WSG News Blog

Five UW Graduates Selected for the 2021–2022 WSG Hershman Fellowship

September 2, 2021

We are pleased to announce that recent University of Washington (UW) graduates Allison Lu, Corinne Noufi, Katie Byrnes, Katie Shelledy and Natalie Lowell have been awarded the Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellowship for 2021-2022. This fellowship places highly motivated, qualified individuals with marine and coastal host offices throughout Washington, providing fellows with a unique perspective on building marine policy and allowing them to share their academic expertise with the host offices.

This year’s host offices are the Northwest Seaport Alliance, Puget Sound Partnership, Port of Seattle, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and the Makah Tribe.

The 2021-2022 State Fellows are:

Allison Lu

Allison was born and raised in the Seattle area and grew up playing on Alki beach, kayaking across Lake Sammamish, and sailing around Puget Sound with her family. She spent her summers studying abroad and eventually moved to the United Kingdom to pursue her bachelor’s degree in law at University College London. After graduating, she moved to Southern California to be the primary guardian for her teenaged sister. She had developed a passion for environmental law throughout her undergraduate studies, so after her sister left the nest, Allison decided to pursue a master of public administration, concentrating in environmental policy, at the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. During this time, she also worked as the nonprofit coordinator at the Washington State Parks Foundation. Throughout her academic work in and professional experience in outdoor recreation and conservation, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in marine and coastal policy, specializing in natural resource management. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Allison will support the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s air quality and sustainable practices team with their climate and zero emission commitments.

Corinne Noufi

Hailing from Golden, Colorado, Corinne grew up doing outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, mountain and road biking, and trail running, and she still loves it all! She obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from Seattle University, where she studied fish food web ecology in Cambodia. This sparked her interest in fisheries and aquaculture and how human and environmental health can be supported by sound science communication and environmental policy. After graduating, Corinne worked for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, a nonprofit focused on regional ecological restoration work. Wanting to further her studies and connect science with law and policy, she began her master’s degree at UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, she worked on a two-year aquaculture campaign and completed a capstone project working with NOAA to develop a marine spatial planning tool for kelp and shellfish aquaculture site selection. She also had a summer science communication fellowship with UW College of the Environment. All of these experiences prompted Corinne to want to continue her growing her skillset for mapping, data analysis, and ocean science and policy through the WSG Hershman fellowship. Her position with Puget Sound Partnership will allow her to do just that.

Katie Byrnes

Katie grew up in Washington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Western Washington University. As an undergraduate, she interned with the Whatcom Land Trust’s stewardship team, performing ecological restoration and conservation site monitoring. After graduation she moved to central coast of California, where she began an internship in environmental compliance with the City of Carmel. This internship sparked her interest in science-based management and policy and led her to pursue a master’s degree from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, she collaborated on a capstone project with NOAA to create an interactive marine spatial planning tool for kelp restoration and aquaculture in Puget Sound. Concurrently, she earned a graduate certificate in climate science from the Program on Climate Change, where her capstone focused on designing an educational curriculum that the taught the effect of ocean acidification on Washington’s nearshore eelgrass ecosystems. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Katie will work with the Port of Seattle in developing a multi-site habitat mitigation bank in the Green Duwamish River Watershed, along with other ongoing projects.

Katie Shelledy

Katie grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin along the “fresh coast” of Lake Michigan and then attended Juniata College in central Pennsylvania. While Pennsylvania is dominated by rivers, Katie also had opportunities to study salt water through a guest term at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, study abroad at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and a NOAA Hollings internship in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Between college and graduate school, Katie lived in New Jersey, where she worked with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center to study how wind energy development affects behavior of the local black sea bass. Katie has now earned her master’s degree from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and she is excited to apply her newly gained experience in human dimensions and equity within ocean governance to a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellowship. Katie cannot wait to work with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and to study the social and ecological benefits of salmon hatcheries.

Natalie Lowell

To prepare for a career supporting equitable and sustainable natural resource management, Natalie pursued joint interests of science and policy. During her time at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, she compared agency use of “best available science” under the Endangered Species Act and researched the effects of urbanization on marine ecology in the Puget Sound. For her doctoral degree at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Natalie used a multidisciplinary approach to fill knowledge gaps regarding the genetic risks of native shellfish aquaculture. Specifically, she analyzed genetic data from wild shellfish populations to inform aquaculture management, interviewed co-managers to characterize this emerging policy issue, and developed a simulation model for evaluating genetic risks to wild populations under different shellfish production scenarios. Natalie is excited to apply her experiences and learn new skills, as she moves out of academia and into practice. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with the Makah Tribe, Natalie will support a variety of projects related to oil spill prevention and response, vessel traffic safety, climate resilience, and treaty resource protection.

Congratulations, Fellows! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish.