Named finalists for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships, Jill Hamilton MEM'18 and Chrissy Hayes MEM'18.


DURHAM, N.C. – Two 2018 graduates of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment have been named finalists for John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships.

Jill Hamilton and Chrissy Hayes, who both earned Master of Environmental Management degrees in Coastal Environmental Management this May, are among 66 young scholars selected as finalists in the highly competitive national program.

As finalists, Hamilton and Hayes will go to Washington, D.C., this fall to interview for yearlong fellowships with federal government agencies in both the executive and legislative branches. Following placement with one of the agencies, they will begin work as Knauss Fellows in February 2019.

The Knauss Fellowship program is an initiative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program. Now in its 40th year, it places recent university graduates in federal agencies and offices to work with policymakers and staffers on coastal policy issues of national consequence.

Hamilton, Hayes and the other 2019 finalists will have the opportunity to interview for fellowships at NOAA, the Department of the Interior, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Navy, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Natural Resources, among other agencies and offices.

In addition to earning her MEM in Coastal Environmental Management, Hamilton earned a Certificate in Geospatial Analysis from the Nicholas School and a Certificate in International Development Policy from the Duke Center for International Development. Her Masters Project focused on “Supporting Small-Scale Fisheries: A Study on Global Aid and Intervention.”  

In addition to earning her MEM in Coastal Environmental Management, Hayes served as an Ocean and Coastal Policy Intern at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and as president of the Duke Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Her Masters Project was on “Learning from Performance of Small-Scale Fishery Development Projects.”

The Nicholas School has two young alums currently serving in the 2018 class of Knauss Fellows. Elizabeth Clark, who earned her PhD in marine science and conservation in 2017, is serving as a congressional affairs fellow in NOAA’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. Brianna Elliot, who earned here MEM in Coastal Environmental Management in 2017, is working at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Marine Conservation.