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Volume 4, Number 4
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Knauss Fellows for 2006

Three University of Maryland graduate students in the Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Science (MEES) program received Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships for 2006. Established in 1979 and coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant Office, the fellowship was named for former NOAA administrator John A. Knauss. The program provides graduate students across the country with an opportunity to spend a year working with policy and science experts in Washington, D.C.

Laurie Bauer

Laurie Bauer is spending her fellowship year in NOAA's National Ocean Service Biogeography program. Her work will focus on the assessment of habitat and organisms in the National Marine Sanctuaries.

Bauer received a B.A. in biology from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in 2001. Following graduation, she spent a year as a volunteer with the Student Conservation Association/ Americorps, working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Invasive Plant Research Lab in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She began her M.S. degree in the MEES program at the University of Maryland in 2002 with the support of a Maryland Sea Grant Research Fellowship. Her research, conducted at the Chesapeake Biological Lab under the supervision of biologist Thomas Miller, focuses on the overwintering mortality of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. She plans to graduate in May 2006.

Sheridan MacAuley

Sheridan MacAuley is working for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Her work will focus on supporting NASA's involvement in the Ocean Action Plan. She will also assist in developing a plan for NASA's ongoing role in the National Oceanographic Partnership Program.

MacAuley completed her B.S. in biology/biotechnology at George Mason University in 2000. During and after completing her undergraduate degree, she worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia, researching microbial nutrient cycling and bioremediation in aquatic habitats. She joined the MEES program in 2002 and conducted her research under the supervision of microbiologist Kevin Sowers at the University of Maryland Center of Marine Biotechnology. Her research focused on microbial fermentation and the production of recombinant proteins by methane-producing marine microorganisms. MacAuley graduated with an M.S. degree in December 2005.

Adrienne Sutton

Adrienne Sutton will be spending 2006 in NOAA's Office of Legislative Affairs where she will work with Congressional affairs specialists on policy issues throughout the agency. This will be an opportunity to expand her background beyond research to include an understanding of the role of marine science in the legislative process. Sutton graduated in 2000 from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she majored in biology with a chemistry minor. In 2000 she entered the MEES program and in January 2006 successfully defended her dissertation on agricultural nutrient reduction in restored riparian buffers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Both Sutton's research and environmental policy interests center on anthropogenic effects on the health of coastal ecosystems.

Knauss Fellowships run from February 1 to January 31 and pay a stipend of $33,000 plus $7000 for health insurance, tuition, moving, and travel. They are awarded through Sea Grant programs across the nation. For more information about Knauss fellowships, visit the Maryland Sea Grant's fellowship web site, www.mdsg.umd.edu/Policy/knauss.html, and the National Sea Grant office, www.seagrant.noaa.gov/knauss/knauss.html. Those interested in applying for the fellowship should contact the Maryland Sea Grant office, 5824 University Reasearch Court, Suite 1350, College Park, Maryland 20740, phone 301.405.7500.

Susan Leet Moves On

Susan Leet

Some life changes start with large moments, some with small irritations. An earthquake helped bring Susan Leet to Maryland Sea Grant back in 1991. Love of science, education, and students kept her working there as assistant to the director until she retired at the end of March 2006.

Back on October 17, 1989, Leet was working at Stanford University, sitting in a courtyard conducting an interview when the rumbling and shaking began. The quake would kill 69 people in the San Francisco Bay area, leave 12,000 homeless, and disrupt the first and only Bay-area World Series. At 6.9 on the Richter scale, the quake ranked as the second-largest in California history and the scariest in Leet's memory. "It was terrifying," says Leet, terrifying enough to inspire a new life plan.

A year later the Maryland native moved home. It was, she admits, both family and fear of earthquakes that brought her back. A year after the move, she came to work at Maryland Sea Grant.

Working under two directors, Leet was a key player on the Sea Grant management team, serving as coordinator for dozens of different jobs, the invisible administrative jobs that, well done, are seldom noticed. She was always noticed, however, for her patience and persistence � and for her love of political gossip, offbeat films, and weekends in New York.

The Sea Grant job she liked best was working with students, both graduates and undergraduates. Every year she helped graduate students find their way through the interviews and paper trails that led (for many) to a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

The job she liked least was dealing with the endless paperwork that seems endemic to all grant-driven programs. "I will not miss the paperwork and grants.gov," she says. "You can quote me on that."

A Yankee fan, Leet leaves Oriole country with a new life plan. She wants to travel more widely and then relocate somewhere rural, somewhere far from government paperwork and earthquake fault zones.

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