Peter Fippinger, Staff Member with Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

fippinger with lautenbacher
Left to Right: Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Peter Fippinger, Sea Grant Fellow

USC Sea Grant is pleased to have Peter Fippinger in Washington, D.C. this year as a federal Knauss Fellow. Peter is serving as a Democratic staff member with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He works with the Senior Council of the Subcommittee in supporting the Chairman of the Commerce Committee, Senator Ernest F. Hollings (SC); the Chairman of the Oceans, Atmosphere and Fisheries Subcommittee, Senator John F. Kerry (MA); and subcommittee members Senators Breaux (LA) and Inouye (HI); and other interested Committee members.

Due to the wide range of Committee interests, Peter has been exposed to a number of marine and environmental issues. Working with a relatively small staff, the daily responsibilities have been both diverse and dynamic. Specific responsibilities have included: preparing for Committee hearings and executive sessions (mark-ups); attending briefings, hearings, meetings and conferences on marine and environmental topics; developing, reviewing and analyzing legislation within the Committee's jurisdiction; tracking related legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives; researching topics of interest to Committee members; preparing memos and statements for Senator Hollings and other Committee members on oceans and atmospheric issues; and responding to constituent mail and requests.

So far this year Peter has:

- Drafted the National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002 (S. 2428), introduced by Senator Kerry (MA) on April 30, 2002

- Prepared background documentation and coordinated the Commerce Committee Hearing on the FY 2003 Programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

- Prepared background documentation and coordinated the Oceans, Atmosphere and Fisheries Subcommittee Oversight Hearing on Management Issues at the National Marine Fisheries Service

- Received budget and programmatic briefings by numerous Administration managers of the line and program offices of NOAA

- Attended Coast Guard Missions Day 2002 at the training facility in Yorktown VA, where he experienced first-hand, the major missions of the Coast Guard

Additionally, there are numerous ongoing activities which provide him with education on marine and coastal issues, the US legislative process, and on the administrative policies of existing US legislation. He has the opportunity to regularly interact with Congressional staff, NOAA's administrators, the Pew Oceans Commission, the Oceans Policy Commission and numerous other professionals in the marine policy field.

The Knauss Fellowship was established in 1979 to provide a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The fellowship matches graduate students with hosts in executive, legislative, or an appropriate association/institution in Washington D.C. for a year long paid fellowship.