UNH Graduate Student Wins Fellowship
Will Study Marine Protected Areas In The Gulf Of Maine

Contact: Steve Adams
NH Sea Grant

July 13, 2004

DURHAM, N.H. -- Jamie Leff, a University of New Hampshire graduate student in natural resources and earth systems science, has been awarded a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries/Sea Grant Graduate Fellowship.

The fellowship will provide Leff with UNH tuition, a stipend and a travel/research allowance, allowing her to pursue a doctoral degree through course work and research.

During her three-year fellowship, Leff, of Newmarket, will investigate the best way to design and locate marine reserves in the Gulf of Maine.

Marine reserves are areas of the marine environment set aside to protect part or all of the natural and cultural resources within its boundaries.

"Jamie Leff is a student with exceptional promise," says Andrew Rosenberg, Leff's faculty advisor and UNH professor of natural resources in the Institute for the Study of Earth, Ocean and Space. "I believe that she will make a substantial contribution to the field."

The National Marine Fisheries Service has conducted bottom trawl surveys in the Gulf of Maine since 1963, making it one of the most comprehensive and longest continually running monitoring programs in the world.

Using data from these surveys, Leff will identify statistical evidence of how the creation of marine reserves affects fishing pressure, and how these reserves in turn may affect marine biodiversity.

" The topic of Ms. Leff's proposed research is of direct and immediate relevance to the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in our efforts to evaluate alternative management strategies for fishery resources in this region," says Michael Fogarty, a senior scientist at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center who will serve as Leff's NMFS mentor.

During the three years, she will travel between Durham and Woods Hole, Mass., to collaborate with her faculty mentors and collect additional data onboard the NMFS research vessel, the R/V Albatross IV.

The National Sea Grant Office and NOAA Fisheries established the graduate fellowship in 1999 to increase expertise in fisheries science and to foster closer relationships between university and NOAA Fisheries scientists.

" We are very proud of Jamie, and excited about the partnership between UNH and NMFS' Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole," says Ann Bucklin, NH Sea Grant director. "These fellowships will help create a next generation of top-caliber fisheries researchers who will help NMFS and other federal, state, and local agencies and programs maintain necessary expertise in fisheries management approaches."