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Now I'll get to see how sausage is made...

The insight I’ve gained into how the legislative process actually works will be valuable to my future career goals. For scientists or engineers who believe that scientific facts are of primary importance in legislation with a technical component, a fellowship on Capitol Hill can be a real eye opener.

When Hurricane Mitch struck Central America...

Suddenly, the tapping of my keyboard was accompanied by stark images of human suffering and natural devastation on the television screen. As the crisis unfolded before me, it fired my urgency to leave the halls of academia and put myself into the active practice of public service.

Diplomatic was never the first word used to describe me...

I started in the midst of a swirling controversy regarding the role of science and technology within the State Department. We new AAAS Fellows found ourselves in the spotlight and uniquely positioned to cooperate with State’s newly-appointed science and technology advisor to strongly advocate in favor of a role for science in diplomacy.

The breadth of defense-related science is extraordinary...

In this role, I assumed the duties of the deputy for the Air Force dual use science and technology program, an annual $40 million congressionally-mandated program that attempted to cost-share militarily relevant and commercially viable technologies.

“Caramba, these people are good!”

Initially, I worked in EPA’s Office of Water on issues related to coral reef eutrophication. Later, I was placed in the National Center for Environmental Assessment and worked on problems associated with harmful algal blooms.

As I was about to leave graduate school...

As a Risk Policy Fellow, I worked on a variety of issues (mercury in seafood, dietary supplements, U.S.-Mexico border health), but my major project was a risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes (a common foodborne microbe that causes an uncommon but often fatal disease). Risk assessment is still very new in food safety and this study was just getting started when I began my fellowship, so I was able to get in at the ground floor and participate in adapting theoretical techniques to real-world circumstances.

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The perspectives and opinions expressed in any article do not necessarily reflect the views of AAAS, its Council, Board of Directors, officers, or members. AAAS is not responsible for the accuracy of this material. AAAS has made this material available as a public service, but this does not constitute endorsement by the association.