California Sea Grant State Fellowship

Application Deadline: August 31, 2018


The application period is now closed.

California Sea Grant State Fellowship 2019

The California Sea Grant College Program is soliciting applications for the 2019 California State Fellows Program. The State Fellows Program provides a unique educational opportunity for graduate students who are interested both in marine resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources in California. Modeled after the highly successful Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program, the State Fellows Program provides an opportunity to acquire "on the job" experience in the planning, implementation and management of marine, coastal, and/or watershed resource policies and programs in the state of California. The program matches highly motivated and qualified graduate students and recent graduates with hosts in state, federal or municipal agencies in California for a 12-month paid fellowship ($3,905 per month).

Application Deadline: August 31, 2018, 11:59 PM PST

Informational webinar:

There was an optional informational webinar about this fellowship program along with applications tips on Wednesday, August 8.

Access the slideshow here

Stipend and Expenses
Length of Assignment
Application, Tips & Informational Webinar
How to Submit
Host Agencies
Guidebook & Past Fellows


Applications may be submitted by a graduate student close to completing his/her degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D) in a field related to conservation, management, protection, stewardship, public policy, or law of marine and/or coastal environments, or areas that impact marine and coastal environments, at a California university.  Graduate students who recently completed their degree at a California university with graduation date [i.e. date the degree was awarded by the university] after May 1, 2017 are also eligible to apply.  Applicants should address their degree of interest and experience in either marine/coastal/watershed science, natural resource management, public policy, and/or law. Fellows 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

Each fellow will receive $46,860 in stipend for the twelve-month assignment ($3,905/month). Additional funds will be available for health insurance reimbursement ($3,120) and to cover travel for the matching workshop, state fellow’s in-person meeting, and fellowship related travel ($2,400). Additional travel associated with the fellowship may be covered by the host agency at the agency’s discretion.

Length of Assignment

The length of assignment is 12 months (non-renewable). The fellowship will begin in early winter between January 2019 through March 2019, though other schedules may be arranged.

Application, Tips and Informational Webinar

A complete application will include:

  1. Personal and academic curriculum vitae (not to exceed two pages using 12 point font).
  2. A personal education and career goal statement that emphasizes the applicant's abilities and interests, and the applicant's expectations of the career development experience (1,000 words or less).
  3. Two letters of professional recommendation, including one from the student's major professor. If no major professor exists, the faculty member who is most familiar with the applicant academically may be substituted.
  4. Copies of all undergraduate and graduate student transcripts. Unofficial copies will be accepted.

How to Submit

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

Please use the eSeaGrant Instructions document as you fill out your application. 

You will need to register for an account (click on the banner labeled “Register”) in eSeaGrant. You can change the randomly generated password once you log in successfully into the website.

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). Once submitted through the website, PDFs may not be edited. To change a PDF, it must be deleted and resubmitted.

IMPORTANT: To maintain confidentiality, letters of recommendation may be submitted directly from the referee to CASG through eSeaGrant and must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered. Letters may also be emailed to Please address letters to Dr. Shauna Oh, Director, California Sea Grant.  Late submissions may lead to the rejection of incomplete applications. Candidates are encouraged to work with referees to meet the deadline.  

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 Miho Ligare at or (858) 534-1160.

Application deadline: August 31, 2018, 11:59 PM PST

NOTE: the eSeaGrant proposal portal will close at the date and time stated above, and late applications (even 1 minute late) cannot be accepted.  It is your responsibility to get materials submitted before the deadline.


Participating hosts for the 2019 class below (There are 24 fellowship opportunities total. Download individual position descriptions on the right.)

**UPDATE (10/5/18): California Department of Fish and Wildlife - Habitat Conservation Program (Marine Region), Artificial Reefs is no longer a host agency. 

  • San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
  • California Coastal Commission – Climate Change Emphasis
  • California Sea Grant
  • Delta Science Program – Science-Based Adaptive Management Unit 
  • Delta Science Program – Collaborative Science and Peer Review Unit 
  • Delta Science Program – Science Communication, Synthesis, and Decision Support Unit 
  • Delta Stewardship Council – Planning and Performance Division
  • California Fish and Game Commission
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium - Policy
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium - Research Conservation
  • NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
  • NOAA NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center
  • California Ocean Protection Council - Climate Change Program
  • California Ocean Protection Council - Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Program
  • San Francisco Estuary Partnership
  • State Coastal Conservancy - Climate Ready Program
  • State Coastal Conservancy - Coastal Restoration Program
  • California State Lands Commission - 2 Fellowship Opportunities
  • California Department of Parks and Recreation – Natural Resources Division
  • State Water Resources Control Board - Division of Water Quality
  • State Water Resources Control Board - Office of Information Management and Analysis
  • Unified Port of San Diego - 2 Fellowship Opportunities in Planning and Green Port


Selection of finalists (Class 2019) is made by senior staff of the California Sea Grant College Program based upon review of written application materials and interviews (in person, Skype, or phone) of a subset of applicants. Selection criteria used by California Sea Grant include: academic ability, communication skills, diversity and appropriateness of academic background, career goals, additional qualifying experience, and support of referees. Fellowship assignments for the Class of 2019 will be based on interviews and ranking of preferences by both the finalists and participating hosts at a mandatory two-day matching workshop in Sacramento (October 30-31, 2018. Travel costs reimbursed). Consequently, placement to a specific host cannot be guaranteed.


California Sea Grant developed a guidebook for prospective and incoming fellows.



This guidebook covers:

  • How to prepare for the matching workshop
  • Highlights regions and neighborhoods close to agency offices
  • Answers major questions previous fellows have asked

With contributions from State Fellow alumni, this guide offers insight and experiences from those who have lived through it.

Past Fellows

Read fellows blog, and learn about the previous class agency placements.

Watch the 2016 State Fellow’s video.

Review initial career placement data about alumni.


August 31 (11:59 pm PDT): Applications due to the California Sea Grant Office

September 4 – 27 (approximate): Interviews for selection of finalists by California Sea Grant

September 28 (approximate): Finalists are notified of status and finalist’s applications distributed to participating hosts

October 30 – 31: Matching workshop in Sacramento with hosts and fellowship finalists. Attendance is mandatory.

November 13 (approximate) – Fellow/host pairings announced

January 2019– March 2019: Fellowship begins (date negotiated between fellow and host agency)


For additional information about the State Fellows program (or the Dean John A. Knauss National Sea Grant Fellowship, which matches graduate students with federal "hosts" in Washington, D.C.), please contact:

Miho Ligare
Research & Fellowship Coordinator
(858) 534-1160



Catherine Courtier
Extension Program Analyst
(858) 822-2167