Columbus, OH A Miami University graduate student nominated by Ohio Sea Grant will spend a year in Washington, D.C. working in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Education beginning in February, thanks to the National Sea Grant College Program’s Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Erin Sams, will be working to promote environmental literacy through two science education programs.
"I hope that I’ll also get the opportunity to become involved in a few of my favorite NOAA programs that have excited me about marine education," Sams says. "In addition to my position in D.C., I am looking forward to attending some conferences that will help me define my own niche as both an educator and field enthusiast."
Named after one of Sea Grant’s founders, former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss, the fellowship provides highly qualified graduate students with a unique experience to work in the legislative or executive branches of government in Washington, D.C. for a one-year paid fellowship.
A committee selected Sams as one of the 51 fellows from the 107 total applicants.
"Erin possesses every trait I seek when trying to select individuals who will be successful Knauss Fellows," says Ohio Sea Grant Director Jeff Reutter. "She has clearly excelled in all of her experiences and it is the most impressive list I have ever encountered."
Sams is currently working on her Master of Science, researching the study of coral reef composition with different survey methods. She has been involved in field studies and research throughout her academic career, leading a student animal husbandry program, studying frog and toad interactions, and studying abroad in Hiram College’s Biomes of the World semester.
She says the fellowship will allow her to help the public understand their local environment and foster communication about managing marine resources.
"The connections among research, education, and policy are important," Sams points out. "I want to educate the public and policy makers to promote stewardship on our coasts and in our oceans."
For more information about the Knauss Fellowship, visit seagrant.noaa.gov/knauss.
Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.