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Two Knauss Fellows in 2012

The National Sea Grant Office has offered two University of Minnesota graduate students prestigious Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships. If they accept the offer, Leah Sharpe and Brooke White will spend a year supporting policy-making activities in Washington, D.C., starting in January 2012.

Referring to both candidates, Minnesota Sea Grant Director Jeff Gunderson was impressed with their enthusiasm and dedication. "I couldn't have chosen two better recipients to honor the Minnesota Sea Grant Program," he said.

Sharpe and White were two of 51 finalists chosen from over 100 applicants. While Minnesota Sea Grant has sent applicants to D.C. with Knauss Fellowships before, this is the first year that two finalists have been chosen from Minnesota.

Sharpe, who is earning a Ph. D. in Conservation Biology, studied at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with Dr. Anne Kapuscinski and Dr. Peter Sorensen. Currently both Sharpe and Kapuscinski are in Hanover, New Hampshire, heading research on the genetic biocontrol of invasive fish at Dartmouth College. Sharpe was a primary organizer of the International Symposium on Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Fish, a Minnesota Sea Grant-hosted event that took place in June 2010 in Minneapolis.

White is finishing her dissertation on Lake Superior water circulation and ice formation. She works with Dr. Katsumi Matsumoto, associate professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and specializes in earth science, geology, and geophysics. White credits her participation on the University's Council of Graduate Students for sparking her curiosity to learn more about policy-making.

Knauss Fellowships offer experiences relating to national policies that affect marine and coastal resources including the Great Lakes. Fellows are given opportunities to work in a government branch located in Washington, D.C., or in agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The fellowship is not only an excellent learning experience, but can also be helpful in acquiring future jobs.

See the National Sea Grant website for more information about the Knauss Fellowship: http://seagrant.noaa.gov/Knauss.

Posted on May 27, 2011

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