Amara Davis, a graduate from Savannah State University, and Maria Mercedes Carruthers Ferrero, a graduate from the University of Georgia officially began their 2021-22 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships.

The fellowship program is designed for graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, and in national policies that affect those resources. Davis and Carruthers Ferrero were selected as the two finalists to represent the state of Georgia as fellows working in Washington D.C.

Amara Davis was placed in the National Sea Grant Office where she will serve as a communications specialist. In her role, she will develop a podcast, Stories of Sea Grant, which highlights the accomplishments and impacts of Sea Grant’s education, extension and research initiatives. Davis will also help with social media and other Sea Grant communication efforts.

“I’m most excited about the Stories of Sea Grant program. I think it’s important to tell the stories of how these programs work, of the people behind them and the people that are affected by them,” Davis said. “I’m looking forward to learning how to use a new form of communication and getting to meet all the people who make this program work.”

Maria Mercedes Carruthers Ferrero was placed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Federal Insurance Mitigation Administration (FIMA) Resilience Planning & Safety branch. In her role as the coastal hazards mitigation planning specialist, she will be collaborating on FEMA’s National Mitigation Planning Program’s mitigation assistance, flood hazards mapping and building science programs about policy updates, training and communications. She will also be working to maintain existing partnerships and foster new ones to help the program achieve its goals.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to better understand the inner workings of a federal agency, such as FEMA, and the partnerships these agencies form. I am also looking forward to learning about current hazard mitigation planning policies and how they account for climate change and future conditions,” said Carruthers Ferrero, who will be learning more about the agencies ongoing initiatives in the coming weeks.