Annual Report 2015: Letter from CCST Board Chair
By CHARLES F. KENNEL
| February 19, 2016
As Board Chair, I've been proud to work with fellow
Board members to shape a proactive agenda for
CCST that addresses critical issues for the State
of California. I'm enormously grateful to the many
donors who've chosen to support our work. Their
support sustains our growth enabling CCST to fulfill
our core mission such as placing Science Fellows
directly with decision makers.
At CCST, our mandate is to leverage California's
scientific expertise in an efficient, nonpartisan manner
in order to provide rigorous, analytical assessments
of science- and technology-related issues for the
State. Doing this well means we have to look ahead
- working to understand not just what's important
now, but what will be important in the future. It means
taking the long view, as well as responding effectively
to current issues.
Most importantly, it means building a foundation of
trust that ensures our message will be heard by the
right people at the right times.
For example, one of the more pressing issues in
California this year has been well stimulation
technologies (WST), including hydraulic fracturing.
For decades, well stimulation techniques have been
used in California to extract oil and gas, but recent
increases in the amount of hydraulic fracturing and
horizontal drilling elsewhere in the nation have drawn
public scrutiny-thus raising the call for new data and
analyses on risk and opportunities for the practices
here in California. It is a subject where impartial,
scientific advice is critical.
I'm proud to say we've been able to serve the State
well. CCST worked closely with the Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory and other partner
organizations to convene dozens of experts from
many institutions to bring a new level of clarity and
detail on the potential environmental repercussions
of WST applications in California.
None of this would be possible if CCST hadn't already
cultivated an atmosphere of trust and collaboration
with State policymakers through a variety of efforts -
most significantly through our Science & Technology
Policy Fellows program.
Many legislative members can attest to how our
"Science Fellows" have underscored the importance
of hosting scientific expertise within the Legislature.
The cumulative legacy of our Fellowship program
has been extraordinary: most former Fellows remain
employed in some area of policymaking - nearly half
staying within the Capitol community.
Now nearly 70 members strong, our Science Fellows
and alumni form a growing network of valuable
and experienced professionals at the juncture of
science and policy, furthering CCST's transition into
an organization that gives California's policymakers
access to the scientific talent and expertise that they
need to lead the Golden State.
CCST was designed to serve as an impartial resource
to address complex issues facing California, and as we
conclude our 28th year of service to the State, I feel
confident in saying that we are stronger in our mission
than ever before. Our Board, Council, Senior Fellows,
Science Fellows and Alumni, partners and staff,
supported by our generous donors, make a fantastic
team who continue to make California stronger with
Charles F. Kennel is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Scripps
Institution of Oceanography; Founding Director and Chairman, International Advisory Board,
Environment and Sustainability Initiative, University of California, San Diego. He was elected Chairman
of the CCST Board in 2014.
To read or download the complete 2015 CCST Annual Report, click here.