Since 1979, graduate and professional school students travel from around the country to the Washington, D.C. area every year for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The fellowship, administered by NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, matches fellows with host offices in the executive and legislative branches of government to learn about ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource management and policy. NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program has been fortunate to host many Knauss fellows over the years.
We recently said “See you later” to 2019 Knauss fellow Lauren Swaddell. Lauren is the first fellow sponsored by Guam Sea Grant and has a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Guam. During her fellowship year, Lauren was a key member of the steering committee for the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, which leads U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef resources. The task force includes 13 federal agencies; seven U.S. states, territories, and commonwealths; and three freely associated states. Lauren planned task force meetings in Washington, DC and Koror, Palau - the first meeting that Palau has held in nearly 15 years. Lauren also worked on a bibliography on sunscreen chemicals and coral reefs, an international learning exchange event, and presented information on the Coral Reef Conservation Program to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Finally, Lauren worked with communications staff on our popular Facebook page and Twitter feed.
While we must send Lauren on to her next adventure back in Guam, we are excited to welcome our 2020 Knauss fellow, Leanne Poussard. Leanne is sponsored by Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant and has a master’s degree in Coastal Sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi. Leanne will continue Lauren’s work with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and other tasks of interest. We look forward to working with Leanne this year during the 20th Anniversary of the Coral Reef Conservation Program!
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.