BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) biology graduate student Andrew Coleman has been awarded a highly competitive 2011 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium endorsed his application for the fellowship, which is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program.
Coleman is a Ph.D. candidate in the UAB Department of Biology. The native of Greenville has spent the last five years researching the Alabama Diamondback Terrapin turtle, its survival status and conservation efforts aimed at sustaining the species. Coleman’s dissertation investigation, which will be completed in the fall of 2010, is thought to be the first study of its kind into terrapins native to Alabama.
“This is a special honor for me and for UAB,” Coleman says. “After five years of field research, I look forward to the opportunity to better understand environmental public policy, how it is formed and how scientists and policy makers interact in the process.”
The Knauss Fellowship places graduate students with extensive field-research experience in positions with the federal agencies that establish and enforce national policies affecting the natural resources connected to the country’s oceans, coastal regions and Great Lakes.
Coleman is one of only 10 nationwide Knauss Legislative Fellows. He will be matched with a legislative subcommittee dealing with the environment or placed in a Congressional office to work on environmental policy issues for a full year starting in February 2011. Another 39 nationwide Knauss Executive Fellows will be placed with government agencies in the executive branch of the federal government.
The Knauss fellows represent the country’s 29 regional Sea Grant offices. Coleman is the only fellowship recipient from the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium region.
Coleman credits his faculty mentors, Thane Wibbels, Ph.D., and Ken Marion, Ph.D., for helping him build the strong research resume that secured the Knauss Fellowship. Coleman will be formally matched with a legislative office for his fellowship service during a week-long placement event in November.
About the UAB Department of Biology
The UAB Department of Biology is a dynamic academic partnership that provides a broad-based graduate and undergraduate education led by teacher scholars with specialties in comparative biochemistry, physiology and eco-physiology of aquatic organisms and microbiology. It is housed in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, home to academic disciplines that include the arts, humanities, sciences and the School of Education.
Story and photo courtesy of UAB.