Science to Policy: Four California marine scientists head to D.C.

2018 Knauss Fellows from California (left to right): Derek Southern, Lauren Gibson, Brady O'Donnell, and Lauren Linsmayer
February 07, 2018
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Four masters and Ph.D. graduates from California universities will spend the next year in Washington, D.C. as John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows, placed with hosts in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. The one-year fellowship provides a unique educational experience for graduate students interested in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and national policy.

Lauren Gibson will spend a year as the education policy fellow at the NOAA Office of Education. She will help translate NOAA’s science into educational programming for partners, work with NOAA’s lead educators to improve intra-agency programmatic coordination, and support the Environmental Literacy and Bay-Watershed Education and Training programs. Gibson graduated from Stanford University with Master of Arts in environmental communication in 2017.

Brady O’Donnell will complete his fellowship at the Marine Mammal Commission as a communications and policy analyst. At the commission, an independent government agency charged by the Marine Mammal Protection Act to further the conservation of marine mammals and their environment, he will contribute to reports to Congress and the White House that are used to guide conservation efforts. O’Donnell earned master’s degree in geology from the University of California, Davis, in 2017.

Lauren Linsmayer is placed as a legislative fellow at the Senate Commerce Committee (Minority). In her role, Linsmayer will assist the committee with the reauthorization and revision of the Coastal Zone Management Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, the Coral Reef Conservation Act, and a Coast Guard authorization bill. Linsmayer graduated from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, with a doctorate in marine biology in 2017.

Derek Southern will work in the office of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. As part of the natural resources team, he will work on a variety of policy issues related to ocean health, fisheries management, and maritime transportation. Southern earned his Master of Advanced Studies in marine biodiversity and conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in 2017.

California Sea Grant administers the program locally and nominates candidates for consideration by the National Sea Grant College Program. The fellows are among 57 students from across the country selected for the fellowship.

Apply for 2019 Knauss Fellowship

About California Sea Grant

NOAA’s California Sea Grant College Program funds marine research, education and outreach throughout California. Our headquarters is at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; we are one of 33 Sea Grant programs in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce.