MOSCOW — An expanded fellowship program at three Idaho universities places two scientists in Idaho state government agencies to lend their scientific expertise to policymaking.
The Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (ISTPF) is a nonpartisan program that places scientists, social scientists, and engineers in state government to learn first-hand about policymaking while using their knowledge and skills to address the pressing challenges facing Idaho. The scholarship, in its third year, is a partnership between Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho. The McClure Center for Public Policy Research at the U of I is responsible for the program.
New Fellows Anna Briggs, Ph.D. and Sarah Maher, Ph.D. began their fellowships in late August. Briggs will spend his fellowship year with the Idaho Legislative Services Offices and Maher with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. This is the first year that the ISTPF has placed a Fellow in the Legislative Services Offices. Previously, fellows have been placed with the Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the Action Center Idaho STEM.
“The Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship provides a rare experience for Idaho scientists, social scientists, and engineers to engage in policy development and implementation in the Idaho,” said Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee. “In return, the Idaho government benefits from the expertise and creativity of these fellows. The expansion of this program provides fellows with an opportunity to devote their considerable talents to addressing the pressing issues facing our state.
Briggs earned a doctorate in entomology and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in animal and veterinary science from the University of Idaho. His research has focused on vector-borne diseases, studying the biological factors that affect the transmission of the malaria parasite.
Maher is an interdisciplinary researcher specializing in magnetic studies and data analysis. She holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, an M.S. in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Victoria.
“The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is proud to partner with the ISTPF program to provide exciting opportunities for fellows interested in the intersection of policy and science,” said Mary Anne Nelson, administrator of the Surface Water and Wastewater Division at DEQ, a former host office that holds a seat on the ISTPF Advisory Board. “The program has recruited strong candidates who have provided valuable insight and assistance to our department, as well as experience gained in policy evaluation and implementation. DEQ looks forward to many more years of collaboration. »
The ISTPF has raised over $1 million to launch and grow the program. Sources of financial support for the third year include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Idaho National Laboratory on behalf of Battelle Energy Alliance, Idaho STEM Action Center, Micron Foundation, POWER Engineers, Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and individual donors.