UMaine Graduates Explore Marine Policy in Washington, D.C.

Two University of Maine graduates are the recipients of prestigious Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships awarded by the National Sea Grant College Program, according to Maine Sea Grant at UMaine.

Katherine Farrow of Cousins Island and Erin Wilkinson of Saco have joined 47 fellow graduates from throughout the country to work on marine policy in Washington, D.C. The one-year fellowships provide an opportunity for recent graduates to apply their scientific background to marine and coastal policymaking at the national level.

Since 1997, 12 of the Knauss Fellows have been from Maine, according to the National Sea Grant website.

Farrow completed her undergraduate studies in economics at UMaine in 2009, and earned two master’s degrees in global policy and resource economics and policy from the university in 2011 and 2012. She has worked as an assistant to the director of the UMaine School of Economics, and also collaborated with Maine Sea Grant and the National Sea Grant Network to survey and advance best practices for conducting economic impact evaluations of Sea Grant research, extension and education programs.

Farrow grew up on Casco Bay, where she first became aware of the intricate connections between ocean and coastal ecosystems and coastal economies. She also has worked as an island caretaker and field volunteer for the Maine Island Trail Association, a stewardship organization that cares for a recreational boating trail that links islands along the entire coast of Maine. For her Knauss Fellowship, Farrow is working as a fisheries economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Science and Technology.

Wilkinson received an undergraduate degree in marine sciences from UMaine in 2008, and completed her master’s degree in marine sciences at the University of New England in 2012, where she examined ecological relationships between predatory fish and lobster in the Gulf of Maine. During her graduate studies, she worked closely with recreational fishermen in Southern Maine to raise awareness about striped bass research and to facilitate local angler contributions to research efforts.

Prior to her graduate work, Wilkinson participated in numerous research projects through internships and research technician positions with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, UMaine’s Darling Marine Center and Aquaculture Research Center, the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, Ga., and MariCal Inc., an aquaculture research facility in Portland, Maine. In addition, she spent 13 months working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station on Antarctica. Wilkinson’s Knauss Fellowship position is with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Sustainable Fisheries.

The Knauss Fellowship was established in 1979 for students interested in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions that affect those resources. Qualified graduate students spend a year with “hosts” in the legislative and executive branch of government in Washington, D.C. The program is named in honor of one of the founders of the National Sea Grant College Program, former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss. More information about Knauss Fellowships is online.

Contact: Beth Bisson, 207.581.1440;