As the first year of the California Science Technology & Policy Fellows program comes to a close, both houses of the California Legislature recognized the fellows placed within their respective chambers for their service.
“We want to thank all of the science fellows for a marvelous year,” said Senator Joe Simitian (Palo Alto) on August 20 when the S&T Policy Fellows who had been placed in the Legislature were presented with resolutions from the Senate commemorating their service. “It’s been tremendously productive.”
The California S&T Policy Fellows program places professional scientists and engineers in the California State Legislature for one-year appointments. These professional development opportunities enable fellows to work hands on with policymakers to develop solutions to complex scientific and technical issues facing California through their interaction with the legislative process. They assist their respective legislators and committees in formulating and evaluating S&T policy for California on issues ranging from healthcare to energy to water resource management.
The program was adapted for California from the American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional S&T Fellowship program. The 2010- 11 group of fellows will begin their terms in Sacramento in the beginning of November 2010 with a three week intensive “boot camp” training covering the Legislative process, the effective translation of science for policymakers, and tips for success in the legislative environment.
“We’ve benefited more from [the fellows] this year than they have from us,” said Simitian.
As the first year of the fellowship comes to a close the fellows are identifying their new positions. While some are still interviewing and looking for new opportunities many have identified their next positions with industry, a national laboratory, academia, a public health department, a state agency, and, in at least one case, a permanent staff position in the State Legislature.
“This has been a tremendous class of fellows with which to launch this new program” said Fellowship Program Director Lora Lee Martin, “As the fellows move on in their careers we look forward to continuing the relationship through their alumni connections to future classes.”
CCST welcomed the second class of fellows to Sacramento on November 1st, 2010 to start their training bootcamp lead by Thad Kousser, UC San Diego, Lora Lee Martin and Doug Brown, Fellows Program Advisor.
The recruitment and application period for the third year of the fellowship (2011-2012) opens on December 1st and will run through the end of March 2011. Information about the application process and the overall program can be found here.