UW Today

August 3, 2011

UW graduate students win fellowships to work with state agencies

UW graduate students have won three of the four Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellowships this year, and will be putting their marine science and policy skills to work for the state of Washington.

The program matches outstanding, highly motivated students with state agency “hosts” for a one-year paid fellowship in Olympia or Tacoma.

Washington Sea Grant created the Hershman Fellowship in 2008 to introduce students to ocean and coastal policy and enable state agencies to benefit from the students knowledge and experience on those subjects.

The three UW fellows are:

  • Bridget Emmett, who recently completed her masters degree at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, has focused her studies on problems in the marine environment caused by conflicts between human uses and biological processes. She will be working with the Department of Ecology to advance marine spatial planning and policy development in Washington.
  • Heather Gibbs also earned her masters degree from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, along with certificates in business administration and environmental law and regulation. Her research concerns the sea level rise in Puget Sound. She will be working with the Department of Natural Resources to track and analyze policies and regulations protecting eelgrass, an important component of Puget Sounds near-shore habitats.
  • Clara Hard also earned a masters degree from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Her research interest has been in how outreach and education occurs in the region. Her host state agency will be the Department of Health, where her duties will include studying and monitoring harmful algal blooms and developing an information network among state, tribal and local agencies on the prevalence of emerging marine toxins.

The fourth fellowship went to Allison Smith, who is a candidate for a masters degree in environmental studies at the Evergreen State College. Her fellowship placement will be with the Puget Sound Partnership, where she will help develop the collaborative policy and science framework for implementing a network of marine protected areas in Puget Sound.

The Hershman Fellowship honors Marc Hershman, who taught coastal and ocean law, seaport management and coastal management at the UW School of Marine Affairs and at the School of Law for more than 30 years before his death in 2008. Hershman served on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, a Presidential commission charged with developing national policies for managing the oceans and coasts. He was also an active member of the Ocean Governance Study Group, an alliance of marine policy leaders at academic institutions across the United States.