Fourteen early-career scientists and professionals were selected for the 2023–2024 Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship. These Fellows will start this summer, working around the state in support of Alaska’s coastal communities and marine resources.
Since 2015, the year-long paid fellowship has matched soon-to-graduate or recently finished graduate students with hosts in Alaska-based state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations, where they acquire on-the-job experience in marine science and policy.
Jake is working with Alaska Sea Grant and the Kodiak Area Native Association to support Tribal ocean acidification monitoring programs. He will work on a long-term plan for ocean acidification monitoring to identify funding sources and gaps, and conduct a needs assessment so that the program meets the needs of Kodiak Tribes. Jake received his master’s in oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
An Alaska Sea Grant State Fellow in 2022, Jamie is serving a second fellowship year with the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region Aquaculture Program, helping to create a portfolio of suitable sites for aquaculture in Alaskan waters. This project provides a tool for future aquaculture development in the state, and combines data analysis, science communication, and stakeholder engagement. James completed a master’s degree in marine biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Lia is joining the Alaska regional office of the NOAA Habitat Conservation Division. Her fellowship supports the identification and description of essential fish habitat for managed species and their nearshore prey, including developing a standard set of protocols for collecting data and monitoring nearshore habitats in Alaska. Lia is finishing her Ph.D. in fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Kelly is spending her fellowship year with the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF). She is working with the AFDF Startup Accelerator to support Blue Economy businesses by providing research support in areas such as automation, vessel decarbonization, ocean data collection, marine transportation, seafood quality, ocean modeling, mariculture, and marine coatings. Kelly is finishing a master’s in marine biodiversity and conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Michelle is working with the NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Division in Alaska. She will be assisting with the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s stranding and entanglement data management, response, and outreach. She will also be working with Alaska Ocean Guardian Program schools to increase ocean literacy and stewardship in Alaska. Michelle is finishing a master’s degree in coastal and marine management from the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland.
Sean is continuing his fellowship working with the Alaska Sea Grant coastal community resilience program. Sean is reviewing climate vulnerability and adaptation plans among coastal communities in Alaska, identifying social and cultural indicators of resilience, and assisting with workshops on climate migration and resilience in the Pacific region. Sean holds a master’s degree in energy and resources from University of California Berkeley.
Jenna is spending her fellowship with the Alaska Mariculture Alliance. Her work involves regional outreach to coastal and Alaska Native communities, policy work, and grant administration, and she will be collaborating with federal and state agencies, farmers, nonprofits, and economic development agencies. Jenna is finishing a Master of Resource Management in Coastal and Marine Management from the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland.
Angela is working with the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center Kodiak Laboratory on aquaculture projects in collaboration with Kodiak farmers. Her main focus will be a project assessing the potential habitat value of kelp farms compared to local kelp beds for local fish populations in the Kodiak area. Angela is completing a Ph.D. in ecology from University of California, Davis.
Maddi is joining the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to work on the Alaska Coastal Mapping project. Her primary role is organizing a bathymetry user workshop in Utqiaġvik that supports community engagement. Maddi is finishing a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Taylor is spending her fellowship year working with Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Mariculture and Research Training Center to develop and support Alaska’s mariculture industry. She will be developing an Alaska seaweed cultivation manual, working closely with kelp farmers and hatchery operators in Kodiak, Kachemak Bay, Prince William Sound, and Southeast Alaska. Taylor is finishing a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Arizona.
Katherine is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Marine Mammals Office in Alaska, assisting with authorization requests received under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This includes analyzing projects for their impact on sea otters, Pacific walrus, and polar bears, as well as working through the Federal Register publication process and responding to public comments. Katherine received her master’s in environmental science and management from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Drew is continuing his fellowship for a second year with the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center Recruitment, Energetics, and Coastal Assessment Program, researching issues affecting Alaska’s fisheries. He is participating in the development of novel analytical methods for monitoring the impact of thiamine deficiency in fish. Drew graduated with a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Biz is spending her fellowship year working with Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Clean Harbors program. In her position, she is aiding staff from harbors around the state as they work towards earning voluntary clean harbor certifications. She is also redesigning the Alaska Clean Harbors website, developing an outreach campaign, and designing outreach material. Biz completed a master’s degree in marine biodiversity and conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Spencer is working with partners at Alaska Sea Grant, the Ketchikan Indian Community, the Metlakatla Indian Community, and OceansAlaska to build tribal capacity for climate change adaptation. She will contribute to community climate adaptation plans through supporting climate adaptation and ocean acidification workshops. Spencer is finishing a Ph.D. in biology from University of Waterloo, Canada.