2017 Knauss Fellows Named
Next year, the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program will have two Knauss Fellows in Washington D.C. Alvaro Armas, a Louisiana State University research associate and recent LSU Master of Public Administration graduate, and Sarah Giltz, a PhD candidate from Tulane University, will be joining the 2017 class of Sea Grant Knauss Fellows in February.
The Knauss Fellowship, sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program, provides a unique educational experience to students with an interest in ocean and coastal resources and national policy affecting those resources. The program matches graduate students with hosts in federal, legislative or executive branch offices for one year.
The candidates share many parallels, having worked extensively with local species along the Louisiana coast. Alvaro continues to work with fisheries and aquaculture since completing research on tilapia at LSU. Giltz is completing work examining the effects of ocean acidification and oil exposure on juvenile blue crabs. Both candidates have collaborated internationally and examined impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. In addition, both candidates will be hosted by the executive branch next year.
Alvaro was awarded an undergraduate Fulbright Scholarship, and upon completion returned to his native Nicaragua where he worked with the Ministry of Fisheries. For over the last decade he has been at LSU, first as a graduate student then as a researcher. Despite all his collaborations, he still cites his work on the response team after the oil spill as his most relevant career experience. He hopes to use this and other experiences “for the bettering of those communities affected by natural and anthropogenic factors in the Southern United States.” Alvaro holds three master’s degrees, one in fisheries, one in aquaculture and one in public administration recently completed in May.
Giltz has participated in research from the tropics to the poles, working in the Antarctic Peninsula, Iceland and Panama, and currently pursuing her graduate work at Tulane. The 2010 oil spill had impacts on both her research and her outlook. “Marine policy work appeals to me in part due to its dynamic nature with issues of importance shifting due to new information and events,” Giltz states. “It continues to motivate my activities with a focus on fisheries, coastal management and science communication.” In addition to working with numerous groups in New Orleans, Giltz writes and edits for the marine science blog Oceanbites.