The Working Waterfront

Two scientists win fellowships in Washington D.C.

Formerly with Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Farr and Rodrigue named Knauss Fellows

Staff Writer
Posted 2018-02-05
Last Modified 2018-02-05

Since 1979, the National Sea Grant College Program has administered one of the nation’s most prestigious marine policy fellowship programs, sending over 1,200 professionals with backgrounds in science, policy, management, and law to Washington, D.C. Knauss Fellows are matched with offices in the legislative or executive branch of government for one year. The list of 2018 fellows includes two former members of Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries’ team: Emily Farr and Mattie Rodrigue.

Emily Farr and Mattie Rodrigue were both accepted as executive fellows, with an educational and professional opportunity to explore how national policy decisions affect ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. Farr, who holds a masters degree in environmental management from Yale University, was nominated by Connecticut Sea Grant at the University of Connecticut. Rodrigue, who holds a masters degree in marine biology and marine policy was nominated by Maine Sea Grant, at her alma mater, the University of Maine.

Farr is working in the Habitat Protection Division for NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Habitat Conservation, promoting stewardship to support commercial and recreational fisheries, abundant fish and wildlife, and resilient coastal communities across a wide range of habitats, including wetlands, estuaries, rivers, and coral. Farr’s work will center on defined habitat areas—including the Penobscot River—where NOAA offices collaborate with partners to conserve habitat on a watershed scale. Farr previously served as a research fellow for Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, interviewing fishermen to chart local ecological knowledge of Maine’s fisheries. As a fellow, she will continue to advance the ecosystem-based management approaches she utilized during her time at the center.  

Rodrigue is serving as the special assistant to Craig McLean, the assistant administrator for NOAA research, which conducts and sponsors science related to oceans and coasts, climate, and weather. She will learn first-hand the complexities associated with operating a large science organization and how research decisions are made. Through her graduate studies at the University of Maine, Rodrigue was an onboard observer for Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries’ Sentinel Survey, working alongside fishermen to collect data on Eastern Maine’s groundfish populations. Through her fellowship, she’ll have the opportunity to contribute to science and policy decisions, as she did with the Sentinel Survey, but for a larger and diverse number of federal topics.

About Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries is a Stonington-based nonprofit that works with state and federal managers, as well as fishermen, community members, scientists, and partner organizations, to sustain fisheries and fishing communities in Eastern Maine and beyond.

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About the Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship

The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship provides a unique educational and professional experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The Fellowship, named after one of Sea Grant’s founders, former NOAA Administrator, John A. Knauss, matches highly qualified graduate students with “hosts” in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one year paid fellowship.

For more information: