Marine Science Graduate Student Appointed to Prestigious National Fellowship

TAMPA, Fla. (June 9, 2009) -- A PhD candidate in USF’s College of Marine Science is headed to Capitol Hill as part of a prestigious fellowship that will connect her research on the marine environment with national policy decisions.

Heather Havens was one of only two students from Florida to receive a John A. Knauss Fellowship from the National Sea Grant Office. Sea Grant is a university-based program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that supports coastal resource use and conservation.

As a legislative fellow, Havens will work either in the office of a member of Congress or for a congressional committee and advise lawmakers on marine policy issues. Havens fellowship will begin in February 2010 and last through January 2011.

At USF, Havens’ dissertation research has focused on developing modeling tools to better predict the occurrence of harmful algal blooms, a project she is doing in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She has also used her modeling programs to help the state predict the spread of a toxic chemical spill in Tampa Bay in 2007.

Havens is active in the community, volunteering as a tutor for grade school children, mentoring eighth-grade girls at the college’s oceanography camp for girls, and working as a volunteer at the annual Ocean Science Bowl, the Coastal Cities Summit, and at Florida Oceans Day.