University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

School of Freshwater Sciences

Prestigious Knauss Fellowship awarded to SFS student

 Fillingham Article Photo
SFS student Joseph Fillingham will spend the next year working for NOAA as a Knauss fellow.

UWM School of Freshwater Sciences (SFS) student Joseph Fillingham has been awarded a 2011 Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

The prestigious fellowship takes him to the Washington, D.C. area, where he will spend the next year serving as a research program analyst and coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Fillingham will work for the Office of Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes, in NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). His responsibilities will include acting as a liaison between OAR headquarters and various NOAA laboratories and cooperative institutes around the nation on matters of research, budgeting, and programming. He’ll also be involved in NOAA’s efforts to develop a long-term research and monitoring plan for the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of last year’s oil spill.

“I’ll be getting a crash course in how the policy and management world works,” says Fillingham, an SFS graduate student who plans to focus on freshwater system dynamics and policy in his doctoral work. “The experience will provide great networking opportunities and will be beneficial to my Ph.D work and future career.”

Named for former NOAA Administrator John A. Knauss and administered by the National Sea Grant College Program, the fellowship program provides a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with congressional staff or federal agency "hosts."

“Joe is a perfect fit for this position,” says Fillingham’s advisor, Associate Professor Harvey Bootsma. “He has good scientific skills and from the day he applied to SFS, he made it clear that he hoped to apply those skills in the policy arena. This position gives him the opportunity to do exactly that.”

Fillingham, who holds an M.S. in atmospheric sciences from UWM, is one of just 44 nationwide winners of the highly competitive fellowship this year. He is the fourth UWM student and the twenty-first Wisconsin student awarded the fellowship since the program began in 1979.