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Jessamin Straub, a graduate student in marine sciences who took part in the Coastal Resilience Center (CRC)’s education programs, and who received a Department of Homeland Security-funded Education & Workforce Development grant through the CRC, has been named a finalist for a prestigious fellowship.

Jessamin StraubStraub, who will graduate in August from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was among four students in North Carolina to be named a finalist for the 2020 Knauss Fellowship. The program, which will begin next February, provides a year of funding and job placement for graduate students working in areas focusing on national ocean and coastal policies. Successful applicants are matched with host offices within the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, according to a release from the North Carolina Sea Grant.

Straub was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in McLean, Va. She received her bachelor’s in marine sciences from Coastal Carolina University. In her master’s work, she explored the interactions between coastal dunes and nearshore waves to improve understanding of dune erosion processes.

“I’m extremely excited and thankful to be selected as a Knauss Fellowship finalist,” Straub said. “I’ve been interested in the Knauss Fellowship since high school, and I’ve been fortunate to interact with the expansive network of former fellows throughout my career. My goal through the fellowship is to bring relevant coastal science research to communities while making the research relatable, accessible, and beneficial to crafting effective policy.”

“The Knauss Fellowship will propel my career and interests forward by broadening my knowledge across disciplines, allowing me to engage with diverse stakeholders, and developing a network of Fellows that will benefit me throughout my career.”

Straub previously attended the American Meteorological Society’s Summer Policy Colloquium, where she learned about how science can influence federal policy. She also co-led a student-focused resilience symposium at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The fellowship honors John A. Knauss, a founder of the National Sea Grant program, who also served as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator and dean of the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. More than 80 graduate students from North Carolina have been selected as Knauss fellows throughout its 40-year history.

For more information and a full list of finalists, visit the Knauss page on NOAA’s website.

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