NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship Announcement

October 18th, 2021

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is pleased to announce the release of The 2022 National Marine Fisheries Service-Sea Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) NOAA-OAR-SG-2022-2007042. View as PDF.

The NMFS-SG Fellowship seeks applications for up to three years of funding for a Ph.D. student working in partnership with a NMFS mentor on projects in Population and Ecosystem Dynamics and/or Marine Resource Economics.

  • Population and Ecosystem Dynamics: Sea Grant anticipates funding at least four new Ph.D. fellowships in 2022 to students who are interested in careers related to marine ecosystem and population dynamics, with a focus on modeling and managing systems of living marine resources. The emphasis will be on the development and implementation of quantitative methods for assessing marine ecosystems for assessing the status of fish, invertebrate, and other targeted species stocks and for assessing the status of marine mammals, seabirds, and other protected species.
  • Marine Resource Economics: Sea Grant anticipates funding one new Ph.D. fellowship in 2022 to students who are interested in careers related to the development and implementation of quantitative methods for assessing the economics of the conservation and management of living marine resources.

Applications from eligible PhD students are due to NJSGC by 5PM on January 27, 2022. Interested candidates should contact Dr. Peter Rowe, Acting Executive Director NJSGC for more details Please forward  this opportunity to interested PhD students.

John A. Knauss Marine Policy 2023 Fellowship Program Open for Applications

October 5th, 2021


The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship provides a unique educational and professional experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The Fellowship, named after one of Sea Grant’s founders and former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss, matches highly qualified graduate students with “hosts” in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one-year paid fellowship.

Who is eligible for the Knauss Fellowship?

Any student, regardless of citizenship, is eligible to submit to this opportunity if:

  1. The student is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program at any point between the onset of the 2021 Fall Term (quarter, trimester, semester, etc.) and February 18, 2022;
  2. The graduate degree will be awarded through an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories, and;
  3. The student has an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Review the 2023 Knauss Fellowship Student Guide and the Student Applicant Guide to Sea Grant Fellowships for application preparation tips. Applications are due February 18, 2022 (for 2023 fellowship). Get to know NJSGC’s 2021 Knauss Fellow, Arye Janoff.

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

Learn more about becoming a Knauss Fellow

Read the official opportunity on grants.gov

Virtual Ocean Fun Days Starts October 1st!

September 27th, 2021

Celebrating 18 Years with an Entire Month of Virtual Family Fun and Education


This year’s family-friendly Ocean Fun Days event will once again take place virtually starting this Friday October 1st and run for the entire month of October! Join New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and our partners as we celebrate 18 years of ocean discovery, coastal stewardship and energy conservation.

Online video presentations from over 30 exhibitors will provide eco-friendly fun focused on ocean discovery, coastal stewardship and energy conservation. Several presentations provide fascinating information about some of our most important local animals, including horseshoe crabs, eels, and sharks. There will also be informative videos on micro-plastics, saving energy and water, and the environment.

In addition, new LIVE presentations this year will feature topics from NJSGC educators such as diamondback terrapins, horseshoe crabs and ocean swimming safety. Teachers, parents, and students alike join new LIVE presentations, presented by NJ Sea Grant Consortium instructors. Click the links below to register:
  • October 1, 10 a.m. Terrific Terrapins: Meet New Jersey’s estuarine turtles, the Northern Diamondback Terrapin, in this fun program that teaches students why these animals are so unique and important to our coastal ecosystems. In this presentation participants will discover this reptile’s adaptations, anatomy, habitat, and virtually meet a real Northern Diamondback Terrapin. Visitors and students will also learn about the impacts humans on terrapin populations. This 45-60 minute program is suitable for all ages especially grades K-6. Watch the webinar recording here.
  • October 6, 11 a.m. Horseshoe Crabs: Learn about these amazing East Coast natives with NJSGC educators as they take you on a virtual trip through the life of this “living fossil” species that has lived on Earth for more than 400 million years! Do you know why their blood is blue or what their telson is used for? Find out during this engaging presentation that touches on horseshoe crab anatomy, their role in the marine ecosystem and how they are helpful to humans. This 60-minute webinar is suitable for all ages, especially children in grades K-8. Watch the webinar recording here.
  • October 30, 1 p.m. Sharks vs Rip Currents – a Most “Spooktacular” Comparison: Just in time for Halloween, NJSGC educators will share the mysteries of two ocean “inhabitants”: rip currents and sharks. While both can seem frightening, the more information you know will give you a better chance of keeping safe around them. Learn how to avoid rip currents and what to do if you get caught in one. Also, discover how likely you are to ‘meet’ a shark and how all their adaptations make them important apex predators. This 60-minute webinar is suitable for all ages.


Bring #OceanFunDays into your classroom! There are also many online resources and activities. Teachers, and students alike are invited to dive in and join the fun by visiting OceanFunDays.org for #OceanFunDays2021 on October 1st.

Continued Support from Investors Foundation Aiding in Rip Current Awareness

September 9th, 2021

Thank you to Investors Foundation for continuing their support of New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s (NJSGC) efforts in promoting the “Ocean Hazards and Beach Safety” Rip Current Awareness Program. 

Jodie-Ann McDonald and Lauren Johns (from left) of Investors Bank present grant award to (from right) Diana Burich, Director of Education, Debra Burd, Fiscal Officer and Deborah Quinn, Office Manager.

This $2,500 grant will continue to directly support NJSGC’s interactive “Ocean Hazards and Beach Safety” outreach presentation, which will now be offered at no charge to schools, libraries, community and other groups throughout Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties from now through June 2021. 

***Given the current situation, we are now presenting this program virtually through Zoom or Google Meets video conferencing. For more information, please contact NJSGC’s Education Department at Reservations@njseagrant.org.***

“According to the National Weather Service, approximately 100 people drown in rip currents in the U.S. on an annual basis. While NJ’s lifeguards do a fantastic job of keeping beachgoers safe, it is very important for swimmers themselves to know about potential rip currents and how to handle themselves if they should be accidentally caught in one. This program teaches people about the importance of swimming safely in the ocean in a way that is easy to understand and fun to learn, and this funding makes it more accessible to the general public.” 

– Diana Burich, NJSGC Director of Education 

Please click here to learn more about NJSGC’s Rip Current Awareness program. We also offer these educational resources and materials.

About Investors Bank

Investors Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With over $25 billion in assets and a network of more than 150 retail branches, Investors Bank delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. Investors Bank’s services include complete deposit, loan and cash management products for consumers and businesses. Investors Bank. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

About the Investors Foundation

Investors Bank created the Investors Foundation in 2005 to support the communities Investors Bank serves. Investors Foundation supports initiatives in the arts, youth development, health and human services, education and affordable housing.  Investors Foundation works to improve the lives of its customers and neighbors.

For more information, please click here.

New Jersey Sea Grant Welcomes New Staff Member

September 7th, 2021

New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is excited to welcome Samantha Kreisler aboard as their new Communications Specialist. Samantha comes to NJSGC with a strong background in marine policy and conservation, extensive experience communicating science and a history of working towards fostering environmental stewardship with various stakeholders. 

With inspiration and guidance from her father, a New York Harbor boat captain, she grew up on the water learning the importance of preserving our marine environment and its resources. Graduating from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with a BA in Marine Policy and a MS in Marine Science Ecosystems and Society, Samantha pursued her interest in marine science and combined it with her passion for environmental conservation to embark on a career of finding real-world solutions to environmental challenges. This led her to positions at NY/NJ Baykeeper and Clean Water Action, where she honed her ability to communicate science through storytelling to the public.

In her most recent position as the Outreach Coordinator at Hackensack Riverkeeper, Samantha managed communications efforts of this grassroots non-profit organization, from creating content for their website and newsletter to social media campaigns and digital marketing. Samantha also oversaw volunteer programs such as community and corporate river clean-ups and coordinated major events like fishing derbies and HRK’s annual gala. 

Samantha was introduced to NJSGC in 2019 by a friend and was quickly hired as a seasonal field instructor. Her content knowledge, background experience and enthusiasm made her a great candidate for the position. According to Diana Burich, Director of Education, “Samantha was a fabulous field instructor who engaged visiting school groups with her energy and passion, always interacting with a bright smile as she taught children about the importance of NJ’s marine and coastal environments and why it is necessary to care for them. We’re ecstatic to have her back at NJSGC in greater capacity!”

As communications specialist, Samantha is responsible for writing and distributing content including the NJSGC newsletter COASTodian, email blasts, managing social media accounts, and documenting NJSGC’s presence and research impacts throughout the State of New Jersey and Mid-Atlantic region. Within NJSGC, Samantha will be an integral part of its strategic planning, fund-raising efforts, and research communications. As part of the Sea Grant Communications Network, Samantha will work with other state Sea Grant programs and the National Sea Grant office to represent New Jersey’s voice and to improve Sea Grant communications as a whole.

“Samantha’s expertise, depth of experience, enthusiastic commitment and fresh perspectives will be a positive influence on our organization. Her background in marine science and familiarity with science communications made her the perfect choice for the position. We are looking forward to having her back onboard,” said Pete Rowe, PhD, Acting Executive Director, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. 

In her spare time, Samantha is a sitting board member of Save Coastal Wildlife, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the wildlife along the Jersey Shore. When she’s not in the office, she can be found kayaking, scuba diving, and walking (or swimming) along the Jersey Shore with her rescue pup, Lady. 

Dr. Arye Janoff, 2021 Knauss Fellowship Update

July 26th, 2021

Dr. Janoff attended the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Hearing, “Review of Fiscal Year 2022 Budget for the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Programs.”

Dr. Janoff led all hearing preparations, including pressing the Coast Guard, Federal Maritime Commission, and Maritime Administration on their budget requests, setting the list of hearing topics, writing the Summary of Subject Material for Members/Member staff on the subcommittee and full committee.

Dr. Janoff attended the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Hearing – “Impacts of Shipping Container Shortages, Delays, and Increased Demand on the North American Supply Chain.” He scoped/brainstormed hearing topics, interviewed potential witnesses, curated multiple witness panels, wrote opening speeches for Chairs DeFazio and Carbajal, drafted witness questions for Chairs DeFazio and Carbajal, printed and prepared binders with all hearing materials for Chairs DeFazio and Carbajal, and the Staff Directors for both the committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

He attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association of Ocean Observing Systems (MARACOOS) High Frequency Radar launch at Lewes, DE by invitation from ESP Advisors.

Christophe Tulou, Senior Counsel/Policy
Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (Left); Dr. Arye Janoff,
Knauss Marine Policy Fellow for the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation (Right).

He reviewed, tracked, and provided feedback on Member Designated Projects for Chair DeFazio’s INVEST in America Act, a $715 billion surface transportation reauthorization and water infrastructure bill. Provided policy guidance to member offices on climate change adaptation and mitigation legislative language for amendments to the INVEST in America Act.

He participated in a roundtable strategy/tracking discussion on possible legislative provisions for the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022 with CGMT subcommittee staff.

He staffed the CG&MT subcommittee on various agency briefs and held numerous informational interviews.

He volunteered as a notetaker/participant for NOAA’s Science Advisory Board Leadership in Coastal Resilience workshop with coastal scientists, practitioners, managers, and policymakers.

He serves as a professional mentor for undergraduates in NOAA Sea Grant’s Community Engagement Internship (CEI) program.

NJ Finalists for 2022 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Announced

July 26th, 2021

JANINE M. BARR is pursuing an M.S. in Oceanography at Rutgers University.

She is currently a staffer at the New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center where she provides municipal planning support to New Jersey coastal towns interested in becoming more resilient to climate change. She also analyzed coastal states’ ocean acidification research and policy actions in consultation with NJ’s Department of Environmental Protection to inform relevant state policy efforts. She was a Science and Research Education Fellow at the US EPA where she assisted the Office of Water’s implementation of water quality standards to protect fresh and marine water consistent with state and federal regulations.

She has pursued professional and academic experiences at the interface of policy, science, and stakeholder engagement regarding our nation’s aquatic and marine resources. This includes research experience in oyster aquaculture at Rutgers University, and training as a Rutgers Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience  (C2R2) Fellow.

Specifically, she is interested in the Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Program because she would like to further her understanding of how federal offices balance the conservation and management of our nation’s marine resources and how stakeholder collaboration is incorporated into policy decisions.

SCHUYLER C. NARDELLI is presently pursuing her Ph.D. in Oceanography at Rutgers University

She spent a year in Antarctica with research focusing on the impacts of climate change on Antarctic plankton and how future change will affect ecosystem dynamics. In 2019, she joined the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s Krill Action Group, which serves as a link between the krill science community and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which manages the Southern Ocean krill fishery.

Living in Antarctica presented many opportunities to directly demonstrate the importance of her  research through public outreach.  Giving  talks aboard cruise ships and to the Palmer Station community with receding glaciers as a backdrop is a powerful way to spur interest in conservation efforts, with hopes that these interactions translate to action when these people return home. Her time in Antarctica helped her realize that beyond her research, she wants to be involved in making impactful decisions regarding conservation and protection of marine ecosystems threatened by anthropogenic influences. Her motivation for applying to the Knauss Fellowship to pursue a career in marine policy.

ASHLYN SPECTOR expects to receive an M.S. in Geology in September 2021 from Rutgers University.

She has been studying beach elevation and sediment change using drone imagery to understand erosion. Although pursuing geoscience, she wants to dedicate time outside of her thesis toward planning and policy work to utilize knowledge in both fields. Her pursuits have become focused on coastal resilience-based projects, such as the development of a flood risk visualization tool for the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the development of coastal resilience assessments for local communities.

It is important to her to incorporate equity in coastal resilience decision-making so that policies enacted do not only benefit those with the largest influence but will actively serve community members who are often under-represented. She plans to expand her career serving coastal communities by partnering with them and the state to understand their needs and their current and future risks.  She intends to facilitate this using her skills in communication and knowledge of current state and federal policies to meet communities’ needs while helping them become more physically and socially resilient.

She feels that the fellowship offers a saturated amount of information in a condensed timeline, allowing her to gain knowledge and experience that would otherwise take years to learn.

ELIZABETH K. WRIGHT-FAIRBANKS  is a Ph.D. candidate in Oceanography at the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University.

Her focus has been to develop novel ocean acidification research, stakeholder collaboration and outreach, and leadership in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in science. She
investigated the dynamics of ocean physics, biology, and carbonate chemistry as they relate to commercially important habitat.
She is now training technicians, students, and tenured faculty at three other universities on
methods to deploy this new technology, analyze physical and chemical ocean data, and ensure
best practices and quality control. She  wants to apply these skills to cultivate a career in policy where she can promote and incentivize socially impactful marine research.

She mentors first-year students who identify as underrepresented in STEM, providing a support network that helps them navigate the transition to graduate school in hopes that it will improve long-term retention of underrepresented scientists.

Her ultimate goal is a career in science policy, where she can drive the field toward both impactful science and collaboration with outreach-focused groups to ensure those impacts are meaningful to stakeholders.

The Knauss Fellowship offers that first-hand experience providing invaluable insight and networking opportunities in a federal office which will help her achieve her next career goal of serving as a NOAA program manager.