Current State Fellows at the annual State Fellowship Meeting in La Jolla

California Sea Grant offers fellowship opportunities in research, natural resource management, and marine policy that allow graduate students to explore their interests and broaden their experience.

Our former fellows have advanced to careers in academia, nonprofit organizations, and state and federal government agencies.

Policy Fellowships

California Sea Grant State Fellows Program

Interested Hosts:

Interested in hosting a California Sea Grant State Fellow?  Fellows are more than students or interns. They are graduating students or recent graduates with PhDs, Masters, and JDs that focus on marine- or aquatic-related fields. Fellows are selected to participate in the program based on a combination of academic record, statement of career goals, recommendations and endorsements, and relevant experience. They are extremely capable and excited to learn about the process of policy-making.

The fellowship program serves to both increase the capacity of ocean and coastal management agencies in California with highly motivated and talented graduate students, and facilitate the training and development of the next generation of ocean and coastal leaders.

Questions? Contact sgproposal@ucsd.edu



Graduate students:

California Sea Grant's State Fellows Program provides a unique educational opportunity for graduate students who are interested both in marine resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly motivated and qualified graduate students with hosts in municipal, state and federal agencies in California for a 12-month paid fellowship.

In the past, Sea Grant Fellows have been assigned to the California Ocean Resources Management Program, California Ocean Protection Council, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commission, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA Coastal Services Center, State Water Resources Control Board, and Delta Science Program, among others. Selection of finalists is made by the California Sea Grant College Program, and assignments are decided in consultation with potential fellowship hosts.

Questions? Contact sgproposal@ucsd.edu


John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship provides a unique educational experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

The program, which is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program, matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative branch, executive branch, or appropriate associations/institutions located in the Washington, D.C., area for a one-year paid fellowship. The program is named after former NOAA administrator John A. Knauss.

For additional information on the John A. Knauss National Sea Grant Fellowship, please contact: sgproposal@ucsd.edu 


Coastal Management & Digital Coast Fellowship

The Coastal Management Fellowship was established in 1996 to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide project assistance to state coastal zone management programs. The program matches postgraduate students with state coastal zone programs to work on projects proposed by the state and selected by the fellowship sponsor, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management.

The NOAA Digital Coast Fellowship was established in 2012 to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide technical assistance to help advance the goals of the Digital Coast and its partner organizations. Up to three fellows are placed with Digital Coast Partner organizations every other year, in the even years. 

These two-year opportunities offer a competitive salary, medical benefits, and travel and relocation expense reimbursement.

For more detailed information about the fellowship opportunity, please visit the NOAA Office for Coastal Management fellowship web page.


Research Fellowships

Delta Science Fellowship

The purpose of the Delta Science Fellows Program is to train the next generation of science leaders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) by bringing together fellows with research mentors and community mentors in collaborative research, data analysis, and synthesis projects relevant to Delta policy and management. California Sea Grant will administer and manage the fellowship program on behalf of the Delta Science Program. This fellowship funds research projects of up to two years in duration that will advance the state of knowledge underlying high priority science issues that affect the Delta and its management as an integrated socio-ecological system.

The Delta Science Fellowship is normally offered every two years, depending on funding availability. Applications for the 2025 Delta Science Fellowship are now open.


To see the 2022 Delta Science Fellows, visit: 2022 Delta Science Fellows

NOAA Fisheries (NMFS)-Sea Grant Fellowship

The fellowship can provide support for up to three years for highly qualified graduate students working towards a PhD in quantitative ecology, ecosystem ecology, population dynamics or related fields of study such as wildlife biology, fishery biology, natural resource management, marine biology, quantitative ecology, applied mathematics, applied statistics, simulation modeling, marine resource economics, natural resource economics, or environmental economics.


Graduate Trainees (from Core Awards)

Future world economic, resource, and technology issues will require individuals with the skills and perspectives necessary to solve marine resource problems. The Sea Grant trainee program is producing future generations of scientists, business people, and policymakers.

Research projects sponsored by California Sea Grant generally include support for at least one graduate student trainee, who is selected by the research scientist. Approximately 900 students have been involved in the California Sea Grant trainee program since its inception in 1968.

The Sea Grant traineeship program allows graduate students to conduct research under faculty guidance with the dual purposes of performing important research and satisfying education requirements for master's and doctoral theses in fields as diverse as oceanography, ecology, engineering, law, geology, and food science. Students working on Sea Grant projects are acquiring skills and experience that will allow them to complete their own thesis research.

Where are these former trainees now? A survey showed that the largest group currently holds faculty or research positions at colleges, universities, and other academic institutions, followed by federal, state, or local government programs, and private industry. Other trainees are now pursuing postdoctoral degrees, teaching at the secondary level, or are in the legal profession.

No current opportunities

Extension & Communications Fellowships

California Sea Grant Extension Fellowships

Extension fellowships provide opportunities for graduate students who have recently completed their degrees to engage with the dynamic team of California Sea Grant extension specialists who work with state and federal agencies, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and members of the California coastal community, to identify emerging marine resource problems and opportunities, conduct applied scientific research, and share findings with stakeholder groups. Together, the statewide extension team will support, and connect extension fellows to appropriate stakeholders (i.e. academic researchers, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and K-12 educators). Extension fellows will gain on-the-job experience in planning, implementation, and management, providing a unique educational opportunity for recent graduate students interested in outreach, marine resources and the policy decisions that affect them. 

California Sea Grant extension specialists work with state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and members of the California coastal community to identify emerging marine resource problems and opportunities, conduct applied scientific research, and share findings with stakeholder groups. The work of our extension specialists effect behavioral change through programs focused on outcome-based objectives using a variety of educational processes and techniques over time. While California Sea Grant extension specialists are locally based, working to help address local concerns and needs, they also work on broader state–regional-national (and in some cases, international) projects.

Coastal Mendocino Extension Fellowship

The coast of Mendocino supports the livelihoods, lifestyle, and culture of many communities through its working waterfronts. Jobs and the welfare of the community are closely tied to the region's water-dependent activities, identity and cultural and economic heritage. Today’s Mendocino communities face tough resilience challenges including extreme weather events, changing climate and ocean conditions, and the continued viability of waterfronts, marine-based industries and cultural resources. At the same time, Mendocino’s interconnected coastal culture and communities represent a great opportunity for developing a blue economy strategy that embraces climate resiliency and enables these communities to remain economically and culturally vibrant. To support these efforts, California Sea Grant and the City of Fort Bragg are partnering to host a 24-month Coastal Mendocino Extension Fellowship. To learn more and apply, click the button below. 



Science Communication Fellowships

Delta Science Communication Fellowship

The Delta Science Communication Fellowship provides a year-long unique educational opportunity for an early career science communicator to gain hands-on experience in coastal, estuarine, and freshwater science communication and stakeholder engagement. The fellow will be advised by professional science writers and editors, and have access to science communicators around the country through the Sea Grant Communications Network. The work will primarily include producing content that highlights scientific research findings on high-priority topics that are critical to managing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. 

The fellow will be placed at California Sea Grant in San Diego for a 12-month paid fellowship in partnership with the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program. The Council is the California State agency that manages how the Delta provides a reliable water supply for California while protecting, restoring, and enhancing its ecosystem. 

This opportunity will provide the fellow with the professional experience they need to launch a successful career in science communication.

The fellowship is open to recent graduates or current students close to completing a degree in a field related to science communication, journalism, or science, at a U.S. university.

To learn more and apply, click the button below.