In 2018, Washington, D.C., will gain two more Michiganders. Michigan Sea Grant is pleased to announce that two candidates from Michigan have been selected as finalists for the 2018 Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship places graduate students from around the nation with host organizations in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. Knauss Fellows get an up-close-and-personal look at the processes and offices that guide U.S. ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource use and policies.

Interested graduate students submit applications through their nearest Sea Grant program, which forwards a selection of candidates to the National Sea Grant Office. Out of 128 applications forwarded by Sea Grant programs in 2017, 67 finalists have been selected.

Janet Hsiao

Both of Michigan’s Knauss Fellowship finalists hail from Michigan State University (MSU) graduate programs. Janet Hsiao will soon finish her M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2013. While at MSU, she has worked with Dana Infante to study the interactions of landscape, coastal habitats, and ecological communities. Janet is no stranger to Washington, D.C., having interned there at the Trust for Public Land in 2014.

Lisa Peterson

The second finalist, Lisa Peterson, is pursuing her Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU. Prior to this program, she received her B.S. and M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife, also at MSU. She has been working with Mike Jones to study yellow perch stocking in Lake Erie.

Now that the Knauss finalists have been selected, all 67 will congregate in Washington, D.C., this November for Placement Week. Through a process one former Fellow describes as “grueling,” finalists will meet with representatives from an array of prospective host offices in the legislative and executive branches. Previous Knauss Fellows from Michigan have worked in various offices within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Senate.

After the finalists and hosts have selected each other, the finalists will be granted Fellow status and prepare to begin their year-long fellowships in February 2018.

Knauss Fellows from Michigan — along with recipients of other Michigan Sea Grant-related fellowships — contribute to a blog that captures their experiences, insights, and takeaways. Read posts from current and previous fellows here. Learn more about Michigan Sea Grant’s graduate fellowship opportunities here.