Rhode Island Sea Grant is dedicated to increasing knowledge and awareness of coastal and marine ecosystems for the next generation of professionals so that they may be stewards of these valuable resources. We are committed to providing hands-on educational opportunities for students across disciplines through fellowships, assistantships, and internships.


A communications internship opportunity is available to support the educational, outreach, and research communications efforts of Rhode Island Sea Grant at the University of Rhode Island (see

Description: This internship for URI undergraduate students is intended to help Rhode Island Sea Grant develop content highlighting issues of ocean and coastal resources, research, and human interest for public audiences. This internship will focus on story development through reporting/writing and/or photography and/or videography. Please describe your area of interest in your cover letter.

For the spring 2020 semester, this would be a paid internship of 10 hours per week. Course credit may also be available. This opportunity is available to URI undergraduates, preferably juniors or seniors with experience in reporting, photography, and/or video production and editing. An ability to work independently and take appropriate initiative are important to this internship, as are strong interpersonal and written communication skills.

To Apply: Please email your resume and cover letter to Monica Allard Cox, Rhode Island Sea Grant Communications Director, at



There are several opportunities for national fellowships for graduate students interested in coastal and ocean science and policy, including NOAA’s Coastal Management Fellowship, the NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship in population and ecosystem dynamics and marine resource economics, and the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow Program: Rhode Island Sea Grant sponsors law students as Sea Grant Law Fellows to research and write on ocean and coastal law issues including the resolution of marine resource management and conservation issues.

Established in October 2003, the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program located at the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law is one of only four Sea Grant legal programs in the nation.

The Legal Program responds to research requests from state and regional agencies and other Sea Grant constituents on coastal zone management, fisheries, public access, aquaculture, ports and harbors, and other areas of marine law.  The Legal Program is prohibited from providing legal advice or becoming involved in litigation.

The information provided by the program’s students and attorneys is intended for informational purposes only.

For more information, please contact Read Porter, Staff Attorney, Marine Affairs Institute, at or by telephone at 401-254-5734.

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Call for Applications for Class of 2021

Qualified individuals are invited to submit applications to the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship national competition. Selected finalists spend one year in the Washington, D.C., area working in a Legislative or Executive office on critical marine policy and resource management issues. This 12-month long Knauss Fellowship begins February 1, 2021, and provides a total funding amount of up to $74,000.* Rhode Island Sea Grant may forward the nomination of up to six students annually for this prestigious fellowship to the National Sea Grant College Program, which convenes a final selection panel to review all applications submitted nationally. Applicants must be enrolled in a U.S. accredited graduate or professional degree program in a marine or aquatic-related field in the U.S. or its territories on February 21, 2020.

Applications are due, using eSeaGrant, by 5:00 PM, Friday, February 21, 2020

Knauss Fellowship applications are developed in the eSeaGrant online system. Contact Alan Desbonnet to establish an account and begin your fellowship application.

Applicants will interview with a Rhode Island Sea Grant selection panel during the week of March 16, 2020, at a specific day and time to be established after the application deadline.

For the Fellowship Class of 2021, the selection process and subsequent notification of finalists by the National Sea Grant College Program will be completed in June of 2020. Finalists will be required to participate in “Placement Week,” an orientation program in Washington, D.C., typically held during late November or early December (Sun-Thurs) in 2020. For detailed information about the Knauss fellowship, specifics about the application process, applicant eligibility, and applicant evaluation criteria, visit:

* $47,500 stipend/living expenses + $11,500 for travel, moving costs, health benefits, etc. Host office may provide up to $15,000 for additional office-related travel but this is not guaranteed. Placement Week costs are provided separately through the Knauss Fellowship Program.

If you are interested in applying or have additional questions, please contact Alan Desbonnet, Assistant Director, Rhode Island Sea Grant, by phone: 401-874-6813 or email: For more information visit:

The NMFS-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program in Population and Ecosystem Dynamics and Marine Resource Economics is designed to help Sea Grant fulfill its broad educational responsibilities and to strengthen the collaboration between Sea Grant and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Since 1999, Sea Grant and NMFS have partnered to train students through this joint fellowship program in two specialized areas: population and ecosystem dynamics as well as marine resource economics. Population and ecosystem dynamics involve the study of fish populations and marine ecosystems to better assess fishery stock conditions and dynamics.

The goals of the NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Program are:

  • To encourage qualified applicants to pursue careers in either population and ecosystem dynamics and stock assessment or in marine resource economics
  • To increase available expertise related to these fields
  • To foster closer relationships between academic scientists and NOAA Fisheries
  • To provide real-world experience to graduate students and accelerate their career development.

To help achieve the goals of the fellowship, each Fellow will be required to work closely with an expert (mentor) from NOAA Fisheries who will serve on the Fellow’s committee. The mentor may also provide access to research data sources and to working/laboratory space in a NOAA Fisheries research facility and/or research vessel, if appropriate.


The Fisheries Fellowship is available to US citizens who are graduate students enrolled in PhD degree programs in academic institutions in the United States and its territories. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply. Foreign Nationals are not eligible.

Length of Fellowship

Ph.D. candidates interested in the population and ecosystem dynamics of living marine resources and the development and implementation of quantitative methods for assessing their status can receive up to three years of funding. Ph.D. students in marine resource economics, concentrating on the conservation and management of living marine resources, can receive two years of funding.

How to Apply

Opportunities are posted late in the calendar year. Applications are typically due in January.

For more information, please contact your local Sea Grant Program or

Rhode Island Sea Grant sponsors undergraduate Coastal Fellows through the Coastal Fellows Program of URI’s College of Environment and Life Sciences that is aimed at addressing emerging environmental problems from a range of disciplines and technologies.

The Coastal Fellowship Program provides training in both the classroom and applied venues to maximize educational opportunities. Coastal Fellows work within vertically integrated research or outreach teams that are problem-driven by nature. Teams involve some mix of faculty, research or outreach staff, land and sea grant educators, post-doctorate fellows, community professionals, and graduate students. These multigenerational teams provide students with a range of learning experiences and project-related support. Students take responsibility for a small piece of the project’s overall research or outreach design and follow the work through to completion.


Rhode Island Sea Grant supports two students for the academic year from the Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) program at the University of Rhode Island to work with scientists in developing solutions to the pressing problems facing coastal and marine communities.

The purpose of the program is to give MESM Fellows opportunity to contribute to the work of Sea Grant programs and gain hands-on experience in coastal ecosystem management. Focal topics of activity include fishery management, managing for sustainable coastal communities, aquaculture, marine spatial planning, and coastal zone management policy and law.

Fellows are assigned to a Sea Grant mentor who directs their work. MESM Fellows will develop their major paper project around the issue they work on with the Sea Grant scientists.

The MESM (Master of Environmental Science and Management) program is an interdisciplinary, professional degree that provides training to students interested in the application – and transfer – of science to environmental problem solving. The program builds intellectual depth through advising tracks and focused coursework in such as Sustainable Systems, Conservation Biology, Geosciences, Coastal Watersheds, and Spatial Analysis. MESM builds intellectual breadth through a mix of multi-disciplinary courses, development of real-world problem-solving skills through professional internships, and a capstone project in environmental management. MESM students work on practical issues in coastal ecosystem management, fisheries and aquaculture, water resource management, and creating sustainable and resilient communities.

This program’s mission is to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resources management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide project assistance to state coastal zone management agencies and other key NOAA partners. These two-year fellowships are offered by the NOAA Coastal Management Program.

For more information, see