LSU Doctoral Student Ryan Orgera Named a 2013 Knauss Fellow

11/07/2012 09:18 AM

BATON ROUGE – Ryan Orgera, an LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology graduate student who will complete his Ph.D. in environmental geography this December, has been named a Knauss Fellow for 2013.

The National Sea Grant College Program’s Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, established in 1979, provides a unique educational experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean and coastal resources and national policy affecting those resources. The program matches them with hosts in legislative or executive branch offices in Washington, D.C., for one year.

Orgera grew up in Surfside Beach, S.C., and Englewood, Fla., but has lived in Baton Rouge for a number of years. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and a Master’s of Arts degree in French studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Orgera is fluent in French, Italian and Spanish, and conversant in Swahili. He has worked as a hazards mitigation and coastal management research associate in the LSU Disaster Science and Management Center for nearly three years, as well as a French instructor at LSU since 2008. He also taught English in France during the 2006-2007 academic year.

“Simply put, my foremost professional goal is to work toward a sounder model of sustainable marine stewardship,” said Orgera. “I pledge my unique skills as a marine geographer, editor, linguist, author, researcher and community leader to any task that leads to a healthier marine ecosystem. I am drawn to public service so to be able to effect positive change in how we treat and manage marine spaces, and I can’t think of any more distinguished way to start this career than as a Knauss Fellow.”

Orgera said through his doctoral research into congressional hearings, court decisions, executive orders and legislation, he discovered a pattern of reverence for the terrestrial wilderness emerges but not for the oceanic environment.

“This research will be invaluable to closing that gap,” he added.

Orgera is one of the 51 fellows selected nationwide for 2013. He was nominated for the Knauss Fellowship by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, and is the first LSU geography and anthropology student nominated by Louisiana Sea Grant.

The Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is named in honor of one of Sea Grant’s founders, former NOAA administrator John A. Knauss. For more information, visit

For more information on the LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, visit For more on the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, visit

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2012