OCEAN SPRINGS - Kirsten
Larsen is taking her firsthand experience in fisheries research
into marine policymaking at the national level.
A graduate student at The University of Southern Mississippi
and research assistant at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Larsen
has been awarded a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship
for 2005. The fellowship program matches legislative and executive
branch hosts in the Washington, D.C., area with outstanding graduate
students interested in ocean and coastal resources and related national
policy. The National Sea Grant College Program sponsors and manages
the one-year paid fellowship.
In November, Larsen will join 30 or more Knauss Fellowship
candidates from throughout the coastal United States in a round
of visiting prospective host agencies and congressional offices.
She will begin her appointment in February.
"Through her work at the laboratory, Kirsten
has encountered the complexity of fisheries issues and can see both
the state and federal perspectives," said Harriet Perry, director
of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the GCRL.
Perry is also Larsen's supervisor since she joined the laboratory
technical staff in 1996 and her faculty adviser in her graduate
"She has a natural curiosity about the environment,
and she is a problem solver," Perry said. "It doesn't
take her long to assess a situation and respond appropriately."
Larsen holds a bachelor's degree in biology from the
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is completing her master's
research at the Southern Miss lab. She plans to pursue a doctorate
in fisheries science and eventually work with fisheries research
"Because our research at the fisheries center
is often in collaboration with and in support of management agencies,
I have experienced and understand both the research and the management
side of fisheries," Larsen said. "The Knauss Fellowship
will give me the opportunity to better understand the priorities
of national marine policymakers and how best to provide them with
scientific information to help them make informed decisions that
affect fisheries at the local and regional levels."
The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is part of The
University of Southern Mississippi College of Science and Technology.