Courtesy of Emily Chen

California Graduate Student Awarded National Marine Fisheries Fellowship

Erin Malsbury

Emily Chen, a fourth-year Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, has been awarded a two-year 2022 NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service-Sea Grant Fellowship.

Chen is among eight graduate students nationwide who were selected for the competitive research fellowship, which aims to increase the number of science-based fisheries management specialists in areas of critical need. The fellowship supports students pursuing doctoral degrees that address population and ecosystem dynamics, stock assessment and marine resources economics. 

Chen received a bachelor's degree in biology from University of California, Los Angeles and a master's degree in fisheries from California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. In 2019, Emily began her Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management. During her second year, she was selected as a 2020 California Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow to support her project “Are hatchery fish good surrogates for wild fish? A case study focused on winter-run Chinook salmon” from February 2020 to January 2022. 

As a 2022 NMFS-SG Fellow, her proposed research will focus on advancing methods for forecasting ocean abundance for multiple Chinook salmon stocks in the state.

“Receiving this fellowship is highly encouraging, as you don’t see a lot of women of color working in fisheries management,” says Chen. “I’m honored to have been selected and am determined to use this opportunity to collaborate and receive mentorship from agency scientists that have successfully navigated the path I am pursuing.”

Fellows are chosen through a competitive process that involves national review by an expert panel. Fellows are guided by at least two mentors — one from the fellow’s university and one from NOAA Fisheries — and they are required to participate in a yearly research symposium.

Since the fellowship began, it has supported over 100 population and ecosystem dynamics and 36 marine resource economics doctoral fellows. A 2018 review of the program found that 92 percent of fellows remain in their field and about 30 percent work for NOAA as fisheries scientists. Alumni of this fellowship typically hold future positions in NOAA Fisheries, other agencies, academics and fishery management councils.


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.