NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) - Coastal Management Fellowship Program

Tridec’s current contract with the NOAA Office of Coastal Management (OCM) includes the Coastal Fellowship Program and the Digital Coast Fellowship Program. Through the Coastal Fellowship Program, highly qualified, recently graduated masters, doctoral, and professional degree recipients (fellows) are matched with state/territory programs around the mainland U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and Pacific and Caribbean territories for two years. During these two year projects, the selected fellows work on the substantive state/territory-level coastal resource management issues identified by the selected states/territories’ proposals. Past projects have included creating and conducting user capacity assessments of prime tourist sites in the Mariana Islands, developing a methodology to evaluate and prioritize dredging projects in Delaware’s inland bays, promoting tourism to support coastal economies in Illinois, and improving effectiveness of Puget Sound shoreline armoring regulations. Through this program, OCM develops long-term relationships with the state agencies that receive the support of the fellows. The fellowship program, by delivering highly motivated and well qualified professionals, helps to fulfill OCM’s mission to provide technical assistance to state/territory coastal zone management programs on issues of high priority. The fellowship program develops future coastal managers for local, state, and federal government (72% of former fellows have successfully secured positions within government service as a result of their fellowship).

The Digital Coast Fellowship Program was modeled after the Coastal Fellowship program, but instead of placing fellows at state/territory Coastal Zone Management offices, this program places fellows with NOAA’s Digital Coast partners. Digital Coast is a NOAA-sponsored website, managed by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and first released in 2007. It was developed to meet the unique needs of the coastal management community. The website provides not only coastal data, but also the tools, training, and information needed to make these data useful. The Digital Coast Partnership is a group of eight national organizations that represent the primary website users and keep the effort focused on customer needs. They work with NOAA to ensure coastal managers have the relevant data, tools, training and information needed to make informed decisions about our nation’s coastal resources. The eight partners include: American Planning Association, Association of State Floodplain Managers, Coastal States Organization, National Association of Counties, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, National States Geographic Information Council, The Nature Conservancy, and Urban Land Institute.