Three 2024 Finalists Selected for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

September 18, 2023

Robert Laroche, Eliza Mills and Marissa Palmer, nominees from Texas Sea Grant, have been selected as finalists for the 2024 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. They are three of 84 finalists across the United States nominated by their respective Sea Grant programs. Since 1979, over 1,600 early-career professionals have participated in the program, becoming leaders in science, policy, and public administration roles.

Laroche is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Rice University while Mills recently graduated with a master’s in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and Palmer is currently a master’s student in Marine Biology at Texas A&M University – Galveston. 

Finalists are selected after completing a rigorous competition with comprehensive reviews at the state and national levels. Students who are enrolled in or have recently completed master’s, Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (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

“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.”

In the following months, the 2024 finalists will get to know each other and interview with potential host offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowships in February 2024. 

Want to learn more about the Knauss fellowship? The Knauss blog shares stories from current and previous Knauss classes on fellowship experiences and their journeys to D.C.

Learn more about this year’s Knauss finalists from the National Sea Grant College program. 


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.