CERF 2023 Workshop

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Application Tips and Tricks for Early Career Professionals

Sunday, 12 November, 2023 

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

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About This Workshop

Applying to jobs and fellowships can be a daunting challenge for early career professionals; however, there are strategies you can use to develop a strong application package. Join NOAA Sea Grant and partners to gain hands-on experience drafting and submitting a competitive application package. 

As part of our mission,  Sea Grant provides education and support throughout students' careers to create a diverse workforce representative of the demographics of our nation. 

During the workshop, participants will gain hands-on experience with the application process from start to finish (reviewing the job/fellowship description, putting together a strong and competitive application, requesting letters of reference, communicating with program staff, submitting the application successfully and the interview process), and have the opportunity to receive feedback from program managers that may help enhance the quality of student applications.

The NSGO will sponsor 50 students to attend this workshop free of cost.

About the Presenters

Maddie Kennedy


Maddie Kennedy is the National Fellowships Manager, supporting both the Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and the NMFS/Sea Grant Fellowship. Additionally, she supports the disaster portfolio as part of the Resilience Team.

Maddie joined the National Sea Grant Office as a 2017 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, working on community resilience and disaster preparedness.

Prior to her fellowship, she earned a M.A. in marine science from the University of South Alabama, and received a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Human Health from Ithaca College (NY), Her Master's work focuses on the impacts of wintering waterfowl herbivory on seagrass growth and recovery along the North Gulf of Mexico. Prior to starting her Master's degree, Maddie worked in the Marine Ecology lab at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (AL) contributing to field research in near coastal habitats.

Amanda Lawrence


 Amanda joined the National Sea Grant Office in 2021 as the Fellowships Coordinator, shortly after concluding her 2020 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. As a Knauss fellow, Amanda worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through their Marine and Coastal Programs. Amanda received her M.S. in 2020 from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science while she worked at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology to enhance biological knowledge of the Jonah crab.

Her research focused on better understanding how sexual maturity relates to size in males in order to support management of the growing fishery. She received dual B.S. degrees from Salisbury University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Biology and Environmental Science with a Marine concentration. Amanda was an AmeriCorps crew member and naturalist at Tuckahoe State Park prior to her studies.

Amara Davis



Amara Davis is the Outreach Coordinator for the National Sea Grant Office. Amara received her Master of Science degree at Savannah State University with a research focus on Panulirus argus virus 1 in spiny lobsters and fishers’ knowledge of the disease. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Sciences from Savannah State University.

Amara was previously a Knauss fellow (Communications Specialist) with the NSGO, a Rethink Outside fellow, and an intern with Schmidt Ocean Institute (Communications). She also worked with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism as a Communications Executive.

In a previous life, Amara was a Bahamian national athlete, competed in the 2013 IAAF World Championships, and was a member of the 2012 Olympic team. Amara is also a proud wife and mother, an avid reader, and a lover of most outdoorsy things.

Hallee Meltzer



 Hallee Meltzer is the Communications Coordinator for the National Sea Grant Office. Previously, Hallee served as a Research Assistant with the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University. While there, she worked on projects and communications related to climate resilience in South Florida, evaluation of marsh ecosystem services along the east coast, and community influences on residential lawn care near the Chesapeake Bay.

Hallee has also worked on lagoon management applications of climate-related El Niño events as a NOAA Hollings Scholar with the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. As an intern with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory, Hallee created and presented workshops on Everglades restoration indicators to the public.

Hallee holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecosystem Science and Policy, with minors in Communication and Chemistry, from the University of Miami.

Brooke Carney


 Brooke Carney is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead for Sea Grant, the Team Lead for Communications and Publications, and serves as the program officer for Alaska, Oregon, and Washington Sea Grant programs. Brooke serves as the national liaison for the Sea Grant Traditional and Local Knowledge Community of Practice and on the NOAA Tribal Team as the representative for OAR.

Prior to joining NOAA, Brooke worked with federal, state, and local government entities. Brooke holds two masters degrees– an MS in Biology from University of Alaska Anchorage and an MPA from Georgia Southern University. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Biology from Georgia Southern University.