From the Pier to the Hill


Two graduate students from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego’s Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation have been selected as 2012 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows by National Sea Grant.

They are Tali Vardi, a Ph.D. student studying the population dynamics of endangered Elkhorn Coral in the Caribbean, and Alexis Rife, a 2011 graduate of the CMBC M.A.S. program.

The prestigious and competitive Knauss Fellowship program matches highly qualified graduate students with "hosts" in the legislative and executive branches of government in Washington, D.C., for a one-year paid fellowship. This year, two of the four winners submitted by California Sea Grant were from Scripps Oceanography.

Vardi said she is eager to join in on the ground level and learn what writing marine policy entails on a day-to-day basis. “I’m excited to learn the details of how federal regulations change, and don't change,” she said, “ultimately to figure out how to effect change for long-term conservation of marine resources.”

In addition to being excited to live in Washington, D.C., alumna Rife is looking forward to seeing and experiencing how marine policy is created and implemented from the government agency perspective. “My previous experiences have been in the NGO and academic research side of things, and it will be very interesting to see the other side,” she said. “There are many interesting things happening in U.S. Ocean Policy right now, and it will be great to be a part of that!”

Knauss Fellows will learn which government agency they are being placed with in November, and will begin their fellowships in February 2012.


--Shannon Casey


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