University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


Shannon Burns awarded prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

The Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

The Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Photo credit by barnyz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. 

Written by Kristen Kusek, Communications Director for USF CMS

USF College of Marine Science Ph.D. student, Shannon Burns, is among 86 finalists selected for the highly competitive 2023 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, announced by NOAA and Sea Grant.

This is one of the largest Knauss fellow cohort in recent years, according to the official announcement.

“I am excited to pursue a career navigating politics to further ocean policy, with local stakeholder needs in mind,” said Burns. “I hope to use my experience with the Knauss Fellowship to become an effective translator of science.”

Burns is a student in the lab of Kristen Buck, Ph.D., where she investigates the feedbacks among phytoplankton communities and the bioavailable trace metal distributions of iron, zinc, manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt, cadmium, and lead.

Shannon Burns on the R/V Hogarth.

Shannon Burns on the R/V Hogarth.

In the press announcement, where you can learn more about how this year’s application processed differed from previous years and read more about the finalists, Jonathan Pennock, Ph.D., National Sea Grant College Program director, said, “The Knauss Fellowship offers graduate students the invaluable opportunity to put their academic knowledge to practice in tackling marine, coastal, and Great Lakes management and policy challenges at the federal level. We look forward to welcoming the 2023 class of Knauss fellows and seeing how they will apply their unique insights to developing solutions to some of the most important challenges facing the country.”

The fellowships begin in February 2023.

Congratulations, Shannon!

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Our blue planet faces a suite of challenges and opportunities for understanding and innovation. Our mission is to advance understanding of the interconnectivity of ocean systems and human-ocean interactions using a cross-disciplinary approach, to empower the next workforce of the blue economy with a world-class education experience, and to share our passion for a healthy environment and science-informed decision-making with community audiences near and far.