Seizing a unique opportunity to work on the front lines of science and policy, recent Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego graduate Rachelle Fisher has been named a 2009 State Fellowship winner by California Sea Grant.
Fisher, who received her master's degree in June through the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, will be working for the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) under the fellowship.
Based in Oakland, the OPC works to improve the way California manages and protects its vast coastal and ocean resources by promoting coordination among state agencies.
During the fellowship, Fisher will address a wide range of projects, including ocean health, marine protected area monitoring, and fisheries data and management issues. She is currently working on the implementation of legislation that calls for the creation of a task force on Dungeness crabs. The task force will allow Dungeness crab stakeholders, including recreation and commercial fishermen, processors, and non-governmental organizations, to review and evaluate issues and measures with the goal of making recommendations to regulators.
"The unique thing about this fellowship is that it allows a person like myself with a science background the opportunity to bridge the gap between science and policy," said Fisher. "At OPC I will be working on policy issues that have important and direct implications for marine conservation."
Sea Grant's fellowship program offers unique educational opportunities for graduate students interested in marine resources and policy decisions affecting California. It provides on-the-job experience in planning and implementing coastal policies and programs.
Headquartered at Scripps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's California Sea Grant is a statewide, multi-university program of marine research, extension services, and education activities. It is the largest of the nation's 30 Sea Grant programs.