Tacey Hicks, Michael McCloy, and Kendall Scarlett, nominees from Texas Sea Grant, have been selected as finalists for the 2023 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. They are three of 86 finalists across the United States nominated by their respective Sea Grant programs. Since 1979, over 1,500 fellows have completed the program, becoming leaders in science, policy, and public administration roles.
Hicks is currently a Ph.D. student in oceanography at Texas A&M University examining seawater chemistry and acidification in various oceanic ecosystems to support informed marine conservation and management decisions. McCloy, also a PhD student at Texas A&M University, studies ecology and evolutionary biology. Scarlett is currently pursuing their Ph.D. in environmental science from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
“We are so proud of Texas’ three finalists,” said Texas Sea Grant Director Dr. Pamela Plotkin. “This marine policy fellowship is the premiere educational and professional experience that places early career individuals in legislative or executive branch offices in Washington, D.C. for real-world life-changing experiences.”
Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. Students that are enrolled in or have recently completed masters, Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Ph.D. programs with a focus and/or interest in marine and coastal science, policy or management apply to one of the 34 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts.
This year’s class includes students and recent graduates from 62 distinct universities, including 16 finalists from nine minority-serving institutions. The finalists represent 29 of the 34 Sea Grant programs, and they completed coursework and research in a range of fields, such as biology, chemistry, ecology, engineering, environmental science and management, law, marine and coastal sciences and policy, and several disciplines of oceanography.
“The Knauss Fellowship offers graduate students the invaluable opportunity to put their academic knowledge to practice in tackling marine, coastal, and Great Lakes management and policy challenges at the federal level,” said Dr. Jonathan Pennock, National Sea Grant College Program director. “We look forward to welcoming the 2023 class of Knauss fellows and seeing how they will apply their unique insights to developing solutions to some of the most important challenges facing the country.”
This fall, the 2023 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 2023.
Want to learn more about the Knauss fellowship? The Knauss blog shares stories from the 2022 Knauss class on fellowship experiences and their journeys to D.C.
Learn more about this year’s Knauss finalists from the National Sea Grant College program.