Two UCSC grad students are finalists for prestigious Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships

Austen Stovall
Ellen Willis-Norton

The finalists for the 2023 class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program include two UC Santa Cruz graduate students: Austen Stovall in the Coastal Science and Policy Program and Ellen Willis‑Norton in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The NOAA Sea Grant program provides the prestigious one-year Knauss Fellowships to early-career professionals to work on marine policy issues in federal government offices in Washington, D.C.

“These are highly competitive fellowships, and the experience they gain is amazing,” said Daniel Costa, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS).

Stovall earned her M.S. in coastal science and policy this year, working on a reef restoration project for coastal hazard risk reduction with the Nature Conservancy and Michael Beck, IMS research professor and AXA Chair in Coastal Resilience.

Willis-Norton said that, after carefully considering her options, she has decided to take a postdoctoral position at UC Santa Barbara instead of the Knauss Fellowship. She completed her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology (EEB), working with EEB Professor Mark Carr and Adjunct Professor Elliott Hazen to study how marine ecosystems on the U.S. West Coast are responding to climate change.

The Knauss Fellows will be matched with their host agencies later this year. Federal agencies that have hosted fellows in previous years include NOAA, FEMA, EPA, and NSF. The 2023 class represents the largest in recent years with 86 finalists.