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Natural resources master’s graduate Sarah Lessard selected for prestigious Knauss Fellowship

By April 4, 2018March 18th, 2024No Comments

Auburn University natural resources master’s graduate Sarah Lessard of Franklinton, Louisiana, has been selected to spend this year working with the House Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C., as a Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow.

This highly competitive fellowship matches graduate students interested in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and the national policy decisions affecting those resources with governmental offices in Washington for a one-year paid fellowship. Recipients may be placed within the federal government’s legislative or executive branch.

“I can’t wait to spend a year in Congress working on issues that are important to me and seeing how my work will influence the policymaking process,” said Lessard, who earned a Master of Science in natural resources in the summer of 2017 from Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

She will be working with the committee’s staff, offices of members who sit on the committee, a variety of executive agency personnel, private sector stakeholders, the environmental community, academic institutions, scientists and other constituents.

“I hope to act as a resource for committee staff by offering my knowledge of natural resource management and social science,” Lessard said. “I also have some experience in science communication, so I am looking forward to using those skills for drafting talking points and statements for committee members.”

Lessard’s major advisor, Wayde Morse, said her research at Auburn will benefit her during the fellowship.

“Sarah’s excellent human dimensions research on endangered whooping cranes provided her the perfect background for working at the nexus of people and the environment essential for the conservation of our natural resources. She will be a great asset to the Natural Resources Committee.”

Lessard exemplifies Auburn student leaders who provide meaningful societal impact through research and outreach.

(Written by Maggie Smith)

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