Headlines for March 30, 2017
News from CCST
On March 1st, CCST Senior Program Associate Shannon Muir, PhD, spoke at an informational hearing on climate and environmental research in California, convened for the California State Assembly Budget SubCommittee on Resources and Transportation. Muir provided an overview of the environmental science and energy efficiency research portfolio of California's many federally funded laboratories --- including NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Ames Research Center, Berkeley Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory --- and how these Federal facilities and expertise can provide critical knowledge for state policymakers on issues affecting climate change and natural resources in California.
The CCST testimony followed that of Jay Keasling, PhD, Associate Lab Director at the Berkeley Lab, and of Arthur Ellis, Vice President Research and Graduate Studies at the UC Office of the President. CCST is proud to partner with both the University of California Systemand our Federal Laboratory Affiliates, in our role as conveners and guides to help California leaders access the scientific information they need to make crucial decisions for the Golden State.
And CCST is also proud to have cultivated and mentored amazing policy professionals like Muir --- whom we trained in the 2015 Class of our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, and subsequently recruited as a CCST staff analyst. In March, Muir departed CCST for a key position with UC San Diego. While we are always wistful at seeing a member of our CCST family head off to new adventures, we are even happier to celebrate their career successes and personal accomplishments. Please join us in wishing our fantastic colleague Shannon Muir all the best in her next professional journey!
Grantees for the new State Fellowships Planning Grant gathered at the AAAS Annual Meeting this February for their grant launch workshop hosted by CCST and AAAS. Representatives from the nine awarded state teams --- Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Washington --- joined staff from CCST, AAAS, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to learn and compare ideas for establishing science policy fellowship programs for their state capital.
CCST has appointed seven new members to our roster of CCST Senior Fellows, expanding the scope of our distinguished network of scholars and experts, and honoring their long-standing commitments to science and technology in California.
"The Senior Fellows serve as a tremendous resource for CCST," says CCST Executive Director Susan Hackwood. "We draw on their knowledge and experience both to produce the best possible analyses --- and to help share the results of these analyses with the right people at all levels of the State."
Our CCST Science Fellows
As part of their November training "boot camp", our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows get an up-close look at California policy issues and state history. And what more important to Californians than water?
In our latest "Fellows in Training" essay, 2017 CCST Science Fellow Anna Reade, PhD shares her reflections as a desert Californian and Chinese American visiting the historic and vital landscape of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta --- along with her photographs of the Delta's natural beauty.
Greetings from Sacramento
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
As a scientist and as a woman, I have seen firsthand the importance of leadership in encouraging girls and women towards scientific careers. When women engineers and scientists find success as leaders and role models in their field, we strengthen the argument that women should be given every opportunity to contribute to the human quest for knowledge. We further prove that the endeavor of science itself benefits most when ideas and decisions are not restricted to any single viewpoint or experience.
At CCST, we have the privilege of calling countless leading women scientists and engineers our champions, colleagues, and friends. Picking only three to highlight is a tall order, but I shall try to do so here.
This April 20th in Los Angeles, THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation will honor Jane Long, PhD, as their Woman of the Year. I have known Jane for years, from her time with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as its Associate Director for Energy and Environment, to her present membership on our CCST Council. Building on her training in biomedical engineering at Brown University and her master's in geotechnical engineering and PhD in hydrology at UC Berkeley, Jane's career stops include years as Dean of the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Mines. Jane's leadership at LLNL guiding their research programs in energy systems, atmospheric science, and geoengineering made her a perfect choice for Committee Chair on CCST's California's Energy Future project --- a series of seven reports we produced in response to Governor Schwarzenegger's 2005 Executive Order, to assess how California could pursue its climate and energy goals. Today, Jane is still an active advisor to CCST, guiding our current projects assessing underground natural gas storage in California --- and I am ever grateful for her time and advice in service to these pressing research questions facing our State.
Another of CCST's trusted advisors is Judith Swain, MD, who joined us this year as Co-Chair of the CCST Council and as a Member of the CCST Board of Directors, and was most recently the Executive Director of the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences of the National Singapore University School of Medicine. A world-renowned expert in cardiovascular research, Judy received her bachelor's in chemistry from UCLA and her MD from UC San Diego, before entering residency at Duke University's School of Medicine. At Duke, she joined the medical school faculty and became a pioneer in the field of molecular cardiology, exploring the genetic basis of cardiovascular development and disease. This launched a distinguished leadership career at the University of Pennsylvania, as Dean of the Department of Medicine at Stanford --- then returning to her Southern California roots as Dean of Translational Medicine at UC San Diego and Founding Director of its College of Integrated Life Sciences. Concurrent to her academic service, Judy has played leadership roles with the National Association of Physicians, National Institutes of Health, DARPA, and other organizations and agencies. As Judy continues her appointment as a Senior Fellow of the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research, I will look to her technical depth and experience in science management at institutional, national, and global levels, to steer CCST's programs and strategies.
For a science career story wonderfully intertwined with CCST, I must mention Sarah Brady, PhD, who joined CCST as a Senior Program Associate in 2016. Her training in chemistry at North Central College, Illinois, led to doctoral research at the University of Oregon studying the degradation of plastics, but a passion for communicating science and policy urged her to apply for our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship. Our selection proved wise: Sarah thrived in her 2014 placement with Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla. One of her bill ideas was signed into law by Governor Brown, and completing her fellowship, Sarah joined Assemblywoman Bonilla's staff as legislative aide, rising to the position of legislative director in 2016. Her technical background and her first-hand knowledge of California policymaking --- plus her time working on the assemblywoman's legislative focus on educators --- have come full circle at CCST. Sarah now manages CCST projects assessing policies for underground natural gas storage and biomethane delivery in California, while also advising CCST efforts to refine CalTAC as a policy leadership resource for STEM teachers. Not surprisingly, Sarah's rising career garnered her "Woman to Watch" honors from the California Women in Energy network this recent December.
And watching and learning we are --- from Drs. Long, Swain, Brady, and so many other women in science who are making a difference through their work with CCST, and in their public service to California, the United States, and beyond.With My Thanks,
Susan Hackwood, PhD
California Council on Science and Technology