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Caitlin Keating-Bitonti with U.S. Senator Tom Udall at the top of the Capitol.Caitlin Keating-Bitonti was the 2018–2019 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow and has continued to work on the Hill as the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State Office of Global Change.

How would you describe your experience as a Congressional Science Fellow?

Working in the U.S. Senate as a Congressional Science Fellow was an incredibly fulfilling experience, and I appreciated being given the opportunity to serve my member’s constituents and the American people. Although there were some long, hard, and stressful workdays, I loved each minute of every day—my year on the Hill showed me how hard congressional staffers work to serve Americans. I also enjoyed stepping out of my research niche to advise broadly on science policy issues, satisfying my academic passion for continuing to learn new things.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

At a young age I fell in love with fossils, which led me to pursue a research career reconstructing ancient environments using the fossil record. But through my research I became hyperaware that our current climate was on a frightening trajectory due to raising CO2 emissions. Thus, I wanted to shift my career focus so I could be in the room advocating for data-based policies, and advising the decision-makers on policies that help address the current climate crisis, protect the environment, conserve our public lands and their wildlife, and benefit the well-being of all American citizens. I believe my work in Congress helped to address aspects of all these important issues, which has further motivated me to pursue a career as a public servant working in the climate policy space. The GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellowship gave me the experience and allowed me to make this seamless career transition.

What are you most proud of from your time as a Congressional Science Fellow?

I was most proud of having the opportunity and trust from my Senator, Tom Udall (D-NM), to incorporate science data and facts into pieces of legislation that I was working on. This trust also came from the many science fellows who served before me to help build our incredible reputation on the Hill. I also enjoyed taking advantage of being a scientist to reach out to academics and scientists outside my field of expertise (e.g., fire ecologists) to ask for their inputs on aspects of legislation that needed to be grounded by evidence. I think collaborating across disciplines comes very natural to geoscientists given how broad our field is, and it was fun to continue and build on this collaboration in the policy world.

Why should people support programs like GSA’s policy work?

Having a scientist’s voice in the room with decision-makers is invaluable. Geoscientists, in particular, take creative approaches to solving problems, and we have a natural willingness to collaborate with others on issues beyond our own expertise. My fondest memory from the Hill was when someone said how much they loved working with Congressional Science Fellows with geology backgrounds (and actually sought geoscience fellows out). I think members of Congress and their staffers notice how creative and flexible geoscientists can be in our work, given how our field touches on natural resources, energy, climate, oceans, natural hazards, past and current Earth processes and events, etc. Geoscientists can inform relevant pieces of legislation and beyond using our scientific approach.

What would you like to say to other people who give of their time and resources to GSA?

I am incredibly grateful to those who generously give their time and resources to GSA. I attended my first GSA Annual Meeting when I was 19 years old and have looked forward to every meeting since—I feel a true connection to this community. Over my career, GSA has supported my research through grants and awards, published my results in Geology, allowed me to serve on its committees and share my opinions, and also provided me with the opportunity to transition my career from research to science policy. I was honored to serve as the GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow and to represent the Society and the geosciences on Capitol Hill. Thank you all who have contributed to and supported GSA to help make these opportunities possible.

Caption: Caitlin Keating-Bitonti with U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) at the top of the Capitol.

An unexpected boost will double the impact of any gift made to GSA’s Greatest Needs! A very generous, longtime GSAF donor wants to bolster this vital, unrestricted support to GSA to help where funds are most needed in shifting circumstances. The donor challenges members to help GSA “keep this show on the road!” and has offered a 1-1 match for every gift made to GSA’s Greatest Needs Fund between now and 30 June, up to $10,000.

These funds directly support programs that are essential for the furthering of geoscience—and do not go toward overhead. GSA leadership allocates the funds wherever the current need is greatest in the Society’s priorities: to increase student travel grants or research grant awards, for more On To the Future diversity awards, or to help fund the science policy fellow, to name just a few possible areas. Now more than ever, our Greatest Needs Fund is vital to sustain the very programs that define GSA and allow the Society to respond to those areas most impacted by changing circumstances.

Thanks to the generous support of many GSAF donors we have already raised over $18,000 for Greatest Needs and now with your help we can raise another $20,000 through this matching challenge.

Will you click DONATE at the top right and make a gift today that will help provide flexibility for GSA to strategically apply resources where they are critically needed—to the programs that matter most to furthering our science and advancing the geosciences in society?

Jim EvansJim Evans was the second Congressional Science Fellow (1987–1988) and is currently Professor Emeritus of Geology at Bowling Green State University.

How would you describe your experience as a Congressional Science Fellow?

The Congressional Science Fellowship is a very intense experience. You are working as a legislative assistant in one of three possible placements: in the personal office of a Member of the House of Representatives, in the personal office of a Senator, or in a Congressional Committee office. Each of these has certain differences and appeal. I chose to work in the personal office of Congressman Michael Lowry (D-WA), as his legislative assistant for science and the environment. In that role, I tracked legislation moving through different committees and found ways we could contribute (such as proposing amendments), tracked news items affecting the Congressman’s district, met with lobbyists (industry groups and environmental groups) and public interest groups (such as scientists and educators), wrote speeches and news releases, attended and helped organize hearings, and traveled to field hearings. You have to be able to work at a computer and phone in a crowded office with lots of things going on around you. You have to be able to multitask, be sufficiently organized that at any time you can hand off assignments to someone else, and be willing to deal with issues at short notice. It is about as different from a typical academia situation as can be found anywhere.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

I have always had an interest in science, history, and politics. Prior to being GSA’s second Congressional Science Fellow, I had worked for the USGS, the Minnesota Geological Survey, The Nature Conservancy; been a consultant with environmental groups; been a delegate to a political caucus; and some of my research had policy implications (part of a larger project on micro-contaminants in Lake Superior). Throughout all this, I met many inspiring people who apply their scientific knowledge to the public good. It seemed a natural thing for me to apply for the Congressional Science Fellowship after completing my Ph.D.

What are you most proud of from your time as a Congressional Science Fellow?

Because this is a time-limited experience (one year) with a very steep learning curve, most of what I accomplished happened near the end of my time (note: when I say “I” this means that behind the scenes, I convinced the Congressman to advocate these things). I am very proud of three things: (1) I initiated a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the decision to not list the northern spotted owl as an endangered species, against all scientific evidence. The GAO investigation found evidence for knowing and deliberate violations of the Endangered Species Act by senior federal officials. The most important result was the successful listing of this species as “federally threatened,” which had the effect of protecting large tracts of old growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. (2) I initiated a study by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) about the technology needs (such as robotics) for cleanup of liquid high-level nuclear waste stored in tanks at defense production facilities such as Hanford and Savannah River. (3) I am responsible for a congressional earmark of $7 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for a three-year study on the effects of radioactive iodine exposure on civilians in the western United States (“the down-winders”), specifically the correlation to thyroid cancer rates. The radiation exposures occurred in the 1940s–early 1950s during the early phase of the Cold War. Our action was a response to requests from the affected population, who were being given misleading information by the Department of Defense. Some of the individuals involved, who had been stonewalled for years, actually started crying when we passed the funding to initiate this CDC study.

Why should people support programs like GSA’s policy work?

Many scientists in the United States are enormously privileged—able to follow their interests in developing research projects; benefiting from public funding in the form of grants and scholarships; and being given a certain level of authority and respect by the public in recognition of their skills, knowledge, and training. Not everyone is able to follow their dreams, including even senior scientists in certain other countries. I think it is critical that we come to recognize that these privileges should come with responsibilities. There are many ways to do this, but the Congressional Science Fellowship program is a direct way of making a contribution to our citizens in exchange for all we continue to receive.

What would you like to say to other people who give their time and resources to GSA?

I would say thank you. There have been many other GSA Congressional Science Fellows, and I have served on GSA committees with many dedicated and talented individuals. If my experience says anything, it is that these efforts have made and continue to make a difference in people’s lives.

 

Lawrence MeinertLawrence Meinert was the 2010–2011 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Economic Geology, Affiliate Faculty at the Colorado School of Mines, and President of Meinert Consulting.

How would you describe your experience as a Congressional Science Fellow?

In a word, transformative. The Congressional Science Fellowship opened new vistas and capabilities that I would never have envisioned, nor thought was something I could do. It is without a doubt the most meaningful thing I have done in my professional career.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

It was an opportunity born of being in the right place at the right time. I had relocated to Washington, D.C., because my wife was called to join the Obama administration, and although I knew about the Congressional Science Fellowship program, I never imagined it as something I could or would do. The opportunity to combine my scientific expertise with the political arena was transformative. It led to a new career with the U.S. Geological Survey in which my newfound skills were essential. Although I had touched many lives during my 30-year career as a geology professor, in the political realm I had even more influence, and I owe it all to GSA’s support of the Congressional Science Fellowship program.

What are you most proud of from your time as a Congressional Science Fellow?

Being part of the incredible network of present, former, and future Fellows. We collectively are helping to make America a better country. My small part was in helping to develop an awareness of the importance of mineral resources in general and critical minerals, such as rare earth elements, in particular. This led directly to presidential and secretarial orders that reshaped national policy.

Why should people support programs like the GSA’s policy work?

The stated purpose of the Congressional Science Fellowship program is to inculcate scientific awareness and reasoning into the congressional process. But it works both ways. Congressional Fellows are transformed in their understanding of how the legislative process works, and it makes us better people as well as more effective scientists. In terms of “bang for the buck,” this may be the best of all uses of GSA Foundation funding.

What would you like to say to other people who give of their time and resources to GSA?

First, thank you. And second, by participating in GSA activities you not only are making the world a better place but you just might find, as I did, that you will grow to be a better person.

 

Ryan Haupt and Laura Szymanski in Wahihngton, D.C.Ryan Haupt is a paleontologist and podcaster currently working on his Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming, and he served as the 2019–2020 GSA Science Policy Fellow.

What was/is your role with the GSA Policy Office? And how would you describe your experience?

I served as GSA’s Science Policy Fellow from September 2019 to August 2020. The role of the Science Policy Fellow is to work with the Director for Geoscience Policy to track geoscience-related legislation in Congress by attending hearings and Hill briefings, keep GSA members informed about policy activities, help run the Geoscience Congressional Visits Days (which I participated in myself a few years back), work with GSA’s Geology and Public Policy Committee, and just generally help bridge the gap between policymakers and GSA’s members. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic I feel like I had two very different six-month fellowships. For the first six months, I was on the Hill a few times a week, in and out of meetings, learning my way around the tunnels underneath all the congressional buildings, and just having a blast. As you can probably guess from the long list of responsibilities it was a lot of work, but I was enjoying the pace and getting to meet so many smart and accomplished people.

Then we started hearing rumblings about a virus and the world turned upside down. One of the first major impacts on my life thanks to the pandemic was when the NE/SE GSA Section Meeting was cancelled, which was absolutely the right call, but also set the tone for just how different the rest of my fellowship would be. The rest of the fellowship was spent adjusting to the digital life we’ve all had to come to terms with. We still had a lot of the same meetings, but many of our science policy goals for the year were derailed by Congress dealing with the pandemic. Every major event was rescheduled for September, optimistic in hindsight, and after my term as fellow would be over anyway. I left the office in March and didn’t return until August to turn in my badge and laptop and sanitize my office for the next fellow. I was sad my fellowship ended during such strange times, but I’m glad to have accomplished what I could.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

I would say the two interests were sparked independently of one another and then grew together, like when stalactites and stalagmites connect and form a single column. In college, I ended up double majoring in biology and geology because I wanted to go into paleontology, but a specific paleo degree didn’t exist. I loved studying both, but really felt at home with the other geology students. I felt like I’d found my people. Like many others, college is also when I became a more politically aware and engaged person, but my true passion for the role of policy came from binging the—in hindsight somewhat fantastical—West Wing. I loved watching smart and competent people work together to accomplish big things in the service of other people. While I was in grad school, my girlfriend (now wife) got a job with the Smithsonian and moved to D.C., which was when I really started looking for opportunities in the world of science policy. My first opportunity was participating in a Geoscience Congressional Visits Day. After my day on the Hill meeting with legislators and their staff I was hooked, and I’ve been looking for opportunities to get and stay involved in science policy and the work GSA does in that space ever since.

What are you most proud of from your time with the GSA Policy Office?

I don’t have a single moment I’m most proud of while I was with the GSA Policy Office, but there are a few recurrent themes that I feel really good about. My favorite days were the days I got to spend on the Hill with GSA members interfacing with their legislators’ offices and staff. Helping geoscientists engage in productive conversations with policymakers was always a treat, and I felt like one of my strengths in my role as a fellow was serving as a liaison between those two groups in the moment. Early in the fellowship when I felt like I’d been tossed in the deep end a little, I’d had a long but productive day running around the Hill. As I was leaving for the day to head home, I turned and saw the sun setting behind the Capitol dome and just thought to myself, “Yeah, this does not suck.”

Why should people support programs like the GSA Policy Office?

I think there isn’t enough awareness around how much GSA does when it comes to science policy. I think our society could benefit greatly from more of our members taking an active interest in the science policy work being done on their behalf in D.C. Even making the occasional phone call to their specific congress people’s offices about the geoscience (and other) issues that matter to them can have a huge impact over time. I feel like geologists in particular can appreciate the large effects that a small but repeated process can have, given enough time.

What would you like to say to other people who donate their time and resources to GSA?

Thank you! Learning about and working on science policy for GSA was a great privilege for me and something I did not take lightly. The work certainly isn’t thankless, but it does largely fly under the radar. I want to offer kudos and make sure that those who donate their time and resources get the credit and appreciation they deserve for working to support our field and our community.

Caption: Ryan Haupt with 2018–2019 GSA Science Policy Fellow Laura Szymanski.

Mark LittleMark Little was the 2009–2010 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow, former GSA Councilor, and is currently Executive Director of CREATE, a global initiative building shared prosperity through applied interventions, research, and policy.

How would you describe your experience as a Congressional Science Fellow?

I had a phenomenal, formative experience as a Congressional Science Fellow, from the careful interview process conducted by GSA members with whom I am still connected, to the exceptional year of work and professional development curated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to the opportunities to further engage GSA post-fellowship.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

I am committed to people and to the planet. I think that the lines between different disciplines are useful and important, but for me they all wash together. I seek opportunities to use my understanding of the Earth for the benefit of people and vice versa.

What are you most proud of from your time as a Congressional Science Fellow?

I worked on the house foreign affairs committee during my fellowship year, which allowed me to contribute to policy at the intersection of human development and the earth sciences.  One exceptional opportunity was being part of an international effort to reduce the human costs of illicit mining.

Why should people support programs like the Congressional Science Fellow?

I believe that people should support organizations that are doing the work they care about. The Congressional Science Fellow program, and GSA’s broader public policy efforts, are well run, have tremendous impact on individuals such as myself, and inform policy that impacts the entire planet. So, if you care about any of that, GSA will put your dollars to work!

What would you like to say to other people who give of their time and resources to GSA?

I am personally indebted to GSA for providing a life-changing professional opportunity. I also feel that I have been able to do more and better work because of the opportunities GSA has provided. So, on a very personal level, I am grateful to those who give to GSA.

 

 

Kenneth B. Taylor pastKenneth Taylor was the 1991–1992 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow and is State Geologist of North Carolina, N.C. Geological Survey, Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

How would you describe your experience as a Congressional Science Fellow?

When I interviewed, Dr. Fisher at the University of Texas was one of the interviewers. Since the five previous GSA Congressional Science Fellows had moved from being on the staff of a congressional committee or on the staff of an individual Member of Congress, Dr. Fisher asked where I was planning to embed in the Congress. I indicated that I wanted to learn the legislative process and to focus on the hazards all Americans face from the natural environment—drought, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, flooding, etc.

I interviewed in several offices including that of Rep. Stokes, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Senator Harry Reid, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. I was interviewed by Ray Martinez, Senator Reid’s chief of staff. Ray had run Senator Reid’s first campaign—for student body president in high school! After talking with me for a few minutes, Ray excused himself and left me in his office alone. Less than three minutes later, the door opened and Ray introduced me to Senator Reid.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

My full name is Kenneth Belk Taylor: Kenneth is from my mother’s younger brother’s name—Joseph Kenneth Ingram—and Belk is from my mother’s older brother—Thomas Belk Ingram. Uncle Joe was a Republican and Uncle T. Belk was a Democrat. They loved each other and argued and always discussed politics. When Uncle Joe was old enough to vote in South Carolina, he went to the county seat of Chesterfield. He asked for a voter registration card. He wanted a Republican Party voter registration card. This was in the early forties, when there were no persons registered with that party in that part of South Carolina. Joe insisted that he be registered and he was, with the word REPUBLICAN written in red pencil across his card. I saw it many years later, framed in his brokerage office.

I was a rock hound from the sixth grade onward. I always knew I wanted to be a geologist.

What are you most proud of from your time as a Congressional Science Fellow?

Senator Reid hated to wear glasses in the Senate Chamber. I watched his speeches from his office. I noticed that he had a cadence in speaking, so I proposed to Ray that we increase the font size of the text he was reading and let him use his natural cadence of speaking. For example, “Fellow Senators, I come to you today, [flip page] to talk with you about, [flip page] women’s health.”

I stayed in Senator Reid’s office after the fellowship ended and was picked up by the U.S. Geological Survey to help put on an international conference on Arctic contamination in Anchorage, Alaska. Our first daughter was born in Arlington, Virginia, and we moved to North Carolina a few months later, where I was employed by the State of North Carolina. That was 27 years ago.

Why should people support programs like the Congressional Science Fellow?

As a Congressional Science Fellow, my job was to be an unbiased, technical explainer of complex issues in an easy-to-understand and fully accurate way. There was NO spin, or feeding the Senator information that ran counter to years of his legislative work. To me that is what a scientist is supposed to do: Give the facts and explain the details in language everyone can understand. That is why people should support the Congressional Science Fellow program.

What would you like to say to other people who give of their time and resources to GSA?

I salute ALL who help with their time and resources to the Geological Society of America. I will turn 64 this year. I joined GSA in 1977, around 44 years ago, when I was 20. I organized and ran the student assistants’ support at the 1989 GSA Annual Meeting in Saint Louis. I have also helped with a few of the GSA Southeastern Section Meetings. GSA has been a part of my life for decades. One of my colleagues from the American Association of State Geologists and one of my professors at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Robert D. Hatcher Jr. supported my elevation to GSA Fellow in 2018. GSA made these experiences possible.

 

Melody BurkinsMelody Burkins, Ph.D., was the 2000–2001 GSA/USGS Congressional Science Fellow and is currently the Associate Director for Programs and Research in the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, Senior Fellow in the UArctic Institute of Arctic Policy, and Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth. Pronouns: she/her/hers

How would you describe your experience as a Congressional Science Fellow?

In a word: transformational. My experience as a Congressional Science Fellow transformed my understanding of what I could do, and what impact I could have, with my Ph.D. in earth sciences. The experience also transformed my career path, leading to opportunities nationally and around the world as a “boundary spanner,” connecting the worlds of science, policy, and diplomacy to advance equity, inclusion, sustainability, and peace.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

For geology: I was first inspired by Professor Brian Skinner of Yale. From his introductory courses to advanced courses in metallurgy, his approach to geology always connected earth science to the arts, history, politics, and impacts on culture and society. Years later, during field work in Antarctica, my interest in politics was sparked by meeting with a delegation from the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee who, I learned quickly, had the power to support or deny funding to all future polar science research. It was that eye-opening experience that led me to apply to the USGS-GSA Congressional Science Fellowship program and begin a fascinating, rewarding career at the intersection of science, policy, and diplomacy.

What are you most proud of from your time as a Congressional Science Fellow?

I am most proud of the way I was able to bring my scientific expertise to my policy advising role in Congress, while also having the humility to realize my Ph.D. knowledge was critical, but not at all sufficient. I quickly realized the importance of expanding my understanding of policy issues with knowledge from a diversity of social, economic, cultural, and community stakeholders before giving advice on policies that could affect hundreds of thousands, even tens of millions, of people in the U.S. and around the world. In learning to do that, I was able to develop new expertise in relationship-building, creating trusted coalitions, and advancing shared goals through evidence-informed policy—skills that continue to serve, and advance, my career.

Why should people support programs like the Congressional Science Fellow?

The majority of individuals working in Congress are smart, driven, innovative, and service-focused individuals with backgrounds in political science, government, economics, law, and business. Having a cohort of smart, driven, innovative, and service-focused STEM professionals serving in the halls of our government is critical in a world that is increasingly shaped by science and technology, from IT innovations to life-saving vaccines. The work of GSA to ensure those science voices also brings a diversity of backgrounds and experience to D.C., intentionally working to dismantle centuries of systemic discrimination in both science and policy, and also helps us build a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable nation—and world—for future generations.

What would you like to say to other people who give of their time and resources to GSA?

GSA has been shaping and informing my career since my first annual GSA conference as a young graduate student. I remember being both intimidated and energized, attending a diversity of sessions ranging from isotope geochemistry to natural resource policy. GSA then supported my Congressional Science Fellowship and gave me my first platforms as a speaker, and leader, on science and policy to develop my voice and ideas. As my career progressed, that support and experience resulted in a call from the U.S. National Academies to join a committee devoted to advancing excellence in geoscience and diplomacy around the world, the U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Geological Sciences (USNC-GS). Fourteen years later, I Chair the National Academies’ Board on International Scientific Organizations and am active internationally on issues of science, policy, and diplomacy in the Arctic and around the world, focusing on inclusion and equity. GSA has given me—and countless others—the opportunity to pursue a diversity of impactful careers in academe, government, NGOs, and the private sector. I hope everyone will continue to give and support the work of such an incredible organization.

Photo attribution: Dartmouth photographer Eli S. Burakian.

Connor DaceyDr. Connor Dacey is the current Science Policy Fellow and a recent graduate from the University of Delaware, where he received a Ph.D. in disaster science and management after finishing his dissertation entitled, “The Perceptions of Storm Spotters as Part of a Natural Hazards Integrated Warning System.”

 

What is your role with the GSA Policy Office? And How would you describe your experience?

I am currently the 2020–2021 Science Policy Fellow with the Geological Society of America. My experiences as the GSA Science Policy Fellow are much different from those fellows that came before me due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, I have still been able to fulfill many of the same roles and responsibilities. My weeks consist of attending virtual meetings as a member of numerous working groups, such as the Geopolicy and Climate Science Working Groups. I helped assist with the first virtual Geoscience Congressional Visits Days, and attended the first virtual GSA Annual Meeting. I attend numerous webinars and take notes on topics relating to geoscience legislation and Congress. I also contribute to the GSA Speaking of Geoscience Blog and help to keep GSA members updated on the latest legislation. Overall, it has been a fulfilling experience.

What inspired you to work in both politics and geology?

Well, actually, my background is in meteorology and disaster science and management, and not geology. That being said, there are numerous geological hazards such as earthquakes and landslides that are of huge interest to me. When studying these hazards, I learned about the importance of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery policies in an effort to better protect both lives and property. These policies are often directly tied to geoscience legislation. This is when my interest in politics began to grow. I wanted to learn more about how politics influences disasters in the geoscience disciplines. As such, I applied to the GSA Science Policy Fellowship in the hopes of learning more about how scientists communicate with lawmakers, and ways to better bridge the gap between science and policy.

What are you most proud of from your time with the GSA Policy Office?

I am most proud of being able to work with such great colleagues here at GSA who have supported me in every possible way throughout my time as the GSA Science Policy Fellow, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am especially grateful for Kasey White who is GSA’s Director for Geoscience Policy. I cannot thank her enough for all her leadership, support, and guidance, as well as for giving me the opportunity to become the 2020–2021 GSA Science Policy Fellow.

Why should people support programs like the GSA Policy Office?

The GSA Policy Office has given me an opportunity to learn and grow in a field that I did not know much about before my fellowship experience. There may be many other scientists and early career professionals who want to become more involved in geopolicy, but are unsure about what they can do to become more engaged. The GSA Policy Office offers them these important and crucial opportunities to further their involvement and spur new interest. It is essential that others support programs like the GSA Policy Office.

What would you like to say to other people who donate their time and resources to GSA?

I would say thank you. The time and resources that others donate to GSA greatly help benefit early career professionals like myself who are eager to learn more about possible career options at the intersection of geoscience and public policy. The donation of your time and resources to GSA does not go unnoticed. I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities GSA has provided me, and I hope that others will continue to donate their time and resources to GSA in the future.

 

Enjoy this conversation between GSA/ZEISS 2020 Research Award recipient Tshering Zangmu Lama Sherpa and GSA Foundation Trustee Dr. John (Jack) F. Shroder, Jr., Special Assistant to the Dean of International Studies and Professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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