AGU Selects Newest Congressional Science Fellows

7 May 2013
AGU Science Policy Alert 13-22

In September 2013, the newest set of AGU Congressional Science Fellows will join over 30 other scientists for a year on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The start of their term will mark the 36th year that AGU has sponsored fellows as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship. The AAAS program is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year; marking four decades of successfully connecting scientific fellows with congressional and executive branch offices.

To mark the 2013-2014 fellowship term, AGU is proud to welcome Aaron Goldner and Daniel Pomeroy.

Aaron Goldner is working towards finalizing his Ph.D. in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University this spring. His research focuses on understanding climate impacts and sensitivity of carbon dioxide and non-carbon dioxide forcings in past, future, and modern climate by using global climate models. As a scientist, Goldner strives to promote evidence-based decision making by linking scientific research with practical applications. In addition, he shows a clear passion for education and training, stating that “we must put sustained efforts into developing students and training scientists who understand science and are also able to intersect their knowledge with applied research agendas aimed at addressing societal needs. I believe collegiate educators should be trained and exposed to the policy realm and how policy decisions are made if they are going to instill a suitable problem solving framework into young scientists.”

Daniel Pomeroy completed his Ph.D. in High Energy Experimental Physics at Brandeis University in 2012 and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow on the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board at the National Academy of Sciences. His training as a physicist and current work on understanding U.S. nuclear safety and security give him a valuable perspective in preparation of serving his term as a fellow in Congress. Throughout his career, Pomeroy has been passionate about both science and policy and credits his success academically to his “ability to communicate [his] understanding of complicated technology and experiments.” As a Congressional Science Fellow, he hopes to bridge communications between policymakers and scientists, stating “the benefits of basic research are not always well understood by the public or by lawmakers. For this reason basic research requires advocates to explain the importance of funding work that does not have direct, clear practical application. In my role as a fellow I would be in a unique position to help communicate this importance to lawmakers and the public alike, a task that I am particularly well equipped to undertake.”

The Congressional Science Fellowship program provides a unique opportunity for scientists to spend a year working for a member of Congress or congressional committee. Fellows will gain invaluable experiences that help shape their careers–whether that includes returning to the academic field, or working for government, a non-profit, or other organization–and opportunities to be part of a cohort of S&T Fellows that include a variety of disciplines and expertise. The network of past fellows includes over 2,800 scientists and engineers, and features some prominent leaders such as Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ-12), David Applegate, Associate Director for natural hazards at the USGS, and Jessica Tuchman Mathews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

AGU will sponsor two fellows again for the next term to begin in 2014. For more information about the program including past AGU fellows, application deadlines, and benefits, please visit the websiteview AGU’s video on the fellowship program, or email Kristan Uhlenbrock with any questions.