Nicholas School Graduates Receive Federal Coastal Policy Fellowships

January 31, 2010

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

Two 2009 graduates of Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment have been named 2010 Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows in Washington, D.C.

The highly competitive Knauss fellowship program is an initiative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program. It places recent university graduates in congressional and executive branch offices to help solve coastal policy issues of national consequence.

Jennie Dean and Anna-Marie Laura, both Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degree recipients in Coastal Environmental Management (CEM), were among four North Carolina graduates nominated for the fellowships by North Carolina Sea Grant. Their D.C. fellowships begin this month.

Dean has been appointed an executive fellow with the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, which advises national defense leaders on ocean science and policy. She examined the controversial use of oceanfront sandbags to control coastal erosion in Dare County, N.C., as her master's degree thesis at the Nicholas School.

Laura will serve her legislative fellowship in the office of U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), assisting Whitehouse with his duties on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Her master’s thesis at the Nicholas School analyzed the use of passive acoustics to monitor bottlenose dolphin presence in the waters of two U.S. military ranges located on Pamlico Sound.

North Carolina Sea Grant recommends finalists from a state applicant pool for the national selection process.

Only 50-some students are selected nationally each year for the one-year paid internship. The program is named after National Sea Grant's co-founder, former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss.

Applications are currently open for the 2011 Knauss Fellowship and are due Feb. 19. North Carolina Sea Grant will nominate students from graduate or professional programs in marine and aquatic science or policy, regardless of citizenship. Students must be enrolled in a North Carolina academic institution at the time of application deadline.

For more details, visit, or contact Sara Mirabilio or (252) 475-3663, ext. 29.