California Sea Grant welcomes new class of state fellows

The year-long fellowship offers hands-on training related to policy and management of marine, coastal and watershed resources.

California Sea Grant is excited to welcome 27 recipients into the prestigious 2023 State Fellowship.

Over the course of one year, fellows receive unparalleled training at the interface of science, communication, policy and management through a municipal, state or federal agency in California.

The California Sea Grant State Fellowship is a 12-month paid educational fellowship for graduate students who are interested in marine, coastal and watershed resources and the decisions affecting those resources in California. Modeled after the highly successful Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program, the State Fellows Program offers participants experience planning, implementing and managing relevant policies and programs in the state of California.

This year’s biggest news is that this California Sea Grant State Fellows cohort will bring the total to more than 300 alumni. Additionally, 2023 marks the 50-year anniversary of the California Sea Grant program. 

“As we celebrate the accomplishments of California Sea Grant over a half-century, it’s important to recognize that State Fellowship is a core part of our legacy of supporting the training of marine and coastal leaders in California,” Program Coordinator Nick Sadrpour said. 

The 2023 State Fellows, hosted by 16 agencies and organizations throughout California, represent a diverse swath of natural resource management entities driven to steward California’s rich delta, bay, coastal and marine landscape.

Learn more about the fellows, their projects and partners below:

  • Annie Bodel, Port of San Diego (POSD) Environmental Conservation Fellowship
  • Benjamin Dorfman, California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) Climate Change
  • Camila Pauda, California Coastal Commission (CCC)
  • Chanel Sylvana Robles, Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA)
  • Charnelle Wickliff, Delta Stewardship Council - Planning and Performance Division (DSC)
  • Eduardo Martinez, Delta Stewardship Council - Delta Science Program (DSC DSP) Collaborative Science and Peer Review Unit
  • Emma Cervantes, California State Lands Commission (SLC) Climate Change/Marine Conservation/Environmental Justice
  • Grace Kumaishi, NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center
  • Jessica Madden, California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) Coastal Resilience
  • Joshua Espinoza, California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) - District 1 Environmental Engineering and CEQA
  • Kacy Cooper, NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS)
  • Kaira Wallace, Delta Stewardship Council - Delta Science Program (DSC DSP) Adaptive Management Unit and Independent Science Board Support
  • Katie Cieri, California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) Marine Biodiversity
  • Katie Neylan, California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) - District 4
  • Kinsey Matthews, California Fish and Game Commission (FGC)
  • Matthew Koller, California State Lands Commission (SLC) Marine Infrastructure/Offshore Wind/Regional Planning
  • Maya Weeks, California Ocean Science Trust (OST)
  • Megan Spitzer, NOAA Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR)
  • Nicholas Carver, State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Water Quality, Sustainable Water Plans and Policies
  • Pooja Balaji, Delta Stewardship Council - Delta Science Program (DSC DSP) Science Communication, Synthesis, and Decision Support Unit
  • Raphael Louis, California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) - District 1 Coastal Policy
  • Sam Pyros, Delta Stewardship Council - Delta Science Program (DSC DSP) Interagency Ecological Program (IEP)
  • Stephen Randall, State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Water Quality: Ocean Standards Unit
  • Sydney Rilum, State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Office of Information Management and Analysis
  • Tarynn Kimmick, California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks)
  • Taylor Pantiga, San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) Wetland Regional Monitoring Program
  • Will Geiken, San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) State of the Estuary Report and State of the Estuary Conference

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.