Center doctoral student Shali Mohleji worked with the Science and Space Branch of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this past summer. Shali describes it as the best job she has ever had with the ideal qualities of an extremely smart staff that was dedicated to science and space issues housed within an institution capable of shaping policy in profound ways.
The staff did not just hand over extra work but prepared a project that Shali was able to complete during the time she was there. They spent great amounts of time teaching her about the agencies, the budget process, and leading issues in space policy and science R&D. Beyond that, she was extremely impressed that the staff took interest in her personally, offering great guidance and training in efforts to prepare her for a future career.
Topics she learned about during the internship included policy issues revolving around the space shuttle retirement, the reorganization of NASA, the science R&D portfolio, the Advanced Technology Program, and the Small Business Innovation Research program.
Center doctoral student Adam Briggle attended the President's Council on Bioethics meeting in Washington D.C., Sept. 8 and 9, 2005. The Council was established by George W. Bush in early 2002 to advise the President on bioethical issues and to undertake fundamental inquiry into the social and human significance of biotechnological advances. Adam met most of the members of the Council and some of the staff. He is writing his dissertation on the Council.
Following a successful summer internship former Center doctoral student Shep Ryen accepted a position with the House Committee on Science.
This summer Center doctoral student Elizabeth McNie traveled to Iceland with an interdisciplinary team of graduate students to conduct research on paleo-climate, climate variability and Iceland's strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The research was funded through a supplemental grant from NSF's Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program. Elizabeth and the team will develop a multimedia educational DVD that focuses on the scientific, cultural, social, and environmental issues relating to Iceland's challenges with climate variability.
Elizabeth also joined the education team of the award-winning program, Students On Ice, a Canadian non-profit organization that takes students on learning expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. The expedition took 65 students from Canada, the United States, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland and China on a two-week voyage from Iceland to Greenland to Nunavut, Canada. The Arctic Environmental Youth Leadership Expedition focused on the environmental changes in the Arctic, as well as the impact of such change on the flora, fauna and Inuit populations, and inspired students to get involved in local and national issues back home. The group traveled by a small excursion cruise ship and made frequent landings via zodiac boat for hiking, exploring and visiting villages. For more information see the Students on Ice website.
Elizabeth gave a recent talk during the Policy Center's Noontime Seminar Series titled: "Climate Change, Experiential Education and Teenagers: My Experience with Students On Ice Traveling from Iceland to Greenland to Nunavut." Elizabeth and Maria Carmen Lemos (University of Michigan) organized a panel session at the 6th Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Community (Bonn, October 9-13) in which several members of the Center presented climate change research and assessment.
Elizabeth is also the Lead Graduate Teacher for the Environmental Studies Program for the second year in a row.