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Alum to White House Office of Science and Technology

December 23, 2020

Max Showalter, Ph.D. in Oceanography (2020) has been awarded a 2021 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Max Showalter will serve as an Ocean Policy Fellow at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This year-long position, which begins in February 2021, is the result of an application process followed by a two-week matching program which paired fellows with host offices based on interests and compatibility. Over the year, Max will work with the OSTP to support, advance and coordinate ocean and Arctic policy across multiple levels of government.

Max earned his Ph.D. in Oceanography in August 2020, with research focused on microbial ecology of Arctic sea ice. Throughout his program, Max collaborated closely with the Canadian Studies Center to complete coursework in Inuktitut, the Inuit language, addressing his interest in Arctic science policy. This work culminated with development of a brief review of climate change impacts on Inuit health in Nunavut which served as an appendix to his dissertation, and provided the cultural literacy and science policy skills necessary to successfully secure a Knauss Fellowship and match with the OSTP.

The title of Max’s dissertation is Acquisition, Degradation, and Cycling of Organic Matter within Sea-Ice Brines by Bacteria and Their Viruses. The appendix on policy is titled, Climate Change and Public Health: A Brief Review of Canadian Policies in Inuit Nunangat.

Jody Deming, Oceanography, served as chair of Max’s committee. Committee members included John Baross, Oceanography, Rebecca Woodgate, Oceanography, Jodi Young, Oceanography, Ceclila Bitz, Atmospheric Sciences (Astrobiology Representative), Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Chris Anderson, Aquatic and Fishery Science serves as the Graduate School Representative.