Alaska fellowship program welcomes four new graduate students

Alaska Sea Grant welcomes four incoming fellows to the Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship program. The year-long fellowship program recruits talented young professionals from within Alaska and across the country for marine science and policy-related professional opportunities in Alaska.  

photo of Nicole Laroche

Nicole LaRoche

Nicole LaRoche is starting her fellowship with the National Park Service in Anchorage in August. She will focus her time on mapping and modeling coastal erosion, as well as benthic habitat mapping. Nicole is finishing her master’s degree in fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where her research studied the diets of recolonizing sea otters.

photo of Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson started working in June with Alaska Sea Grant as a mariculture fellow. During her fellowship year, Hannah will work to provide information for prospective shellfish and seaweed farmers and increase awareness of mariculture products among Alaskans. Wilson graduated this spring from the University of Montana School of Forestry and Conservation with a master’s degree in resource conservation. Wilson’s research focused on natural resource conflicts and management challenges in the Tongass National Forest. Wilson is based in Juneau.

photo of Angela Moran

Angela Moran

Angela Moran will be based in Anchorage with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. She will work closely with biologists and economists to analyze fisheries management issues in Alaska. Moran completed a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington, where her research efforts focused on the Gulf Alaska groundfish fishery.

photo by JoMarie Alba

JoMarie Alba

JoMarie Alba will work with the NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) in Juneau. During the fellowship she will conduct shellfish aquaculture research to help develop and advance the industry in Alaska. Alba is graduating from Walla Walla University this summer with a master’s degree in biology, where she studies changing environmental effects on octopus predation strategies.

NOAA AFSC has participated in the fellowship program as a host for several years. Alba will be the third fellow the agency has hosted since the program began. “The fellowship program has been a way for the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center to explore areas of research that it would not have been able to investigate otherwise, said Kristin Cieciel, AFSC research biologist. “The fellows come together with NOAA scientists to make a modest but impactful research effort. Past fellows’ work has laid important groundwork for novel research directions.”

The Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship program is entering its sixth year. Alumni of the program have gone on to work at state, federal, tribal and academic institutions. Host institution applications are accepted in December, with fellowship applications due in February. For more, including information for prospective hosts and fellows, and bios of alumni, visit the Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship program website.