Chesapeake Quarterly
Knauss Fellows for 2009

THE KNAUSS MARINE POLICY FELLOWS for 2009 all come out of graduate programs at the University of Maryland. Safra Altman, Marvourneen Dolor, and Becky Holyoke will put their expertise to work for the next year in the Office of Oceanographic Research, the Department of Commerce, and the Office of Marine Sanctuaries.

Safra Altman
Safra Altman

Safra Altman will spend her fellowship year in the office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation in NOAA's Office of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research. She will work with the Joint Subcommittee on Science and Technology and OAR's Senior Research Council.

Currently a doctoral candidate in the interdepartmental Behavior Ecology Evolution Systematics (BEES) program, Altman has focused on the effect of biodiversity on invasion and invasion success in San Francisco Bay. She used marine fouling communities -- the algae and animals that live and grow on submerged rocks, docks, and boat hulls -- as model communities. Much of this work was done in collaboration with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. She expects to complete her Ph.D. in 2009.

She has also been involved recently in projects describing biodiversity in twilight reef environments, or coral reefs that are 50-150 meters below the sea surface. Altman received a Master's in Oceanography from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor's in Biology from Brown University.

Marvourneen Dolor
Marvourneen Dolor

Marvourneen Dolor will serve as an environmental research specialist in the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) in the Department of Transportation. She will be the first Knauss fellow to work at the SLSDC. She will fill the role of "resident scientific expert" in the Corporation. Her tasks will involve advising leadership on environmental issues, in particular ballast water policies.

Dolor received her Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry in January 2009. Her dissertation work was aimed at determining what chemical processes control deposition of the trace element rhenium in marine sediments. This information may enable scientists to use rhenium in sediments as an indicator of historical deterioration in coastal marine environments due to human impacts. Dolor received her undergraduate degree in Marine and Environmental Sciences from the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Rebecca Holyoke
Rebecca Holyoke

Rebecca Holyoke will work as a policy analyst with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries under the supervision of Margo E. Jackson, Senior Policy Advisor.

She will assist Jackson, as well as Policy Development Specialist Jim Sullivan, with reviews of relevant environmental legislation and regulations, requests regarding program budget development, and responses to legislative and/or public inquiries.

Holyoke received her Ph.D. in Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences in 2008. Her dissertation focused on the influence of eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) biodeposits (feces and pseudofeces) on nutrient exchange at the sediment-water interface in shallow tidal creeks of Chesapeake Bay. After finishing her degree, she served as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. George W. Luther, III in the College of Marine and Earth Studies at University of Delaware, assisting with moored observatories, Alvin dives (she is pictured at right standing in the hatch of the deep-sea submersible), and manuscript preparation. Holyoke received her Bachelor's in Biology from Brescia University.

The Knauss Fellowship, established in 1979, is coordinated by the National Sea Grant Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Named for John A. Knauss, a former NOAA administrator, the program provides graduate students across the country with an opportunity to spend a one-year paid fellowship working with policy and science experts in Washington, D.C.

Knauss Fellowships run from February 1 to January 31 and pay a stipend of $33,000 plus $7000 for health insurance, moving, and travel. Applicants must apply through the Sea Grant program in their state. For more information, visit the web at: Maryland Sea Grant, or the National Sea Grant program,

March 2009
vol. 8, no. 1
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