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“Knauss 101” Zoom Session

NJSGC will host an informational “Knauss 101” Zoom meeting with Acting Director Dr. Peter Rowe on Wednesday, January 6th at 10 a.m. Please contact our Communications Specialist for more information on how to join the session.

For more information on the fellowship, please visit our website.

Knauss Fellowship Opportunity Now Open!


The notice of federal funding opportunity for the 2022 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is now open. The fellowship provides a one-year, paid experience for highly-qualified early career professionals to work on issues related to coastal, marine and Great Lakes science and policy in offices within the executive or legislative branch of government in Washington, D.C.

Graduate students interested in marine science policy should explore the information about the fellowship as soon as possible and talk to their local Sea Grant program (or the National Sea Grant Office) at least one month prior to the February 19, 2021 deadline.To be eligible for the 2022 fellowship (which lasts February 1, 2022 through January 31, 2023):

  • A student must be enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2020 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 19, 2021;
  • The student’s graduate degree program must be through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories;
  • Students are eligible regardless of nationality; domestic and international students at accredited U.S. institutions may apply; and
  • Applicants must have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Please share this opportunity with colleagues, friends and potential applicants!

Learn more about becoming a Knauss Fellow

Read the official opportunity on


Photo: The 2020 Knauss fellows pose at the end of their Placement Week (Fall 2019)

Get to know NJSGC’s 2021 Knauss Fellow, Arye Janoff.

Knauss Fellow Update: Michael Acquafredda

NJSGC Knauss Fellow Michael Acquafredda (Rutgers University, Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory) enjoyed just six weeks at the Silver Spring office before having to telework. Thankfully, he’s still getting a lot accomplished remotely.

(To learn more about the 2020 Knauss Fellows from NJSGC, please click here)

Dealing with international affairs, Acquafredda has been busy working with the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON). He works in the Secretariat, putting out newsletters, organizing meetings with its executive committee, and serving as a point of contact for its membership. He also supports the needs of some of the regional hubs of GOA-ON, including the Latin American Hub, the Pacific Islands Hub, and the North American Hub. Acquafredda acts as Coordinator for the GOA-ON Pier2Peer Program, a professional mentorship program. He continues reshaping the matching process to give mentees more opportunities to select mentors whose interests and expertise align with their own. Additionally, he publishes the monthly Pier Review, a newsletter that highlights the work of successful P2P pairs and shares information about relevant news and events, upcoming funding opportunities, and the latest ocean acidification-related open access articles.

He’s also been helping to organize the 5th International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World, which is now postponed. To maintain momentum, the symposium’s steering committee and the GOA-ON executive committee are discussing the possibility of hosting a virtual “Ocean Acidification Week”, which would be a series of publically-available webinars and panels. Acquafredda’s working hard to transform this idea into a well-organized and impactful event by September.

On the bilateral front, Acquafredda’s managing a joint funding initiative of NOAA OAP and DFO to enhance collaboration between ocean acidification researchers in the USA and Canada. He’s had the opportunity to write the RFP for this initiative, and is now reviewing proposals and organizing a selection panel.

Finally, his work around capacity building efforts in the Pacific Islands has been slow and limited, mostly due to COVID-19 related delays. The funding from the Department of State was secured, so now they’re working towards distributing funds to its partner, The Ocean Foundation.

Along with all of those initiatives, Acquafredda is also busy with the domestic side of his portfolio. He’s working closely with the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Acidification Network (GCAN). The team is restructuring that network to encourage better communication and more robust engagement by its members via the Ocean Acidification Information Exchange (OAIE). Acquafredda also restarted GCAN’s webinar series and so far has hosted two, with more to come.

The activity most exciting for Acquafredda has been working to develop a new NOFO aimed at studying multistressor impacts on shellfish aquaculture. OAP is looking to use a co-production of knowledge framework to fund collaborations between growers and academics to produce both foundational data and industry-relevant deliverables.

He’s also been active with some of the Knauss Committees. Acquafredda’s most involved with the Lunch and Learn Committee that works with the NOAA Central Library System to host monthly webinars that highlight the work of Knauss Fellows. He also gave a talk in March (right when COVID started), which is archived on Youtube.

He’s also involved with the Knauss JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) Committee. In light of the murder of George Floyd and the ongoing protests calling for an end to racial injustice in our country, the committee created a document of resources many may find useful. JEDI Committee members are also reaching out to individual Sea Grant programs and inquiring about the different ways these state programs address JEDI issues in their activities, with a particular focus on recruitment activities regarding the Knauss Fellowship.

Although it’s really unfortunate that the two components of the fellowship Acquafredda was most excited about (the travel and in-person networking) have been thwarted by COVID-19, he’s making the most of this opportunity and still learning a lot about working in the marine policy realm.

Knauss Fellow Update: Victoria Luu

As a 2020 Knauss Fellow representing New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, Victoria Luu (Princeton University) is currently working in the NOAA Office of International Affairs under Director Elizabeth McLanahan. Check out what’s going on!

February 2020

Tori started out her fellowship by jumping straight into a major international meeting. She flew to Oslo, Norway on Day 1 to participate in the biannual meeting of the Arctic Council’s Protection of the Marine Environment Working Group as part of the United States delegation. The Arctic Council is an effective high-level forum for cooperation and coordination whose work ranges from developing factsheets and reports to establishing binding treaties. By Day 5, Tori was already working actively with the team to edit a zero order draft of the Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter in the Arctic. There was fortunately some time for fun after the work was done, and the meeting participants all got to enjoy an evening at the Norwegian Maritime Museum. It was definitely an exciting start to the Knauss Fellowship!

March 2020

Almost all of the Knauss Fellows have been teleworking since Mid-March, but the work doesn’t stop! Everyone has been incredibly resourceful, and video chatting, webinars, and conference calls have become the new normal. Tori has still gotten to help staff in some high-level meetings with RDML Tim Gallaudet, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator, as well as help facilitate and moderate some sessions of the Arctic Science Summit Week in its new virtual form. International collaboration is still happening within NOAA – it’s just the scheduling has been trickier not being able to be in the same time zone!


We appreciate all Knauss fellows as they continue working hard and diligently, despite the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

Click here to learn more about NJSGC’s Knauss Class of 2020, which also includes Michael Acquafredda (Rutgers University) and Brittany Schieler (Rutgers University).

Knauss Fellowship Application Now Open for 2021

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium along with the Sea Grant National Office are pleased to announce that the Knauss Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO/FFO) for 2021 is now open. Please view the full announcement at

To support and encourage recruitment, these additional resources are also available to the public:

 The deadline to apply for students is February 21, 2020.

Visit our fellowships webpage for more updates, and please contact NJSGC’s Acting Director Dr. Peter Rowe with any additional questions.

NJSGC will host an informational webinar on Thursday, December 5th from 10 am – 12 pm. Please contact our Communications Specialist Danica Bellini if you would like to register.

Knauss Fellowship, Meet NJSGC’s Class of 2020

Knauss Fellowship Program

National Sea Grant accepted 69 finalists into the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program for 2020, including three fellows from New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. To learn more, please visit the website above.

Sea Grant Announces 2020 Finalists for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program


Silver Spring, MD — NOAA and Sea Grant are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2020 class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. Since 1979, the National Sea Grant College Program has provided one-year fellowships working in federal government offices in Washington, D.C. to over 1,300 early-career professionals. The 69 finalists in the 2020 class represent 27 of the 34 Sea Grant programs.

“With each year and class, we continue to be more impressed with the Sea Grant Knauss fellows. They bring fresh perspectives and experiences to the coastal and marine science and policy work happening in D.C., and they continue to raise the bar for us all,” said Jonathan Pennock, National Sea Grant College Program Director. “Congratulations to the 2020 Knauss finalists!”

Congratulations to Michael Acquafredda (Rutgers University), Victoria Luu (Princeton University), and Brittany Schieler (Rutgers University) for being accepted into the Knauss class of 2020 as representatives of New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. Please stay tuned for more updates!

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. Students finishing Masters (M.S.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus and/or interest in marine science, policy or management apply to one of the 34 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts. This fall, the 2020 finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., to interview with several executive or legislative offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowship in February 2020.

Executive appointments for the 2019 Knauss fellows included placements throughout the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as with Department of the Interior, National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and other agencies. Legislative placements included the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Minority), the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Majority), the Senate Commerce Committee (Majority and Minority), the House Committee on Natural Resources (Minority), and several placements in both majority and minority offices.

The 2020 Knauss finalists will become the 41st class of the fellowship and will join a group of over 1,300 professionals who have received hands-on experiences transferring science to policy and management through one-year appointments with federal government offices in Washington, D.C.

Curious about the Knauss fellowship? The Knauss blog shares stories from the 2019 Knauss class on fellowship experiences and their journeys to D.C.

Placement of 2020 Knauss finalists as fellows is contingent on adequate funding in Fiscal Year 2020. 

Please visit the National Sea Grant/NOAA website for more information.

Sea Grant Announces 2019 Finalists for Knauss Fellowship Program

Huge congratulations to Omanjana Goswami, a PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant from Rutgers University – Newark who will be representing NJ Sea Grant and the entire State of New Jersey as part of the 2019 John A. Knauss Fellowship Program! We cannot wait to follow Ms. Goswami on this amazing journey, and wish her all the best!

From the official NOAA and NSGO announcement:

Silver Spring, MD — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Sea Grant announce the finalists for the 2019 class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. Since 1979, the National Sea Grant College Program has provided one-year fellowships working in federal government offices in Washington, D.C. to over 1,200 early-career professionals. The 2019 finalists will become the 40th class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. The 66 finalists represent 30 of the 33 Sea Grant programs. For the first time Guam Sea Grant successfully recruited a Knauss fellow.

“The Knauss fellowship is one of Sea Grant’s flagship programs. Every class of Knauss fellows continues to raise the bar, and the 2019 finalists are no exception,” said Jonathan Pennock, Director of the National Sea Grant College Program. “I’m also happy to share that in response to growing demand for Sea Grant Knauss fellows in federal government offices, we are pleased to include two additional legislative fellowships for the 40th anniversary class.”

For more information, please visit  our website or click here.

New Jersey Candidate Named to Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program

(Sandy Hook, NJ) — The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) has announced that Rutgers University Graduate Research Assistant Anna Hermes was recently selected for the prestigious Knauss Fellowship.

The Knauss Fellowship Program, created in 1979 as a Sea Grant vehicle to match marine science-interested graduate students with hosts in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, is a unique and competitive institution. Each year, graduate students from across the country apply for the highly competitive fellowship, and selected by merit of their academic record, interests and experience.  The finalists are students whose achievements and initiative paint the promise of a stellar future.  Hermes will represent New Jersey Sea Grant as a Knauss Fellow in the executive branch, an honor that recognizes her strong commitment to science and the environment.

Read More …

Support the Consortium

The New Year is just around the corner. Can we count on you to support our mission to care for New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment?


In 2019-2020, contributions from donors like you allowed us to:

  • Continue supporting marine, coastal, and social science research to help further promote and enhance healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries/aquaculture, resilience communities/economies, and environmental literacy/workforce development throughout the Garden State.
  • Provide direct instruction to nearly 20,000 schoolchildren from over 30 different legislative districts throughout NJ on a broad range of environmental topics through our diverse, interactive education programs.
  • Host major public outreach events, including: Ocean Fun DaysState of the Shore, NJSGC’s annual Favorite Beaches poll/ceremony, and our revamped “Jersey Shore” photo contest.
  • Disperse nearly 65,000 NJ Fish and Wildlife marine recreational fishing regulation cards to and posters to over 260 marinas throughout the State, from over 24 different legislative districts. Of these, more than 100 have operating pumpout stations (including nine pumpout boats) thanks to NJSGC’s involvement with the New Jersey Clean Vessel Act Program.
  • Accept four graduate students from prestigious institutions throughout NJ into the highly-competitive John A. Knauss Marine Policy fellowship program.

And while combating the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium continues developing several outstanding programs and projects, including:

  • Virtual education initiatives appropriate for grades K-12. Taught by experienced environmental education staff, these lively presentations, demonstrations, experiments, and games encourage student interaction on topics designed to excite while meeting educator’s curricular needs, scout leader’s requirements, and/or families’ interests.
  • A new COVID-19 rapid response opportunity (led by NJSGC’s Aquaculture Program Coordinator Lisa Calvo) that helps support oyster farmers, promote habitat restoration, and advocate local seafood sales.
  • For the first time in 17 years, NJSGC and its partners hosted a virtual Ocean Fun Days event. Online video presentations, teacher/parent resources, and other printout activities from over 25 exhibitors provided eco-friendly fun focused on ocean discovery, coastal stewardship, and energy conservation.
  • In partnership with New York Sea Grant, NJSGC created a BEach SAFEly campaign to remind beachgoers to stay safe while still having fun at the Jersey Shore (and beyond).
  • And more to come in 2021!

Despite such trying times, we hope you choose to help so that we can continue our mission to promote the wise use of New Jersey’s marine and coastal resources through research, education, and outreach. To make a year-end, tax-deductible contribution to NJSGC for 2020, please click HERE.

If you prefer to mail your gift, kindly address your contribution to:

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
22 Magruder Road
Fort Hancock, NJ 07732