Placements Announced for USC Sea Grant 2023 Knauss Fellowship Finalists

Updated November 29, 2022
Media Contact: Leah Shore / / (213)-740-1960

NOAA Sea Grant has announced placements for the finalists selected for the 2023 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. A total of 86 finalists have been selected for the 2023 class, the largest in recent years, and each were nominated by Sea Grant teams across the country. USC Sea Grant is pleased to share that five of these finalists were selected from USC Sea Grant. Learn more about our finalists and their executive branch placements below!

The Knauss Fellowship is a unique professional development opportunity for graduate students interested in national policy decisions affecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. This fall, the 2023 finalists will participate in a virtual placement week to interview with several executive or legislative offices in the federal government. Following placement in a host office, they will begin their one-year fellowship in February 2023.

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the Sea Grant program and national levels. The 86 finalists in the 2023 class represent 29 of the 34 Sea Grant programs. Since 1979, over 1,550 fellows have completed the program, becoming leaders in science, policy, and public administration roles. The 2023 finalists will become the 44th class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. Learn more about the fellowship program here.

Read the full 2023 finalist announcement from the National Sea Grant College Program here. Congratulations to our five finalists, as well as all 86 finalists across the Sea Grant network!


Learn More About USC Sea Grant's 2023 Knauss Finalists

Amanda Chiachi

Amanda is currently earning her Master of Biology from California State University, Northridge. She also holds both a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Conservation and Resource Studies from the University of California Berkeley. Amanda is an enthusiastic and driven young professional with a diverse and experienced career path working toward marine conservation policy. Her internship with the California Ocean Science Trust included working firsthand with legislative staff on state science issues such as DDT pollution and offshore wind, and a living shoreline project focused on equitable access. Also, as a California State Fellow with the California Department of Transportation, she worked directly on coastal policy work. Amanda looks forward to learning a national perspective for how decisions are made and how state, federal, and private advocacy can be used to shape local coastal resources. 


Placement: NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR); Senior Advisor for Climate 

Krista Finlay

Krista recently earned her Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She also earned a Master of Education, along with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Geography, from UCSB. Krista is a well-rounded and experienced professional with a strong passion for working in marine conservation. She has the valuable skill set of working professionally for over two decades in varying science fields and excels in communications and collaboration, including with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the Climate Hazards Center at UCSB, and NOAA Fisheries. Krista's leadership in science communication is also evident through her 15-year career as a high school science teacher. Krista looks forward to gaining the knowledge of and skills in the interpretation and explanation of policy decisions affecting marine resources.


Placement: NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS); Legislative Analysis Team

Colette Fletcher-Hoppe

Collette is currently earning her Ph.D. in Marine and Environmental Biology at the University of Southern California. She also holds a B.A. in Biology from Vassar College in New York. Colette is a hard-working, thoughtful, and compassionate scientist who has a clear gift for science communications. Between Vassar and USC, Colette worked as a Scientific Program Analyst at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, where she won a Distinguished Achievement Award as well as an award for communication to lay audiences. Beyond her academic success, Colette has a passion for communication and mentorship. Most notably, Colette has had a leadership role in the USC Young Researchers Program for five years. The Knauss Fellowship is an invaluable step toward Colette’s long-term goal of serving in an environmental conservation agency.


Placement: Department of Energy; Wind Energy Technologies Office


Caitlin Manley

Caitlin recently her Masters of Environmental Science and Management at the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also holds a B.A. in Marine Biology from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Caitlin is a motivated and passionate young professional with an aptitude for furthering coastal resource management. Caitlin has experience interning with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service in Long Island, New York, working as a Community Volunteer Ambassador and serving on the front lines of coastal resource accessibility. During her master’s degree, Caitlin performed impactful work at the intersection of community and science, including working with the California Ocean Protection Council as a staff analyst. Caitlin looks forward to expanding her knowledge of available resources to manage our nation’s ocean and coastal ecosystems.

Placement: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Branch of Coastal and Marine Resources, Ecological Services - Headquarters

Erin Winslow 

Erin is currently earning her Ph.D. in marine biology at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She also received a Master of Environmental Science and Management from Bren and holds a B.S. in Aquatic Biology from UCSB. In working for the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research project in Moorea, French Polynesia, during her doctoral research, Erin has become passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility and has taken a leadership role advocating for the inclusion of traditional and ecological knowledge in fisheries management. She also has experience working as the Ocean Acidification Communication contractor with the NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Erin is excited to work towards her goal of working for NOAA in its efforts to work with local communities to protect natural resources.


Placement: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Headquarters, Ecological Services

Note: this story was updated with placement information from the July 29, 2022 version that announced the 2023 USCSG finalists.


About USC Sea Grant

USC Sea Grant’s mission is to contribute to solving the problems of the Urban Ocean, while recognizing the opportunities for coastal commerce, recreation, and improving the quality of life in coastal regions such as Southern California. Our program is based at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. We are one of 34 programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant Program.  

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