Marine science grad begins yearlong marine policy fellowship in D.C.

February 10, 2017

By Tiffany Evans

A graduate student sponsored by the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University started his term Feb. 1 as a 2017 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C.

Matthew Dzaugis, who received his Master of Science in Marine Science from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) in May 2016, will spend a year working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Program Office (NOAA CPO) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).

He previously graduated with honors from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science with a concentration in Biology and worked as a research and teaching assistant while at UTMSI.

“Through the fellowship, I will have an active role in producing documents that directly inform policy and decision making at a high level,” he said. “My background is mostly academic, so this fellowship is a great opportunity learn how science is communicated and enacted at a national level. I'm excited to work on the front lines producing documents that will inform and hopefully engage policymakers as well as the public.”

Last year's recipient, Natalie Spear, said she has had many valuable experiences and learned much this past year. “One thing that will stick with me is the dedication of my colleagues at the EPA and those I've met through inter-agency collaborative projects.”

NOAA established the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program in 1979 to provide a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. Participants are nominated by one of the 33 state Sea Grant programs and spend their Knauss year working for a host office in either the legislative or executive branches of the federal government in the Washington, D.C., area. The fellowship program is named in honor of one of Sea Grant’s founders, the late former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss.

Texas Sea Grant is now taking applications for the 2018 Knauss Fellowship. More information is available on the Texas Sea Grant website here. Applications are due Feb. 21, 2017.