NY Sea Grant Names Cornell's Jillian Cohen a 2012 Knauss Fellow

Doctoral student to serve on US House Natural Resources Committee

Contact: Barbara Branca, NYSG, E: Barbara.Branca@stonybrook.edu, P: 631-632-6956

Ithaca, NY, December 16, 2011 – Jillian Standish Cohen, a doctoral student in Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources will join over forty other graduate students from across the country as a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow starting February 2012. She will spend one year working within the legislative branch of government with funding from the National Sea Grant College Program.

Cohen, who received her Masters of Science from Cornell in 2009, will join the staff on the US House Committee on Natural Resources as a Sea Grant fellow where she’ll work closely with the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over a variety of areas, including fisheries management, wildlife conservation, estuarine protection, and Sea Grant programs.   

“Given the broad purview of the Committee and Subcommittee,” says Ms. Cohen, “I look forward to interacting with a variety of policy makers, environmental managers, and researchers on a range of topics. The experience will give me a chance to connect with scientists and decision makers at NOAA and the Fish and Wildlife Service.”
New York Sea Grant, a partnership between the State University of New York and Cornell University which supports the economic and environmental health of New York’s marine and Great Lakes’ coasts, endorsed Cohen’s candidacy for the National Sea Grant College Program-sponsored fellowship.

"Jill Cohen's Knauss Fellowship placement on the staff of the House Committee should be one of the most exciting Knauss Fellowships in Washington, says New York Sea Grant Director Dr. Jim Ammerman.  “Not only are committee staffers often the real experts, but the Subcommittee has held recent hearings on important issues including the Endangered Species Act, the President's Ocean Policy, and the Restoration of the Everglades."

Says Dr. Kathy Bunting-Howarth, Associate Director of New York Sea Grant Institute and Assistant Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension, "We're extremely proud of Ms. Cohen's work at Cornell and know that she will make an outstanding staff member with her ability to translate science to policy makers and stakeholders, much as we do in Sea Grant Extension." 

Cohen is well-versed in many environmental topics and related policies. While at Cornell, she was a 2008 recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Doris Duke Foundation Conservation Fellowship as well as president of both the Cornell Biogeochemistry Graduate Student Association and the Department of Natural Resources Graduate Student Association. Cohen combined her academic and research successes with outreach to community stakeholders by leading an effort among Cornell graduate students to create a “report card” for Cayuga Lake.

The Knauss program places highly-qualified graduate students from the nation's 32 regional Sea Grant programs in federal government host sites, working to establish and implement national policies related to marine, coastal and Great Lakes resources. Established in 1979, the program is named in honor of one of Sea Grant's founders, former NOAA Administrator, John A. Knauss.

For more information about the Knauss Fellowship, see the National Sea Grant website at http://www.seagrant.noaa.gov/knauss/.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), now in its 40th year, is a statewide network of integrated research, education, and extension services promoting the coastal economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness about the State's marine and Great Lakes resources. One of 32 university-based programs under the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, NYSG is a cooperative program of the State University of New York and Cornell University.

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