Coastal Management Fellow gains experience, continues career in Miami

October 1st, 2018 by

Indiana-Illinois Sea Grant (IISG) is part of a national network that leads, manages and coordinates a variety of initiatives, including interviewing and selecting fellows for the NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship Program (CMF). Monica Gregory was nominated to the NOAA CMF program by IISG while completing her Public Affairs in Environmental Policy master’s program at Indiana University-Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. During the final selection process, Gregory was matched with the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management.

Monica Gregory (center) works with staff and residents in Edenton, North Carolina in 2018.

Gregory moved to Beaufort, North Carolina shortly after obtaining her MPA. Over the course of her two-year fellowship, she worked on local-scale vulnerability assessments with government officials and community members across the coastline, from Pine Knoll Shores to the northern Outer Banks. Gregory’s work with the Division of Coastal Management created a pathway to more comprehensive state-level guidance on adaptation planning in the face of sea level rise, increased flood risk and other hazards related to climate change. Her time with the fellowship program honed many of her professional skills, including public meeting facilitation, survey design and research, vulnerability assessment design, GIS knowledge and intergovernmental coordination.

As her fellowship came to a close, Gregory accepted a position working on resilience and sea level rise adaptation for Miami-Dade County, Florida. She now works in the Office of Resilience in Miami to coordinate research between County departments, universities and consultants on a variety of systems impacted by current and future sea level rise, including infrastructure, natural systems and the economy. She is also working on projects related to the upcoming Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Greater Miami and the Beaches resilience strategy, which takes a holistic view of community resilience by identifying the shocks and stresses experienced by the region, from sea level rise and flooding to poverty and economic opportunity. Her skillset from Indiana University’s MPA program combined with her past experience working on sea level rise and community resilience through the NOAA CMF program were crucial to her professional development.


A personal note from Monica Gregory: “I was very fortunate to work with many capable, passionate people at the Division of Coastal Management and within local communities around North Carolina: Pine Knoll Shores, Oriental, Edenton, Duck and Hatteras Village. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, my thoughts are with the communities and people I worked with for two years, as well as all communities across the Carolinas, as they assess the damage wrought by the storm and seek a resilient path forward.”

Learn more about our fellowship opportunities online, or contact Angie Archer at (765)496-3722,


2017 Knauss Fellow Denise Devotta places with U.S. Representative

December 19th, 2016 by

My fascination with water began during my childhood. Growing up under strict water conservation measures in Singapore eventually led to working on nutrient loading issues relating to the Illinois River, and finally to my doctoral research on water quality in Alaska.

I brought all this to the Knauss Fellowship placement week in Washington D.C., where I proudly represented the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Placement week started out with a brief overview of the structure of the House and Senate, and the processes involved in creating and passing legislation.

Then came presentations from the 23 host offices, during which I and the other 11 legislative finalists were introduced to the personal offices of various members of Congress from across the country, and House and Senate committees that directly work on legislation concerning the nation’s oceans, atmosphere, and freshwater resources.

Over the next two and a half days, I interviewed with 20 different host offices. While admittedly they were  grueling, the interviews were also very rewarding. Through them, I learned about key pieces of legislation that impact much of the freshwater and marine resources I had previously worked on. More importantly, the interviews also enabled me to get to meet some of the incredible people serving in Congress as well as their staff, whose work for the benefit of their constituents is truly remarkable. Getting placed in a congressional office could not have been a better end to placement week for me.

Devotta_field shot1_cropped

I am very excited to be a 2017 Knauss Fellow in the office of California U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman. I highly respect the path Rep. Huffman took before entering office, and the legislation he has sponsored and co-sponsored since then, especially in regard to natural resources. I look forward to directly assisting Rep. Huffman with his work on the House Committee on Natural Resources, with an emphasis on the Water, Power, and Oceans Subcommittee, which has oversight jurisdiction for NOAA fisheries and coastal issues. I also look forward to working with the committee staff, staff from other congressional offices, representatives from industry, non-profit groups, district field staff, and constituents living in California’s 2nd district.

Additionally, I will serve as the co-director of the bipartisan Congressional Wild Salmon Caucus. Given the grave issues California and the nation are currently facing in terms of water and coastal resources, I am confident that serving as a Knauss Fellow in this office over the next year will teach me a great deal.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

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