Michelle Maier 2015 finalist for the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship


Michelle Maier was recently named a 2015 executive finalist for the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program. 

Named after one of Sea Grant’s founders, former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss, the Knauss Fellowship is a unique opportunity for graduate students studying ocean, coastal and Great Lakes issues to gain hands on experience with national policy decisions affecting those resources.  Finalists are placed in paid internships with government agencies in Washington D.C. working directly on important environmental policy that impact the nation’s water resources. 

Michelle is a Ph.D. student studying environmental science in the Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction (CMOP) at Oregon Health & Science University’s Institute of Environmental Health (IEH).   She is studying phytoplankton ecology in the Columbia River and the interactions between diatoms and parasitic fungi under the mentorship of her thesis advisor, Dr. Tawnya Peterson.

The Knauss fellowship will support her career goals by allowing her to explore opportunities to link scientific research with marine policy development and implementation.   “I am excited to learn more about how to integrate science and marine policy and have the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the policy making process,” says Michelle.

Peterson states, "It is important more than ever that we engage exceptional scientists in the development of sound policies to protect our critical resources. Michelle's talent and wide-ranging interests make her an ideal recipient of this prestigious fellowship."

To become one of the 50 finalists in the 2015 class, Michelle first applied to the Oregon State Sea Grant program and was chosen to advance to the National Sea Grant office for final selection.  She will be matched with her host office in November during Placement Week in Washington D.C.  Michelle plans to graduate this fall, with the fellowship starting in February 2015.

Written by Amy Johnson