74 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Finalists, Two Sponsored by MIT Sea Grant

NOAA and Sea Grant have announced the finalists for the 2021 class of the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. The one-year fellowship places graduate students and early career professionals in federal government offices in Washington, D.C. There are 74 finalists in the 2021 class sponsored across Sea Grant programs. MIT Sea Grant is sponsoring two PhD students: Catie Tobin (UMass Boston) and Lucila Bloemendaal (Boston University).

Lucila Bloemendaal headshot

Catherine Tobin headshot













Lucila Bloemendaal (left) and Catie Tobin (right).

Lucila is a PhD student in the Department of Earth and Environment. She is interested in the role of geology in informing and developing coastal resiliency measures with respect to flooding, storms, and sea level rise, through a lens of equity and conservation. Lucila is currently a Clare Boothe Luce fellow at BU focusing on Massachusetts marshes and coastal systems and their resiliency and response to climate conditions.

Catie is an Environmental Science PhD student and a fellow with UMass Boston’s Coasts and Communities Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program through the National Science Foundation. She has researched topics from dolphin communication to microplastics.

Over 1,400 fellows have completed the program since 1979, with many going on to become leaders in science, policy, and public administration roles. Many fellows have had educational experiences with NOAA and Sea Grant prior to applying to the program, including scientific dives and lab research. Read more here: Pathways to marine policy: Knauss Fellows build on past experiences with NOAA.

All students, regardless of citizenship, who are enrolled in or recently completed a Master’s, JD, or PhD in the US with a focus in marine or coastal management, policy, or science, are eligible to apply for this opportunity. Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels, and placed with appointments within executive and legislative offices like NOAA and the House Committee on Natural Resources.

“As the government and the sciences adapt to new norms for working driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Knauss fellowship will create novel opportunities for the fellows to redefine how government and science interact and operate for the benefit of society.”
– Jonathan Pennock, National Sea Grant College Program Director

This fall, the 2021 finalists will participate in a virtual placement week to get to know each other and interview with potential host offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowships in February 2021.

>>Read the full National Sea Grant announcement

>>Pathways to marine policy: Knauss Fellows build on past experiences with NOAA

>>View past Knauss Fellows sponsored by MIT Sea Grant

>>Visit the Knauss Blog

A headshot collage of all 74 Knauss finalists