NOAA Sea Grant and Fisheries announce 2018 joint fellowship recipients

umaine student mackenzie mazur
Mackenzie Mazur

The National Marine Fisheries Service and Sea Grant have awarded one of seven fellowships to University of Maine doctoral student Mackenzie Mazur.

The fellowship will support Mazur’s research, conducted under advisers Yong Chen and Teresa Johnson, to develop a management strategy evaluation framework for the Maine lobster fishery in a changing Gulf of Maine.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mazur earned a bachelor’s degree in marine science from the University of Maine in 2015. Mazur has received both undergraduate and graduate scholarships from Maine Sea Grant.

“This fellowship will allow me to continue reaching toward my goals of informing fisheries management with science and playing an integrated role between fisheries science and policy,” she said.

The NMFS-Sea Grant Fellowship Program is a focused workforce development effort to train highly qualified professionals in areas of critical need for NOAA’s science-based approach to fisheries management. Mazur’s research on quantitative modelling, informed by qualitative methods, aims to inform management. “I think Mackenzie’s work will lead to the development of a cutting-edge tool for evaluating potential strategies in achieving management goals for the American lobster,” says Chen, professor of fisheries science at UMaine.

As part of her research, Mazur and undergraduate student Kat Murphy conducted interviews with 32 lobstermen, incorporating their knowledge into computer simulations of the fishery. Mazur’s research is truly interdisciplinary and integrative, says Johnson, associate professor of marine policy. “Her work uniquely illustrates the value of incorporating social science and fishermen’s insights into management.”

Fellows are chosen through a two-step competitive process that involves review by the sponsoring state Sea Grant program followed by a national review by an expert panel.

“Sea Grant is committed to developing a trained marine workforce through our network of university-based programs. The NMFS-Sea Grant fellowships are an important component to Sea Grant’s support of students and professionals in marine sciences and related fields. I wish to congratulate the seven talented fellows chosen this year and wish them luck on their projects,” says Jonathan Pennock, director of the National Sea Grant College Program.

A partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the state of Maine, the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine is part of a network of 33 Sea Grant programs throughout the coastal and Great Lakes states. Sea Grant funds marine research, outreach, and education projects and programs statewide.

A full list of fellows is online.