University of Alaska Fairbanks student receives Knauss fellowship

UAF graduate student Amy Kirkham will begin a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in 2019.

Amy Kirkham, a University of Alaska Fairbanks doctoral student, is the recipient of a 2019 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

The Knauss Fellowship is administered by Sea Grant, a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and universities in 33 states and U.S. territories. Kirkham was nominated for the fellowship by Alaska Sea Grant.

“Amy’s commitment to excellence is clearly evident through her academic work, her strong interest in ocean resources and communities, and her rich and diverse skillset. I’m confident that she will contribute greatly to whatever office she is placed in during her fellowship in our nation’s capital,” said Ginny Eckert, interim director of Alaska Sea Grant.

Kirkham earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Stanford University, where she studied marine biology. After beginning a master’s in biological sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Kirkham transferred programs and is currently completing her Ph.D. in fisheries at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she is focusing on Weddell seals.

Kirkham traveled to Antarctica seven times over four years to study the seals for her research. She also spent time in the Pribilof Islands during graduate school. These experiences have provided Kirkham with insight into polar issues that will make her unique among Knauss fellows.

Kirkham will travel to Washington, D.C., this fall to meet with prospective host offices in the executive and legislative branches of government. She will begin her fellowship in February 2019. For many Knauss recipients, the fellowship is a life-changing experience that opens new career opportunities in marine policy and resources.

Named after one of Sea Grant’s founders, former NOAA administrator John A. Knauss, the one-year, paid fellowship matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in D.C.

Recent Knauss fellows from Alaska have worked in the office of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, at NOAA’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, and on the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

More information about the Knauss fellowship is available on Alaska Sea Grant’s website.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Tara Borland, 907-474-7014,

%d bloggers like this: