Wearing the White Hat: Careers in Science Policy


Event Details


Interested in getting involved with science policy?  This dynamic panel will be done in Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) format. Hear from a variety of scientists in policy, including those who left research to pursue careers in policy and those who’s research jobs took them into policy. Come with questions!

*The Career Center is in the Poster Hall, you make a sharp right upon entrance and then the Center is on the right.

Fearured Panelists:

Paul Cassak is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University.  He received his Ph.D. from University of Maryland-College Park in 2006 and was a postdoc at University of Delaware until 2008.  His primary research focus is on magnetic reconnection in solar and space contexts using theoretical and numerical techniques.  He won a 2008 Fred L. Scarf dissertation award from the Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) section of AGU, a 2015 AGU James B. Macelwane Medal, and is a Fellow of AGU.  He has been a member of the SPA Advocacy Committee since 2014. 

Timia Crisp received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 2014. After receiving her Ph.D., she joined the Carnegie Institution for Science where she organized scientific programming and oversaw special initiatives for the Institution’s President.  Timia also worked on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as an AGU Congressional Science Fellow, where she worked on energy and environment issues, including safe drinking water, air quality, and contaminated properties. Currently, Timia works as the Public Affairs Analyst at AGU, where she helps to advocate for science and keep AGU members informed about policy. 

Terry Davies currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Geosciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation. Ms. Davies joined the National Science Foundation in 2006, as the Division Director in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. She also served as Deputy Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Department of Interior. Ms. Davies was a Corporate Manager for a large manufacturer of building products. She managed the Washington DC office and a team of state lobbyists. Ms. Davies also had several positions in California, including representing a state association and working in the state legislature. 

Karen Pearce is the Senior Legislative Affairs Specialist, National Science Foundation (NSF). Karen has worked in NSF’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs since 1998, with a five-year break from 2002-2007.  During this time, she spent 3 years as Deputy Chief/Chief of Congressional Affairs for the Bureau of Reclamation at the Department of the Interior, and two years as the head of Congressional Affairs at the Agricultural Research Service at USDA. Before joining the Executive Branch Karen spent from 1988-1998 as a professional staff member with the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. She has also worked in the personal offices of Rep. Judd Gregg, and Senator Bob Dole. Karen received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

Mike Wiltberger works as research scientist within NCAR’s High Altitude Observatory and heads HAO’s Geospace Frontiers section. His main area of research is in developing space weather models.  He has served as a panelist on numerous NASA and NSF review panels, chair of the GEM Steering Committee, vice-chair of the AMS STAC on Space Weather, and as Vice Chair of the Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Interactions Panel of the 2010 NRC Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics. He is the author or co-author of more than 125 publications in refereed journals and has given more than 75 invited presentations at conferences.