2012 California Sea Grant State Fellowship Winners Announced

Caitlin Coomber

California Sea Grant is pleased to announce this year's recipients of California Sea Grant State Fellowships.

This year's class is the largest since the marine policy and resource management fellowship program began in 1988, with 11 fellowships being awarded to outstanding recent graduates.

“It is a privilege to be selected,” says fellowship recipient Jenny Quay, who earned a doctorate in ocean sciences from UC Santa Cruz in 2011 for her research on harmful algal blooms. “Sea Grant has been, and continues to be, a great source of support.”

As a State Fellow, Quay will be applying her scientific expertise to helping the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission develop a more regional and comprehensive approach to managing dredge materials and other sediments.

"Today is only my third day, but I am already getting plugged in and really excited about being here, and my project," says fellowship winner Sara Hutto, who studied kelp ecology at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, earning her master's in 2011.

Hutto will be spending her fellowship year helping NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary test policies for saving blue, fin and humpback whales from lethal ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel and around the entrance to the San Francisco Bay.

Yet another awardee is Miho Umezawa, placed at California Natural Resources Agency. Umezawa holds a master's from UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and prior to the California Sea Grant award was an intern with the West Coast Governors' Alliance on Ocean Health.

As a fellow, she will be the main point of contact for the governors' Marine Debris Action Coordination Team and a lead for the state’s highly acclaimed “Thank You Ocean” campaign. “The fellowship is a great opportunity to be exposed to high-level marine policy and public outreach,” Umezawa says.

The other winners and the agencies hosting them for the year are:

  • Christy Bowles, placed at the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • William Cecil, California Department of Fish and Game
  • Jeannine Manna, California Coastal Commission
  • Amanda Newsom, California State Lands Commission, Marine Invasive Species Program
  • Scott Toews, California Ocean Protection Council
  • Johanna Weston, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality
  • Holly Wyer, California State Lands Commission, Division of Environmental Planning and Management
  • Hayley Zemel, California Ocean Science Trust

Each of the fellowship recipients will receive a monthly stipend for up to 12 months to receive "on the job" training at host agencies, all of which are either state or federal entities located in California and active in marine issues, environmental quality and resource management.

The fellowship is modeled after the highly successfully NOAA Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, which takes recipients to the nation's capital for year-long job experience in executive and legislative branches of government involved in marine science and policy.

Written by Christina Johnson