WSG News Blog

Six Graduates Selected for the 2018-19 WSG State Fellowship

August 21, 2018

We are pleased to announce this year’s six Washington Sea Grant (WSG) State Fellows. The Washington Sea Grant State Fellowship (formerly the Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellowship) offers a unique educational opportunity for current or recent graduate students. This one-year paid fellowship program 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 Makah Tribe, The Nature Conservancy, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, The Washington State Department of Ecology (Shorelands Program), The Washington State Department of Ecology (Spills Program) and the Washington State Department of Health.

The 2018-19 State Fellows are:

Danielle Edelman

Danielle grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent much of her childhood exploring the California coast. After volunteering at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in high school, she earned a degree in aquatic biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduation, a job as a study coordinator made her appreciate the importance of understanding the interactions between science and policy, which led her to pursue a master’s degree at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, she wrote her thesis on navigating the regulatory barriers to native oyster restoration in Washington State, a project that greatly expanded her knowledge of environmental policy processes and decision-making. Between researching her thesis and interning with NOAA’s groundfish branch in Seattle, Danielle’s graduate school experience made her eager to begin a career in coastal and policy. As a WSG State Fellow with the Makah Tribe, Danielle will assist with the Makah Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and other ongoing projects. 

Felicia Olmeta-Schult

Felicia grew up on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, France, where she spent her summers on and in the water. Her love for the marine environment, strengthened by Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s worldwide expeditions on the RV Calypso, inspired her to pursue an undergraduate degree in oceanography at Hawaii Pacific University. She then earned a master’s degree in marine affairs at the University of Rhode Island, where she investigated the development and effectiveness of the International Mediterranean Sea Cetacean Sanctuary Agreement. She is now finishing her doctoral degree in environmental and natural resource sciences at Washington State University. Her research focuses on the human dimensions of Northern California marine protected areas (MPAs), looking at stakeholders’ perceptions on the effects of MPAs and the MPA planning process and the patterns of interactions between actors. As a WSG State Fellow at the Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, Felicia will work with other state agencies, organizations and local planners to develop state-level guidance for local governments that are using shoreline planning to address sea level rise. She will also help manage the Washington Coastal Hazards Resilience Network.

 Katrina Radach

Growing up in Washington State, Katrina has been constantly influenced and driven by the outdoors and her community. After attending the UW for a degree in oceanography, she became inspired to bridge the gaps between communities and marine sciences. She then attended graduate school at Western Washington University in environmental policy with a focus on marine policy. Between analyzing ocean acidification and collaborative barriers in the Salish Sea, and interning at Re-Sources Bellingham, her professional and personal goals to work with the community and marine science continued to grow. As a WSG State Fellow at the Nature Conservancy, Katrina will work on developing and conducting outreach for the Washington Coastal Resilience Project, engaging and implementing a network with the Community, Economy and Place Initiative, and develop a tribal engagement training for staff.

Brittany Flittner

Born and raised on the East Coast, Brittany spent most of her time exploring the beaches of Long Island Sound, garnering a passion for the natural world. As an undergraduate at the University of Rochester, she held numerous leadership roles for student organizations focused on fostering environmentally sustainable practices, such as EcoReps and GreenSpace. She participated in two summer internship opportunities: one with Virginia Tech focused on pathogens of public health concern, and the other as a NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholar researching the impact of ocean acidification on larval bivalves. After studying abroad in the Galápagos Islands, Brittany realized she wanted to work in a field focused on solving marine conservation issues with society at the forefront. This led her to spend a year as an AmeriCorps service member, and then enroll as a master’s student at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. As a WSG Policy Fellow, Brittany will work with the Department of Ecology’s Spills Program to aide in spill prevention, preparedness and response activities for the state of Washington.

Henry Peterson

Henry earned a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from Syracuse University and then worked for Brainlab, Inc., implementing new surgery procedures in hospitals around the country. After years of talking about fish and seafood with his coworkers, Henry made the switch to the marine world by enrolling at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs to study seafood, food security, Washington-based tribes, aquaculture and more. He completed his capstone project with The Nature Conservancy and Dr. Eddie Allison studying the interactions between chefs, seafood and sustainable seafood certifications in Seattle. Henry has worked with the Washington Department of Health to improve their programming and interactions with shellfish licensees and the Northwest Fisheries Sciences Center on effects of feeds on sablefish development. He is thrilled to work with the Washington Department of Health as a Washington Sea Grant State Fellow, where he will assess the Pollution, Identification and Correction (PIC) program to increase collaborations, capacity and implementation of projects, as well as integrate climate change resiliency.

Julie Ann Koehlinger

After working for many years as a registered nurse, Julie Ann returned to school at the UW to study oceanography. Her desire to learn how to effectively use science in marine policy decision making brought her to the UW’s School of Marine in Environmental Affairs. Her thesis focused on water temperature trends in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) during the years of “the blob.” She also completed the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science, during which she developed a capstone project that used mindfulness practices to motivate personal change around a person’s carbon footprint. As a Washington Sea Grant State Fellow, she will be working at OCNMS to co-lead the formation of a steering committee for an Olympic Coast Ocean Acidification (OA) Sentinel Site and assist with developing management goals and defining priorities and activities for OA work on the Washington Coast.