COLUMBUS Ohio Sea Grant is proud to announce that two Ohio finalists have been selected for the prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, a year-long program that places highly qualified graduate students in host offices in the legislative and executive branches of U.S. government.
Heather Fair-Wu is working on a Ph.D. in environmental science at The Ohio State University, focusing on stream ecology research and conservation both in the United States and abroad in Tibet and Yunnan province, China. Fair-Wu came to Ohio State following a seven-year career in international business, where she focused on global procurement and environmental strategies.
“I realized that my work facilitating teams, developing business processes and implementing strategies combined with my Chinese language skills could be applied in an environmental research career,” Fair-Wu said. “So I took a huge leap of faith, packed my bags with intellectual curiosity and headed to Ohio State where the opportunity to focus on an environmental science career lay ahead.”
Her long-term career goals as an aquatic scientist working on environmental issues in the U.S. and around the world include either a leadership position in a federal agency like NOAA or an academic position where she is able to pursue international research while helping students connect policy and science.
Jessica Sherman is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Environmental Sciences at The University of Toledo. Her research focuses on the reintroduction of lake sturgeon, a historically important sportfish, into the Maumee River. This work included drafting a reintroduction plan for the fish into the Maumee, and it was crucial in approving construction of a stream-side rearing facility at the Toledo Zoo.
“My career goal is to direct management of our natural resources through decisions and education to shift society’s pressure on consuming natural resources toward conservative and innovative methods aimed at sustainable resource use,” Sherman said. “The Knauss Fellowship will provide an incomparable opportunity for me to learn how to develop and implement policies to assist in decision making that will protect our natural resources.”
“Ohio Sea Grant interviewed 12 candidates before submitting recommendations to the National Sea Grant office, and Heather and Jessica stood out as two of the strongest applicants,” said Dr. Christopher Winslow, Ohio Sea Grant’s director. “We look for applicants with strong communication skills and unique experiences that will make them successful Knauss Fellows, and these two finalists have the background and drive to help them excel in this fellowship and beyond.”
Fair-Wu and Sherman are two of 67 finalists from 128 applicants recommended to the National Sea Grant office from 31 Sea Grant programs across the country. Finalists will meet in Washington, D.C. in November 2017 for placement interviews with potential host offices.
The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 33 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.