CORVALLIS - Four Oregon State University graduate students are finalists for the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships and next winter will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will work on marine policy and research issues at a government agency or institution.
They are Karen Overholtzer McLeod, Stacy Miller, Vicki Wedell and Leah Bandstra. Nominated for the fellowships by Oregon Sea Grant, they competed with candidates from across the country. The fellowships are administered by the National Sea Grant College Program.
It is the first time the Oregon program has had four successful candidates at one time, according to Oregon Sea Grant Director Robert Malouf.
The Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship allows outstanding scholars with an interest in policy decisions affecting marine, ocean and Great Lakes resources to spend one year in Washington, D.C., learning and honing the skills needed for leadership and research. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative branch, the executive branch, or other institutions in the Washington, D.C. area.
Bandstra will complete work on her master's degree in chemical oceanography this fall before departing for Washington, D.C. As a student in OSU's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, she has spent 135 days at sea on seven separate research voyages. Her research involves developing a system to measure total dissolved carbon dioxide in ocean water - critical to understanding greenhouse gases.
Miller is working on a master's degree in marine resource management at OSU. Among her experiences is a year as a groundfish observer aboard commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. She is currently conducting a qualitative analysis of a rockfish species.
Wedell expects to complete work on her master's degree in marine resource management in December. Since April she has worked as a graduate research assistant at the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.
McLeod is a doctoral candidate in marine ecology in OSU's Department of Zoology. Her dissertation analyzes variations in density dependence of coral reef fish populations. As a grad student at Oregon State she has worked as a teaching assistant, a guest lecturer and a research assistant.
The Knauss fellowship is named in honor of one of Sea Grant's founders, former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss. The program is open to any student in a graduate or professional program in a marine or aquatic-related field at a United States accredited institution of higher education.