California Sea Grant is excited to welcome Kate Murphy to lead its communications team. She will serve as the Science Communications Specialist, and tell the story of the program’s research, outreach and education work.

Murphy has nearly a decade of experience in journalism, mostly covering public research universities in Ohio and North Carolina. She specializes in in-depth reporting and compelling digital storytelling that’s focused on public service and community impact. 

“I am thrilled to join the team at California Sea Grant,” Murphy said. “My curiosity and desire to understand why things happen has always fueled my work. I’m eager to continue that as I learn more about how these scientists, fellows and students are exploring California’s coast and marine life and share the impact of their research.”

Prior to joining California Sea Grant, Murphy was the higher education reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her work helped readers understand complex research concepts, state policy, and legal and social issues that affect students, faculty members, parents, residents and political leaders. 

As a journalist, she covered how universities like UNC-Chapel Hill adapted to the coronavirus pandemic and the role faculty and student researchers played in developing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. She also produced robust multimedia packages examining the student mental health crisis, academic freedom and tenure, and the budgets and economic impact of local historically Black colleges and universities. 

“Outreach through the use of science communication tools is critically important for Sea Grant programs,” California Sea Grant Director Shauna Oh said. “I am so pleased that Kate will be adding her new perspective and ideas to sharing science information in creative ways.”

Murphy has a B.A. in journalism with a minor in political science from Elon University, where she was a captain of the Div. 1 women’s soccer team. She’s new to California, but grew up exploring tide pools, marshes and lobster boats with her family in Maine. Now, Murphy is quickly finding her favorite hiking trails, beaches and sunset views in San Diego, and she’s looking forward to connecting with her new community through this position.

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.