Greenville’s Coleman awarded Knauss fellowship

Published 2:19 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2010

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) biology graduate student Andrew Coleman has been awarded a highly competitive 2011 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship from the National Sea Grant, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Coleman is the son of Mark and Connie Coleman of Greenville.

Coleman is a Ph.D. candidate in the UAB Department of Biology. The native of Greenville has spent the last five years researching the Alabama Diamondback Terrapin turtle, its survival status and conservation efforts aimed at sustaining the species. Coleman’s dissertation investigation, which will be completed in the fall of 2010, is thought to be the first study of its kind into terrapins native to Alabama.

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“This is a special honor for me and for UAB,” Coleman says. “After five years of field research, I look forward to the opportunity to better understand environmental public policy, how it is formed and how scientists and policy makers interact in the process.”

The Knauss Fellowship places graduate students with extensive field-research experience in positions with the federal agencies that establish and enforce national policies affecting the natural resources connected to the country’s oceans, coastal regions and Great Lakes.

Coleman is one of only 10 nationwide Knauss Legislative Fellows. He will be matched with a legislative subcommittee dealing with the environment or placed in a Congressional office to work on environmental policy issues for a full year starting in February 2011. Another 39 nationwide Knauss Executive Fellows will be placed with government agencies in the executive branch of the federal government.

The Knauss fellows represent the country’s 29 regional Sea Grant offices. Coleman is the only fellowship recipient from the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium region.

Coleman credits his faculty mentors, Thane Wibbels, Ph.D., and Ken Marion, Ph.D., for helping him build the strong research resume that secured the Knauss Fellowship. Coleman will be formally matched with a legislative office for his fellowship service during a week-long placement event in November.