California Sea Grant announces four finalists for the 2022 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

Caitlin Scully

California Sea Grant is pleased to announce finalists for the 2022 Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. The one-year fellowship places early career professionals in federal government offices in Washington, D.C. Nationally, the 74 finalists in the 2022 class represent 28 of the 34 Sea Grant programs. The California Sea Grant finalists include four graduate students from across the state. Since 1979, almost 1,500 fellows have completed the program, becoming leaders in science, policy, and public administration roles.

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. Students finishing Masters (M.S.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus and/or interest in marine science, policy or management apply to one of the 34 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts. This fall, the finalists will travel to Washington, D.C. to interview with several executive or legislative offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowship in February 2022. 

Executive appointments for the 2021 Knauss fellows included placements throughout the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as with the Department of Energy, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Science Foundation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies. Legislative placements included the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Majority), the House Committee on Natural Resources (Majority), the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Majority and Minority), and several placements in both majority and minority personal offices (House and Senate).

The 2022 Knauss finalists will become the 43rd class of the fellowship and will join a group of almost 1,500 professionals who have received hands-on experiences transferring science to policy and management through one-year appointments with federal government offices in Washington, D.C.

Meet the 2022 California Sea Grant Knauss finalists 

Carina Fish
Carina Fish is a Geology Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Her research seeks to understand the marine biogeochemical history of the California margin in addition to oceanographic patterns of change for their impact on plankton. Carina also works beyond the realm of traditional science to incorporate communities and natural resource managers into the development of research and outcomes.

Tyler Loughran recently earned an interdisciplinary Master of Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at UC San Diego. Tyler worked with stakeholders to design an independent capstone project looking at potential geopolitical and economic consequences from climate-driven shifts and access to the Pacific bluefin tuna and Japanese anchovy fisheries. In the future, she hopes to blend Marine Ecology and Fisheries Research with Conservation Policy and Law.


Caroline Rodriguez recently completed her masters with the Marine Science program at California State University - Monterey Bay through Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. For her Masters thesis, she used photogrammetry to investigate coral population dynamics in Hawaii. She plans to work at the nexus of marine conservation and environmental justice to advocate for vulnerable communities who are most impacted by climate change.

Rishi Sugla

Rishi Sugla recently completed his PhD in Earth Science at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at UC San Diego. His main focus is long-term changes to Earth's geosphere and biosphere. Beyond his research, Rishi focuses on climate and environmental justice organizing and activism while working on projects in Southern California, Chile, and Argentina. 


Interested in learning more about the Knauss Fellowship? The Knauss Blog shares stories from the 2021 Knauss class on fellowship experiences and their journeys to D.C. 

Read the National NOAA Sea Grant Announcement here

Placement of 2022 Knauss finalists as fellows is contingent on adequate funding in Fiscal Year 2022.