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MURP Student Receives NOAA Fellowship

Alex Kuttesch
Alex Kuttesch

By Pamela Stallsmith

Alex Kuttesch, a graduating student in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program, has been named a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Management Fellow.

The Coastal Management Fellowship was established in 1996 to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide project assistance to state coastal zone management programs.

The program matches postgraduate students with state coastal zone programs to work on projects proposed by the state and selected by the fellowship sponsor, the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. This two-year opportunity offers a competitive salary, medical benefits, and travel and relocation expense reimbursement

Kuttesch will be connected with the New York State Coastal Management Program within the Department of Planning Development.

"This is a highly selective and prestigious fellowship, and we are so proud of Alex’s dedication, tenacity and success in this national competition," said Meghan Gough, Ph.D., chair of the Urban and Regional Planning/Studies program. "This is a tremendous honor for Alex, as well as for the Wilder School and VCU."

Kuttesch grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., along Lake Erie. He earned his bachelor’s from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. After graduating, he worked in environmental outreach and education, as well as energy efficiency.

The Wilder School's MURP program allowed him to blend his interests in environmental studies with planning and public policy.

"The fellowship is a huge honor, and it will broaden my opportunities," he said. "This will allow me to work on one of the biggest environmental issues of my generation - rising sea levels."