URI Marine Affairs master’s degree graduates Leah Feldman, Sabrina Pereira, and Ben Sweeney have all received two-year NOAA Coastal Management Fellowships in what is believed to be the first time three candidates from any state (and the entire contingent from Rhode Island) were selected for fellowships in this highly competitive program.
The fellowship matches postgraduate students with projects in six state coastal management programs. Twelve fellowship candidates whittled down from up to 55 applicants, spent several days in May at the headquarters of the NOAA Coastal Management program in South Carolina meeting with sponsors from the programs to discuss the fellowship projects and present their qualifications. At the end of what might be described as a grueling week-long job interview, Feldman was matched with New York, Pereira will be heading to New Jersey, and Sweeney will be returning to work in his home state of New Hampshire.
Dennis Nixon, Rhode Island Sea Grant director, is also a professor of Marine Affairs and had all three students in his coastal zone law class.
“We are one of a select few graduate programs that really emphasize the diverse issues faced in coastal management and the legal tools available to deal with those challenges. Each of them is well-prepared to join a professional staff and start making contributions immediately,” he says.