Audrey Maran conducts field work.
Maran to bring science, communication skills to Knauss marine policy fellowship
In January, Bowling Green State University Ph.D. student Audrey Maran, her husband, their cat and two dogs will decamp for Silver Spring, Maryland, where she will serve for a year as a communication specialist in the National Sea Grant office, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Maran, who is finishing her doctorate in biology, was chosen for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, one of the most competitive marine policy fellowships in the United States. She is only the second BGSU student to ever receive the award, and the first in many years.
She will be part of the fellowship’s executive branch; there is also a legislative branch, whose fellows work primarily on Capitol Hill with lawmakers. The 66 finalists represented 30 of the 33 National Sea Grant programs. Since 1979, Sea Grant has provided one-year Knauss fellowships for more than 1,200 early career professionals to work in federal government offices around Washington, D.C.
“This is one of the most prestigious awards that a junior scientist in environmental sciences can be awarded,” said Dr. Shannon Pelini, Maran’s thesis adviser and an associate professor of biological sciences.
“It’s meant for people with a science background, but it gives you a window into how policy works and how science is turned into policy and how policy affects science on the ground. The idea is it’s science to policy,” Maran said. “I have very little background in policy but I’m very interested in it because I firmly believe we need science-based policy in our government, and I want to see if I can play a role in helping make our policy more science-based.”