Milen Dyoulgerov and Maria Honeycutt, graduate students from the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies (CMS), have been selected for the 1998 National Sea Grant Federal Fellows Program. Sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the fellowship program matches outstanding graduate students with host agencies in the federal government, offering the scholars a unique, year-long experience working on marine policy issues. The fellowship begins in February.
"We are extremely proud to have two of our students participate in this highly competitive program," says Dr. Carolyn A. Thoroughgood, director of the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and dean of CMS. "They will have the opportunity to contribute to national policy-making efforts relating to the ocean and coast, and gain a bird's-eye view of the political process, which will enrich their future careers. Since many Sea Grant Fellows go on to careers in government, the program truly benefits our nation."
The chief ambition of Dyoulgerov, a Ph.D. student in marine policy at CMS, is to foster international cooperation in managing ocean resources. As a National Sea Grant Fellow, he'll have the opportunity to do just that through a new program at NOAA's Office of International Programs in Silver Spring, Maryland. "I'll have the chance to help build a brand new program and learn how to move from policy making to policy implementation on an international level," he says. "I hope to work on issues ranging from safeguarding the freedom of navigation, to the preservation of marine biodiversity."
A native of Bulgaria, Dyoulgerov holds a master's degree in engineering and navigation from the Bulgarian Merchant Marine and Naval Academy and a master's degree in liberal arts from St. John's College in Annapolis. He recently served as a research fellow with the International Maritime Organization in London and as a consultant to the World Bank, where he analyzed pollution trends in Central and Eastern Europe.
For her Sea Grant fellowship, Honeycutt will work in the Mitigation Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, DC, where she will focus on hurricane damage prevention and other coastal hazards issues. A native of Silver Spring, she has a bachelor's degree in geology from Smith College and recently completed her master's degree in oceanography at CMS. She plans to return to CMS next year to pursue her doctorate, with a specialization in geological oceanography.
"I've been interested in the policies guiding beach management and erosion mitigation since high school, when I first realized that policies are often inconsistent with the way the natural system operates," she says. "I'd like to help minimize the gap between scientific principles and the practices governing the development of coastal resources. I've been working on the science part for a while, and thanks to the fellowship, I'll now be able to gain experience in applying the science to policy. It's a great opportunity!"
Each of the nation's 29 Sea Grant programs may nominate up to four students to the National Sea Grant Federal Fellows Program. Of the 53 students nominated for this year's class, 27 were selected. The University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program is one of only five programs to be represented by more than one fellow.