Announcing the 2012 Delta Science Fellows Class!

The Delta Science Program has awarded seven new Fellowships in coordination with California Sea Grant. Four postdoctoral researchers and three doctoral students have been selected as the 2012 Delta Science Fellows class to address priority issues for the San Francisco Bay-Delta.

Since 2003, the Delta Science Fellows Program has paired graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with Bay-Delta agency scientists and senior research mentors at universities in order to address pressing science questions of the Bay-Delta system. The goal of funding this research is to invest in knowledge that will advance the understanding of the complex environments and systems within the Bay-Delta to aid policymakers and managers, and to train the next generation of research scientists to tackle water issues in California.

The Class of 2012 represents the seventh class of fellowships funded by the Delta Science Program in coordination with California Sea Grant. The 2012 recipients are:

2012 Postdoctoral Fellows
Fellow Lead Institution Topic
2012 Postdoctoral Fellow Iryna Dronova. Iryna Dronova University of California, Berkeley Model wetland plant cover to better estimate carbon fluxes and identify wetland bird habitats.
2012 Postdoctoral Fellow Emma Gatta. Emma Gatti Stanford University Develop a seismic hazard map to identify levees at high risk of failure during an earthquake.
2012 Postdoctoral Fellow Emily Howe. Emily Howe University of Washington Study whether and how marsh habitat loss has altered the base of the estuarine food web.
2012 Postdoctoral Fellow Brittany Kammerer. Brittany Kammerer University of California, Davis Investigate salinity tolerances of longfin and delta smelt.

2012 Doctoral Students
Fellow Lead Institution Topic
2012 Postdoctoral Fellow Lisa Komoroske. Lisa Komoroske University of California, Davis Investigate potential impacts of climate change on sensitive species such as delta smelt.
2012 Postdoctoral Fellow Gavin McNicol. Gavin McNicol University of California, Berkeley Explore methane production and carbon sequestration in wetlands.
2012 Postdoctoral Fellow Matthew Young. Matthew Young University of California, Davis Study the causes of recent resident fish population declines in shallow nearshore waters of the Delta.

For 2012, the Delta Science Fellows Program encouraged the submission of research proposals that addressed one or more of the following five main policy areas in the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan:

  1. Provide a More Reliable Water Supply for California

  2. Protect, Restore and Enhance the Delta Ecosystem

  3. Protect and Enhance the Unique Cultural, Recreational, Natural Resources and Agricultural Values of the California Delta as an Evolving Place

  4. Improve Water Quality to Protect Human Health and Environment

  5. Reduce Risk to People, Property and State Interests in the Delta

Each approved fellowship includes a team consisting of the fellow and mentors from a university and from an agency or other organization engaged in Bay-Delta Science.

During the fellowships, the fellow, community mentor, and research mentor will collaborate on the approved project. The research mentor will be in charge of the project, providing broad oversight and first-level peer review. A mentoring plan-a new component added this year-must be developed by the fellow in collaboration with the mentors.

In addition, the 2012 Class will attend an early career/leadership training program in January 2013 developed by the Delta Science Program and the Sea Grant Program. The mentoring plan and workshop will help ensure a quality experience for the fellow and provide a springboard to an exciting career in scientific research and application.

For more information and profiles of the 2012 fellows, visit the California Sea Grant page.