University of Washington's Penny Dalton
University of Washington’s Penny Dalton

When Penny Dalton accepted a prestigious Sea Grant ocean policy fellowship during graduate school, it forever changed the course of her career. Instead of focusing on fisheries research, she landed on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies and oceanographic associations and, ultimately, to Washington Sea Grant at the University of Washington, where she has served as director for 12 years. Dalton will retire May 1.

Dalton brought to Washington Sea Grant years of experience in ocean policy, research and outreach. She served as a staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for 13 years, then oversaw nationwide management of living marine resources as head of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service for two years. She also worked as vice president at a consortium of oceanographic institutes and universities across the country to further their scientific and educational goals.

Over the years, Dalton has mentored dozens of fellows who participated in the same program that launched her career, the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. She also managed four additional fellowship programs at Washington Sea Grant, including three she helped create.

Read the Q&A at UW Today »