Jessica Watson, a December graduate of CSU Monterey Bay’s Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy masters program, has been selected as a California Sea Grant State Fellow.

Jessica Watson The State Fellows Program provides an opportunity for graduate students who are interested in marine resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources to get real-world experience. The program matches students with hosts in California state agencies for up to a year.

Watson’s assignment takes her to Oakland, where she’ll work with the California Coastal Conservancy on efforts to help the state prepare for climate change.

“I will be researching the most urgent management challenges, and the needs for funding or technical assistance to support climate change adaption,” Watson said.

Each of this year’s 13 State Fellows will receive a stipend of $3,300 per month.

"Jessica has been with us since her undergraduate years," said Dr. James Lindholm, director of CSUMB's Institute for Applied Marine Ecology. "She has been working at the interface of science and policy as a scientist. The Sea Grant Fellowship will offer her an exceptional opportunity to view the process from the other side. We are very excited for her."

In addition to the Coastal Conservancy, this year's host agencies include the California Natural Resources Agency, the Delta Science Program, NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the state Coastal Commission and the State Water Resources Control Board, among others.

This year’s fellows come from the disciplines of marine biology, physical oceanography, paleogeology, fish physiology, environmental toxicology and marine resource management It is the largest class since the fellowship program began in 1987.

Learn about the Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy program here.