Graduate Assistant Wins Prestigious Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship


Research Assistant Anna Hermes, a master’s of oceanography candidate in the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, was recently selected for the prestigious Knauss Fellowship by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC).

The Knauss Fellowship Program, created in 1979 as a Sea Grant vehicle to match marine science-interested graduate students with hosts in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, is a unique and competitive institution. Each year, graduate students from across the country apply for the highly competitive fellowship, and selected by merit of their academic record, interests and experience. The finalists are students whose achievements and initiative paint the promise of a stellar future. Hermes will represent New Jersey Sea Grant as a Knauss Fellow in the executive branch, an honor that recognizes her strong commitment to science and the environment.

Hermes’ continuing work in biogeochemistry at Rutgers University has already led to a greater understanding of organic carbon processing and transport in estuaries. Her master’s research conducted in the Delaware Bay, demonstrated that wetlands are significant contributors of land-derived carbon to the estuary, and suggests that wetland loss, modification or rejuvenation will affect estuarine carbon fluxes.

Hermes hopes the Knauss Fellowship can help to turn her master’s work into feasible policy. She envisions a future career path involving a position at a state, federal, or non-profit agency, conducting research and engaging in water resource policy and management.

Fellows receive $49,000 to cover salary, living expenses, travel funds, moving costs, and health insurance. Students in a graduate or professional degree program in a marine-related field at an accredited institution of higher education can apply through the NJSGC in February of each year.  The final selection is made by the National Sea Grant Office, which reviews applications submitted by Sea Grant Program Directors from each state. Selection is on a competitive basis and criteria include academic ability, communications skills, diversity and appropriateness of academic background, support of a major professor and support of the state Sea Grant Program.

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information, visit NJSGC on the web at or on social media at  and

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