New Hampshire Sea Grant is pleased to announce that University of New Hampshire (UNH) graduate student Natalie Lord has been named a finalist for the 2023 class of the National Sea Grant College Program’s prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Natalie Lord 2023 Knauss Fellow

The Knauss Fellowship honors John A. Knauss, a founder of the National Sea Grant College Program, who formerly served as a NOAA administrator and dean of the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. Since 1979, over 1,550 early-career professionals have participated in this year-long paid fellowship that matches highly qualified graduate students with host offices in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. Knauss fellows work on national policy issues affecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.

Natalie will be completing her master's degree in environmental conservation and sustainability from UNH’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment this fall. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from St. Lawrence University. Natalie, who grew up in the Seacoast area, also completed two service terms with AmeriCorps at the Washington State Aquatic Reserve Program and worked in commercial salmon fishing in Washington state, where she witnessed a historically low year for salmon stocks, inspiring her to work in aquaculture.  

While at UNH, Natalie was awarded a New Hampshire Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellowship, which supported her master's research. Her project, advised by Dr. Catherine Ashcraft, assistant professor for natural resources and the environment, examined the role of women in fisheries and aquaculture – specifically to share stories of women’s experiences as oyster farmers, identify barriers and opportunities for women in the industry, and make recommendations for integrating gender into local aquaculture policy. Her project leveraged the Photovoice methodology that provides participants with the opportunity to share their own story and reflect on their community and industry, giving them control in the research process that would be otherwise extractive. You can view Natalie’s Photovoice project here, and read more about her research in her UNH Graduate Student Spotlight.

"I am delighted to be selected as a Knauss finalist. It feels like the appropriate next step in my career, especially after designing my master's degree to have an applied research and policy focus and my role as a teaching assistant for environmental policy here at UNH. The Knauss Fellowship is the perfect opportunity for me to experience an agency role firsthand.” - Natalie Lord, 2023 Knauss Fellowship Finalist 

Natalie joins a cohort of 86 finalists in the 44th Knauss class from 62 universities, representing 29 of the 34 Sea Grant programs. Knauss Fellowship finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. Students finishing Master’s, Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees with a focus and/or interest in marine and coastal science, policy, or management apply to their state’s Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state level, their applications are then forwarded to a national panel of experts who select the finalists. This fall, the 2023 finalists will participate in a placement week to get to know each other and interview with potential host offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowships in February 2023. 

Read the official NOAA Sea Grant announcement:  Sea Grant Announces 2023 Finalists for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program 

For more information about graduate fellowship opportunities through NH Sea Grant, click here. We are currently accepting inquiries for 2024 class of the Knauss Fellowship (applications will be due February 2023). 


Science Communication Specialist
Office: NH Sea Grant, New England Center 214A, 15 Strafford Ave, Durham, NH 03824