2024 Knauss Fellowship Finalists announced

Two California graduate students to join prestigious program
Boyce Upholt

Two graduate students from California have been selected as finalists for this year’s prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program, sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program. The finalists will be placed in host offices in the legislative or executive branches of the U.S. government that work on coastal and marine science policy for a one-year paid fellowship. They will receive their assignments in the fall and will begin their fellowship in early 2024.

Karlee Liddy headshot
Karlee Liddy

Karlee Liddy received a master’s degree in coastal science and policy from the University of California, Santa Cruz, this spring. Her research focused on the interconnection between groundwater and surface water, examining groundwater management projects in the Central Valley that successfully meet the needs of varied interests.

Tricia Light will soon defend her doctorate from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Her work explored how the presence of the mineral barite in ocean sediments can serve as a proxy for marine productivity — research that can help clarify human impacts on the marine carbon cycle and improve future climate modeling.

Tricia Light headshot
Tricia Light

The two California finalists were chosen after a highly competitive selection process that included several rounds of review at the state and national Sea Grant levels. Since 1979, over 1,600 fellows have completed the program, which is sponsored by Sea Grant and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and trains new leaders in science, policy and public administration roles. The fellowship honors John A. Knauss, a National Sea Grant program founder and NOAA administrator. It provides a unique professional development opportunity for talented graduate students who have an interest in national policy decisions affecting ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources. 

The class of 84 fellows will be split into two cohorts, legislative and executive. Legislative fellows work in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, both in personal and committee offices. Executive fellows are placed in federal agencies with marine policy-relevant missions and have previously served on the Committee on the Marine Transportation System, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Marine Mammal Commission, NOAA, National Science Foundation, Oceanographer of the Navy, State Department, Smithsonian Institute, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and the White House.

About California Sea Grant

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds marine research, education and outreach throughout California. Headquartered at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, California Sea Grant is one of 34 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.