Early career scientists bring scientific expertise to D.C.

Four graduates from California universities have been named Knauss Fellows: (from left) Amanda Lockett Carter, Julia Mason, Marnie Riddle, and Katherine Wilson
Caitlin Coomber

Four graduates from California universities will spend the next year in the nation’s capital working on coastal and marine policy issues as John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows. Recipients of the fellowship are matched with a host agency in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. The fellowships began February 1, 2019.

The California graduates are among 60 students from across the country to receive the prestigious fellowship. Knauss fellows are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. The National Sea Grant College Program has administered the fellowship program to more than 1,200 early-career professionals since 1979.

Amanda Carter is placed as an executive fellow at NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Policy and Congressional Affairs Division. As a congressional affairs specialist, she will help scientists prepare for congressional briefings, answer inquiries, and analyze and track legislation and congressional action from scientific and policy perspectives. Carter graduated from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, with a doctorate in marine biology in 2018.

Julia Mason will serve in the office of U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. In her role, Mason will support the senator's work on fisheries, oceans, and climate policy in the Environment and Public Works and Commerce Committees and on legislation before the Senate. Mason earned a doctorate in biology from Stanford University in 2018.

Marnie Riddle will work in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. As part of the Division of Ocean and Environment, she will help develop guidance for the Administration regarding ocean policy and initiatives related to issues such as illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, aquaculture, ocean spatial data, and ocean exploration. Riddle will graduate from University of Santa Cruz with a doctorate in environmental studies in 2019.

Katherine Wilson will spend a year at NOAA Fisheries, Office of Science and Technology. As the NOAA Fisheries Electronic Technologies Coordinator, she will help the office improve the accuracy, timeliness, and integration of fisheries catch data using emerging technologies such as electronic monitoring. Wilson earned a doctorate in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in 2019.