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Knauss Fellow Profile: Violet Doucette

Woods Hole Sea Grant sponsored three 2022 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellows from Massachusetts. They are among 68 fellows placed in federal government offices in Washington, D.C. In this issue we profile Violet Doucette, who began her fellowship in the office of Sen. Ed Markey (MA) in February 2022.

Hometown: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Area of research focus/interest: Marine Science & Conservation; with a focus on climate change adaptation.

What are you doing during your Knauss Fellowship? I work for Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts!  More specifically, I work on his energy and environment team in DC and focus on issues related to marine policy, clean drinking water, and sustainable agriculture. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with incredible colleagues who lead on renewable energy, environmental justice, and public health. A lot of what I do involves working stakeholders from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other congressional offices to identify concerns and opportunities for collaboration.

What has been the most positive part of being a Fellow? How about the most challenging?  Being a legislative fellow puts you in an incredible position to learn. I work with an amazing group of people who have taught me a great deal about how the U.S. Senate operates – with insights that I can’t imagine finding anywhere else. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend climate summits, hearings, briefings, conferences, and tours of both NOAA research vessels and NASA flight centers. The opportunities’ to learn are immense – the challenge is having enough time to fully take advantage of them.

What’s one thing you’ve learned during your time in Washington, D.C. that has surprised you?   How many other scientists are on the Hill!

What was the last thing you read? All We Can Save” by Ayanna Johnson (Also a former Knauss Fellow!) and Katharine K. Wilkinson

Got any podcast recommendations? The Daily” by the New York Times.

Who has been your inspiration? My family

What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited and why? South Africa – I was taking a predator ecology class and got to dive with the sardine run off the east coast of the cape!

What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn about you? I’ve worked on a flower farm, oyster farm, and organic vegetable farm.

What are your plans post-fellowship? I came into this fellowship hoping to learn if I should continue my career in science or policy. I’m only three months into the fellowship but at this point I see myself pursuing a career at the intersection of both. 

What would be your number one recommendation to a younger version of your self? Trust yourself   

Cats or Dogs? Cats