both research and policy. I love the mission of NOAA, and think that the work the agency conducts is vitally important to the nation.”

To further the education of tomorrow’s leaders, the National Sea Grant Office sponsors the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program, bringing a select group of graduate students to the nation’s capital, where they work in the federal government’s legislative and executive branches.

The students learn about federal policy regarding marine and Great Lakes natural resources and lend their scientific expertise to federal agencies and congressional staff offices.

Each of the nation’s 32 Sea Grant programs can nominate up to six students to the Knauss fellows program each year. Selections are then made competitively from among those nominations.