The FSUCML is pleased to announce that Bob Ellis, a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological Science (Advisor, Dr. Felicia Coleman), is one of the 2015 recipients of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, which is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National sea Grant College Program. The fellowship gives graduate students the opportunity to engage in the legislative process and learn how science and policy interact in the area of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources, while meeting NOAA’s goal to, “Protect, Restore and Manage the Use of Coastal and Ocean Resources Through Ecosystem-Based Management.”
Bob has had a long-standing interest in the intersection of science and policy, having worked on two economically important species for his research, Gag (Mycteroperca microlepis) and Red Grouper (Epinephelus morio). In addition, he currently serves on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Reef Fish Scientific and Statistical Committee. "I am very honored and excited to be awarded this fellowship," Bob says. "I believe that the sustainable management of our nation's marine resources is one of the biggest challenges we face. While in graduate school I've worked on both applied and basic science questions, and now I'm excited to go to DC to learn first-hand how that information gets turned into policy."
Heidi Geisz, an adjunct faculty member at the FSUCML and former Knauss Fellow, notes that she experienced a serious reality check during her experience as a Knauss Fellow. Heidi says she learned a great deal about the effort that goes behind policy, not just using facts and research. “I think the importance of experiences gained through the Knauss Fellowship cannot be over stated whether a fellow decides to go into policy, education or remain in academia”, Heidi notes.
Congratulations, Bob! What a wonderful opportunity. We look forward to hearing about your experiences in the policy arena.