College Station, Texas — Sangeetha Puthigai, from Texas A&M University and nominated by Texas Sea Grant, has been matched with the Washington Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program through the NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship.
Managed by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management, the Coastal Management Fellowship offers on-the-job training for postgraduate students in coastal resource management and policy. Candidates are matched with state and jurisdictional coastal zone programs to work on select projects chosen by NOAA.
The Coastal Management Fellowship is a nationwide competition. This year, there are five projects total; four hosted by the state/territory Coastal Zone Management (CZM) programs in Connecticut, Maine, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, and one hosted by the Coastal States Organization.
“This is a very competitive fellowship program funding opportunity and being selected as a Coastal Management Fellow is very prestigious”, stated Mia Zwolinski, Texas Sea Grant Associate Director and Research Coordinator.
Puthigai will work with the Washington Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program to develop resources and tools for Washington that support the use, preservation, and expansion of shoreline public access with a focus on increasing equity and environmental justice.
“I’m excited to go see these areas and better understand the issues associated with public coastal access,” said Puthigai. “I know some of these beaches have regionally specific issues that dissuade people from visiting, so learning how to better address these issues will be really interesting.”
Puthigai comes to the fellowship from Texas A&M University College Station, where she will earn a master’s degree in oceanography. In addition, she holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from Texas A&M University College Station. Sangeetha is a former Texas Sea Grant Communications Intern and a Texas Sea Grant 2021-2023 Grants-In-Aid of Graduate Research Program awardee.
Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 34 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.