Coastal Mendocino Extension Fellowship — Request for Applications

Application Deadline
Contact Name
Luke Gardner
Contact Email


The coast of Mendocino supports the livelihoods, lifestyle, and culture of many communities through its working waterfronts. Jobs and the welfare of the community are closely tied to the region's water-dependent activities, identity and cultural and economic heritage. Today’s Mendocino communities face tough resilience challenges including extreme weather events, changing climate and ocean conditions, and the continued viability of waterfronts, marine-based industries and cultural resources.

At the same time, Mendocino’s interconnected coastal culture and communities represent a great opportunity for developing a blue economy strategy that embraces climate resiliency and enables these communities to remain economically and culturally vibrant.  In 2022, the Blue Economy Symposium and Learning Festival led to the formation of the Noyo Ocean Collective, a unique partnership uniting the City of Fort Bragg, Noyo Harbor District, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Mendocino College, West Business Development Center and Noyo Center for Marine Science.  The Noyo Ocean Collective and its partner entities are beginning to plan and support coastal resilience strategies that include adaptation, restoration, and transitional support for habitats and populations. 

To support these efforts, California Sea Grant and the City of Fort Bragg are partnering to host a 24-month Coastal Mendocino Extension Fellowship. The fellow will help to inform the development of the Noyo Harbor Blue Economy Visioning, Resiliency and Implementation Plan. This will include collecting data, conducting analyses and integrating this information into planning. The fellow will also help coordinate and conduct community engagement to share information and solicit input on science results and planning concepts. The position will be physically based in Fort Bragg, CA and the fellow will be part of the City of Fort Bragg special projects team.  The fellow will also be a member of the California Sea Grant extension team and jointly mentored by a team of four California Sea Grant Extension Specialists

Project Objectives and Tasks

The primary objectives for the Coastal Mendocino Extension Fellowship are to: 1) support baseline information collection and syntheses for blue economy planning in Mendocino County, with a specific focus on Noyo Harbor; 2) support communication and engagement activities to identify socio-cultural and economic needs important to the future resilience of the region’s communities; and 3) assist in the development and writing of the draft Noyo Harbor Blue Economy Visioning, Resiliency, and Implementation Plan. 

The following are several tasks to be carried out during the two-year fellowship.  Applicants are not expected to have prior demonstrable expertise in all of the listed tasks. Technical leadership for some of the tasks will be completed by third party consultants with the expectation that the fellow will help to gather and synthesize information needed to complete the tasks. However, applicants should specify  in their education and goal statement their interests in coastal management science and policy and/or blue economy development and how the fellowship would support their career goals. 

  1. Solicit and synthesize community input on blue economy and coastal resilience concepts, vision, and relationships between local services, community and industries. The Fellow will co-manage implementation of a communication and engagement plan (CEP) with City staff. The CEP serves as the project charter for the overall planning work related to the Noyo Harbor Blue Economy Visioning, Resilience and Implementation Plan. This will involve supporting the development and implementation of robust and inclusive techniques to solicit community knowledge and perspectives such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, photo collection, workshops, and visual media.   The Fellow will also support training and coordination of a community outreach team that will be hired as part of this planning effort, and provide summaries of input collected and project information that will be posted on websites, social media, or other relevant media outlets.  
  2. Support the collection and synthesis of baseline information for the Blue Economy Visioning, Resiliency, and Implementation Plan. Comprehensive baseline information about the existing environmental, physical, and socio-economic conditions of the region’s working waterfronts is needed to prepare the communities for a changing climate and position the region for sustainable blue economy investment.  The fellow will collect and synthesize data, conduct analyses to identify research gaps, and co-develop science communication tools to share this information with community members and the Blue Economy planning team. The fellow is expected to  contribute to some extent to the following science topics for the focus of their task 2 activities:
    • Aquaculture:  A component of developing the Blue Economy Visioning Plan is to explore the feasibility of shellfish aquaculture to support fisheries and marine restoration activities.  The fellow will complement this effort by collecting a wide array of observations on coastal water conditions, local and traditional fisheries knowledge, shellfish survival, growth, health safety, land uses and future climate projections to serve as baseline data for exploring feasibility.  The fellow may also support assessments of harbor facilities, financing and funding, and potential partnerships that would be needed to develop aquaculture facilities.  
    • Sea-level rise/coastal hazards The County of Mendocino, the City of Ft. Bragg and Noyo Harbor District are collaborating with a hired consultant on a coastal hazard risk assessment including sea-level rise, tsunami, storm, and erosion risks.  The Fellow will complement this effort by collecting and synthesizing local perspectives and experiences related to past flooding and erosion from community members, researchers, and local coastal management entities. This information will help to provide enhanced projections of sea-level rise, flooding and erosion and provide baseline information for community adaptation planning and hazard preparedness.  Combined with Task 1, the fellow may also meet with community members to solicit input on flood and erosion risks, as well as priorities and ideas for adaptation, infrastructure upgrades, and resiliency in public services.
  3. Support the development of a draft Blue Economy Visioning, Resiliency, and Implementation Plan from information gained during tasks 1-2. The fellow will support the Noyo Collective partners in writing up the plan, including identifying Blue Economy opportunities and limitations, potential adaptation and resiliency measures based on the site-specific data, and a suite of potential projects to pursue in and around the region. The fellow will also help conduct outreach on the Draft Plan to the community and stakeholders in advance of finalization and facilitate meetings with local government offices to get input.  

Accomplishment of these tasks and outreach on findings and final products will require the Fellow to interface with academic institutions and researchers, Tribal, local, state, and federal government, local community members and nonprofit partners. Some tasks will be self-guided, others will be performed in close coordination with California Sea Grant and City of Fort Bragg staff. The Fellowship work is expected to be conducted largely in-person at the City of Fort Bragg offices.  

Professional growth opportunities are a key component of Extension Fellowships at California Sea Grant. This position is expected to assist the Fellow with expanding their understanding of multiple science disciplines and the intersection of policy areas relevant to coastal resilience concepts. The Fellow will also learn about various careers through informal interviews, Sea Grant colleague networking, and workshop settings. Other professional development opportunities will include training opportunities, workshop planning and facilitation, project management, and science communication.


Applications may be submitted by a graduate who has completed their degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D) ideally in a cross-cutting social and natural science field such as coastal/marine resource policy and management, economics, fisheries/aquaculture, oceanography, coastal or marine ecology or biology, civil or coastal engineering, natural resource management, environmental science and/or conservation, human ecology, or coastal land use policy or law at any accredited U.S. institution of higher education. The Fellow must complete all degree requirements before starting the fellowship. 

Sea Grant is committed to increasing the diversity of the Sea Grant workforce and of the communities we serve.  Sea Grant embraces individuals of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, job classifications, veteran status types, and income, and socioeconomic status types. Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives and ways of thinking.

Stipend and Expenses

The fellow will receive $125,472 in stipend ($5,228/month) to cover living expenses and health insurance premiums for the 24-month assignment. Additional funds of up to $10,000 can be reimbursed to cover travel for any California Sea Grant coordinated in-person meeting and other fellowship related travel. Health insurance is mandatory for the full length of the fellowship award (24 months).

Length and Location of Assignment

The length of the assignment is 24 months (non-renewable) beginning on or shortly after October 1, 2023. The fellowship is expected to be in-person located in Fort Bragg CA. 


  • Resume/curriculum vitae (not to exceed two pages using 12-point font).*
  • A personal education and career goal statement that emphasizes the applicant's abilities and interest in coastal science and management. The applicant should identify their specific interest in blue economy plan development and community resilience and include any relevant experience. This can include research and/or professional experience with working waterfronts, climate hazards and adaptation, aquaculture/fisheries, or the integration of socio-economic knowledge into resource management and decision making processes (1,000 words or less).
  • Two to three professional references, including one from someone who is most familiar with the applicant’s academic career

*Personal information (birth dates, addresses, student ID numbers, social security numbers, etc.) should be redacted from all application materials before it is submitted through eSeaGrant.


How to Submit an Application

The electronic files comprising your application must be submitted as PDFs using eSeaGrant, California Sea Grant’s online submission portal.

You will need to register for an account (click on the banner labeled “Register”) in eSeaGrant if you have not done so in the past year. You can change the randomly generated password once you log in successfully into the website. To apply for this fellowship, click on the eSeaGrant link for the Coastal Mendocino Extension Fellowship, and select “Add Fellowship Application” to start the application process. 

Please make sure to include your last name in the file names for each section of the proposal (e.g., Smith_statement.pdf or Smith_cv.pdf). When naming the document please do not use apostrophes. Once submitted through the website, PDFs may not be edited. To change a PDF, it must be deleted and resubmitted.

For electronic files larger than 6 MB, contact to make other arrangements. Only Acrobat documents (pdf) are accepted.

For technical issues with submitting your application through eSeaGrant please contact‬.

Application Deadline: 5:00 PM PST Friday, August 18th, 2023.


NOTE: the eSeaGrant proposal portal will automatically close at the date and time stated above, and late applications (even 1 minute late) cannot be accepted.  We strongly encourage applicants to log into eSeaGrant well before the deadline and not wait to submit until the last day.  eSeaGrant can experience delays during submission so please be aware. It is your responsibility to get materials submitted before the deadline.


Selection of the finalists is made by staff of the California Sea Grant College Program and the City of Fort Bragg based upon review of written application materials and interviews (Zoom or phone) of a subset of applicants. 

Selection criteria used by California Sea Grant include: 

  • Diversity and appropriateness of academic and professional background and experience (30%)
  • Statement representation of communication skills, career goals, experience with and interest in collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds (30%)
  • Academic and professional ability, demonstrated by career stage, listed publications, and presentations (20%)
  • Additional qualifying experience (e.g., awards, trainings, certifications, volunteer committees or work) (15%)
  • References (5%) 

Please note that California Sea Grant will not cover expenses incurred during interviews since traveling is not required to interview.


  • August 18, 2023 5:00 PM: Fellowship applications due
  • August 21-25, 2023: Screening of fellowship applications
  • August 28 - September 1, 2023: Interviews
  • September 8, 2023: Candidate notified
  • October 1, 2023: Fellowship begins


For general questions about the California Sea Grant Coastal Mendocino Extension Fellowship, please contact:

Luke Gardner

Aquaculture Extension Specialist



For eSeaGrant application question, please contact:

Delanie Medina

Fellowship Program Coordinator