Anne Isham

Anne Isham will be the first to tell you she's a New Englander through and through.

Raised in Wayland, Mass., Isham graduated from Colby College in Maine and the Vermont School of Law and is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

So her recently completed yearlong foray to Washington, D.C. as a WHOI Sea Grant-sponsored John Knauss Fellow was a bit of a culture shock.

But, she said, life inside the Beltway was the experience of a lifetime.

Isham worked with the policy gurus within NOAA's Office of Fisheries on a wide range of topics, from helping plan and execute a three-day Magnuson-Stevens implementation workshop to helping write policy document updates.

She was especially pleased by her role in developing the "Fish Facts" program, in which she designed and developed website content (visit website) aimed at informing the general public of significant fisheries issues.

In addition, she assisted the NOAA Aquaculture Program on offshore aquaculture legislation, researching and writing state aquaculture fact sheets and finding photos to go along with those sheets.

Isham is finishing up her dissertation at UMass-Boston on seawater desalinization regulations and policies in the United States and is unsure where she'll end up next.

"I left [New England] for my one year," she says with a laugh.

But if her time as a Knauss Fellow taught her anything, she says, it's to be surprised by all the possibilities in the world of marine science.

"You definitely learn that you're not exactly going to do [career-wise] what you thought you were going to do," she says.

Woods Hole Sea Grant nominated two candidates for the 2009 Knauss Fellowship and is awaiting the results. For more information on the program, visit the Knauss Fellowship website.

------Jeffrey Brodeur, WHOI Sea Grant