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May 8, 2018

Erin Dougherty named SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellow

CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) has selected Ph.D. student Erin Dougherty as one of 20 early career academics to be a Sustainability Leadership Fellow for the 2018-19 academic year. Dougherty is advised by Assistant Professor Kristen Rasmussen.

“The SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows program immediately appealed to me because it seemed like a unique opportunity to work across disciplines at CSU and gain skills in science communication as well as public and political engagement. These skills are ones that are not explicitly taught in a Ph.D., but skills I consider to be extremely valuable since I desire to make my research applicable and meaningful beyond academia,” Dougherty said.

SoGES recognizes that CSU’s future Ph.D.s and postdoctoral researchers are a primary informational resource for the complex decisions that will determine our environmental future. Over the course of one year, the fellows receive training to become leaders for the future, learning to effectively communicate science to the media, policymakers and public. They also will receive training in professional development skills and techniques, and learn new strategies to build successful careers that incorporate meaningful engagement and an interdisciplinary approach to research.

“To get the opportunity to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds – students in political science, biology and natural resources – on the central topic of sustainability I anticipate will be a tremendous learning and eye-opening experience. It will be exciting to see what I learn from others and how I can apply it to my own work, as well as foster interdisciplinary collaborations,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty expressed how she will apply the fellowship to her career goals.

“My Ph.D. research is investigating how floods might change in a future, warmer climate. In addition to understanding the atmospheric processes that govern these changes, a huge motivation for conducting this research is to apply and communicate this research to a variety of sectors to help inform decision-making. This fellowship would give me the tools to effectively meet this goal, so that if I talk to policy-makers, media or the public, I can help them understand why we should care about floods in a future climate and how to translate knowledge into action.”

The Sustainability Leadership Fellows represent 15 departments and six colleges.

“I am excited to welcome our eighth cohort of Sustainability Leadership Fellows into the program, as we continue to equip CSU’s early career scientists to tackle our world’s biggest challenges,” said SoGES Director Diana Wall. “This program has become increasingly competitive, and I am thrilled at the high caliber of graduate students and postdocs at CSU who are motivated to be agents of change for a sustainable future.”

Learn more about SoGES and the Sustainability Leadership Fellows program here.

Read the SOURCE article, “Sustainability Leadership Fellows named for 2018-19.”