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three student headshots
From left, Aka Beebe, Anita Tsang and Kiloaulani Kaʻawa-Gonzales.

Three postgraduate fellows have a unique opportunity to work directly with state and federal agencies through the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) E. Gordon Grau Coastal Resource Management and Policy Fellowship Program (Grau Fellowship).

The paid fellowship, named in honor of Emeritus Professor E. Gordon Grau, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant’s visionary former director, provides students with the chance to obtain relevant policy experience in Hawaiʻi and, for many, to pursue career opportunities in their home state. It is hoped that Grau fellows will help to lead Hawaiʻi to a better future.

Postgraduate fellows

Anita Tsang, a recent graduate of UH Mānoa’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, brings her background in marine biology, conservation and scientific monitoring to the State of Hawaiʻi Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). Throughout her two-year fellowship, she will focus on effective management of nearshore waters, working directly with DAR staff, communities and stakeholders.

Kiloaulani Kaʻawa-Gonzales, who was born and raised on Molokaʻi and returned home with a master’s degree in fish, wildlife and conservation biology from Colorado State University, will be working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Pacific Region Executive Board on conserving natural and cultural resources in Lalo, or French Frigate Shoals, in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Aka Beebe, who successfully defended his graduate thesis in biological oceanography at UH Mānoa last year, is spending his fellowship at the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Region working on climate adaptation and planning for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Recruiting host offices

From now until March 1, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant is recruiting prospective host offices to provide educational opportunities to a new cohort of Grau Fellows who will begin their two-year fellowship on September 1. Host offices can be any municipal, state, federal agency or Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit organization that works on coastal or marine research, policy or management.

Host office applications should be submitted via email to Maya Walton at by March 1 at 5 p.m.

This fellowship is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF) and Building a Sustainable and Resilient Campus Environment: Within the Global Sustainability and Climate Resilience Movement (PDF), two of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

–By Cindy Knapman

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