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July 23, 2019

Kate O’Dell considers career in science policy following colloquium in U.S. capital

Kate O’Dell’s air quality research has led to an adventurous and informative summer that may affect her career path. O’Dell attended the American Meteorological Society’s Summer Policy Colloquium in Washington, D.C., in June, and she will study atmospheric aerosols with the field’s leading experts July 22 through Aug. 2 at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

“I learned that our government and the entire legislative process is much more complicated than I imagined,” O’Dell said about the AMS Policy Colloquium, a 10-day immersion in the policy process and timely weather and climate-related topics.

O’Dell found there are many avenues through which scientists can inform policy, including congressional staffers with Ph.D.s in STEM fields, lobbyists that advocate for science-based policy, and scientists that work at the State Department on climate diplomacy. The colloquium offered graduate students an opportunity to meet policy makers and decision makers from Capitol Hill, federal agencies, academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. O’Dell even spoke with Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Kelvin Droegemeier, the president’s science advisor, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

O’Dell said the colloquium greatly increased her interest in science policy. She is now considering potential career paths in science policy after finishing her Ph.D., and she’s looking into policy courses at CSU this fall.

“A great way to continue improving our air quality is by maintaining a strong connection between scientists and policy makers,” she said.

Read the full Source article, “Summertime Standouts: Kate O’Dell.”

Photo at top: Atmospheric science graduate student Kate O’Dell stands in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.