Chesapeake Quarterly
Knauss Fellow Links Science & Education
Maria Murray

BIOLOGY HAS INTRIGUED MARIA MURRAY ever since elementary school. After an undergraduate field course in San Salvador in the Bahamas, she decided to make marine biology her life's work. It was not just the beautiful coral reefs. She also loved the links between the island ecosystem and the people who live there, the joining of marine science and public awareness.

Murray focused first on the science. As a Ph.D. student in biology at the University of Maryland, she's analyzing the genetics of Florida populations of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. She plans to finish her degree by the end of this year.

Now, as a Knauss Fellow, she's found a place where can use her scientific training to contribute to a nationwide public education effort. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), she'll work on the Environmental Literacy Grants program and help to support both formal and informal education efforts.

The Knauss Fellowship, established in 1979, is designed to present outstanding graduate students like Murray with an opportunity to spend a year working with policy and science experts in Washington, D.C. The program, named for marine scientist and former NOAA administrator, John A. Knauss, is coordinated by NOAA's National Sea Grant Office.

Fellowships run from February 1 to January 31 and pay a stipend of $33,000 plus $7,000 for health insurance, moving, and travel. Applicants must apply through the Sea Grant program in their state.

For more about Knauss Fellowships, visit the web:

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March 2010
vol. 9, no. 1
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