Madyson Miller: The Coral Program's 2022 Knauss Fellow

In February, we welcomed our 2022 Knass fellow, Madyson Miller. Madyson was sponsored by Puerto Rico Sea Grant and holds a master's degree in marine and environmental science from the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). Madyson's interest in coral conservation started when she was a research assistant in Indonesia working on a variety of projects in the Coral Triangle. She helped with a variety of studies, like the impacts of noise pollution on clownfish and thermal stress of resilient coral species. Alongsider her classmates at UVI, Madyson published a project focused around the deadly coral disease in the Atlantic-Caribbean called stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD). Additionally, Madyson was involved in several campaigns relating to coral reef conservation including Global Coral Reef Week and SCTLD Awareness Week.

Woman with snorkel on her head smiling at the camera; beach in background.
Madyson Miller is the 2022 Knauss Fellow for the Coral Program. Photo credit: Emily Hotinger Photography.

“When I heard I was placed in the Coral Reef Conservation Program at NOAA, I was ecstatic! I am excited to work with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force to learn how national level coral policy is translated on a jurisdictional level, how to best communicate with stakeholders and managers, and support efforts in protecting our nation's coral reefs,” says Madyson.

For more than 40 years, the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, administered by NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program, has provided graduate and professional school students with experience in host offices throughout the executive and legislative branches of government. During the yearlong program, fellows learn firsthand about ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource management and policy. The Coral Reef Conservation Program has hosted many Knauss fellows over the years, and this year is no different.

Following in the footsteps of past fellows, Madyson will support the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) and the many coral reef efforts of each working group. Madyson is a key member on the Steering Committee of the USCRTF, which leads U.S. efforts to preserve and protect coral reef resources and includes 13 federal agencies; seven U.S. states, territories, and commonwealths; and three freely associated states. Madyson has found exciting opportunities to support the U.S. Regional Caribbean SCTLD Workshops through the Coral Disease working group; coordinate the effort to reinstate the Communication working group; and, assist in planning the 44th Annual Business Meeting in Kona, Hawai'i. In addition to the USCRTF, Madyson works within CRCP on social media, drafting the biological consultation for USFWS, and NOAA's Heritage Project!

Picture of a webpage with text and links and a blue background.
Screenshot of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force's Working group webpage.


Costa et al. 2021:
Counsell et al. 2020:

For more information on the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, including how to apply for the 2023 fellowship, visit

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