California Ocean Protection Council / California Natural Resources Agency

2023 EPIC Summer Fellow: Audrey Jung

2022 EPIC Summer Fellow:  Emily Zhao

2021 EPIC Summer Fellow:  Molly Glickman

2020 EPIC Summer Fellow:  Benek Robertson

2019 EPIC Summer Fellow:  Jacqui Vogel

About the California Ocean Protection Council:

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) works to ensure healthy, resilient, productive coastal and ocean ecosystems in California for current and future generations.  We achieve this by advancing innovative, science-based policy and management, making strategic investments, and catalyzing action through partnerships and collaboration. Our priorities include: safeguarding coastal and marine ecosystems and communities in the face of climate change; advancing equity across ocean and coastal policies and actions; enhancing coastal and marine biodiversity; and improving ocean health through a blue economy.

As a Cabinet-level state policy body nested within the California Natural Resources Agency, OPC advances the Governor’s priorities for coastal and ocean policy and works broadly to protect the coast and ocean in California. The seven-member Council is chaired by the Secretary for Natural Resources and includes the Secretary for Environmental Protection, the Chair of the State Lands Commission, two public members, and two members of the Legislature.  OPC is led by an Executive Director who also serves as the Deputy Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy for the California Natural Resources Agency.

Position Description:

  • Influence policy and lead collaborations that cascade across the California Natural Resource Agency
  • Participate in cross-cutting state, regional and international initiatives
  • Work with dedicated, passionate staff
  • Obtain experience working at the intersection of science, policy, and management

Potential Projects:

  • Advancing priorities in OPC’s 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean related to climate change, equity, biodiversity, equity, and the sustainable blue economy. 
  • Reviewing grant proposals for projects that support OPC’s programmatic priorities
  • Monitoring and analyzing state and federal legislation affecting ocean and coastal policy
  • Please visit the OPC website to see current strategic priorities and focal areas where potential projects are possible.

Desired Qualifications/Skills:

  • Strong communication, interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Ability to think critically and develop innovative ideas
  • Ability to manage multiple projects with tight deadlines
  • Ability to understand and translate science for diverse audiences
  • Ability to work effectively in a team and independently


  • Location for this opportunity can be flexible.  Currently, OPC staff are in office 2 days per month.   The EPIC fellow may choose to participate in this opportunity fully in-person or hybrid (at the CNRA Office Building in Sacramento, CA) or fully remote.
  • EPIC fellows have the option to work full-time (35+ hours per week) for 10 weeks (stipend: $7,500-$9,000, depending on financial need) or 12 weeks (stipend: $9,000-$10,500, depending on financial need) over the summer.

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