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Graduate students earn fellowships to work on national policy

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Two University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate students will spend a year in the nation’s capital working on policy issues related to marine and coastal resources.

Juita Martinez and Zachary Topor are among 86 graduate students from across the country selected for 2023 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. Both are pursuing Ph.D.’s in environmental and evolutionary biology at UL Lafayette.

Knauss Fellowships are an initiative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program. The fellowships place graduate students with an interest in ocean and coastal resources in legislative or executive branch offices of federal government to work on policy issues. They carry stipends of at least $66,500.

The 2023 Knauss Fellows will travel to Washington, D.C., in November to determine in which offices they will work. Their fellowships will begin Feb. 1.

Martinez and Topor are among five graduate students from Louisiana to earn 2023 Knauss Fellowships. Each was nominated by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program based at LSU. It is among 34 university-based programs that belong to the national sea grant program.

“The Knauss Fellowship offers graduate students the invaluable opportunity to put their academic knowledge to practice in tackling marine, coastal, and Great Lakes management and policy challenges at the federal level,” said Dr. Jonathan Pennock, National Sea Grant College Program director.

“We look forward to welcoming the 2023 class of Knauss fellows and seeing how they will apply their unique insights to developing solutions to some of the most important challenges facing the country,” he added.

Learn more about the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program.

Photo caption: UL Lafayette’s Juita Martinez and Zachary Topor are among 86 graduate students from across the country selected for 2023 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program. They will spend a year in Washington, D.C., working on national policy issues related to marine and coastal resources. Submitted photos

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