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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.


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