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Stories from the Field - May 28, 2018
Tackling Regulations in a State Working Group

Environmental geochemist and ESAL Alaska Chapter Lead Kendra Zamzow shares her experience effecting change in state policy. She participated in a technical working group for Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation to provide evidence-based recommendations for updated regulatory protections against contaminants in fishing waters.

Postcards - May 14, 2018
Attending a Public Utility Workshop

In this month's "Postcard", Rachna Handa describes how she attended a public workshop for her county's community choice energy aggregator. She walked away from this all-day public forum and panel discussion motivated and energized to take part in local decision-making.

Stories from the Field - Apr 23, 2018
An Astrophysicist Turns his Gaze to Gerrymandering

In this month's "Stories from the Field", we talked to Thomas Beatty, an assistant research professor in astronomy at Pennsylvania State University who is skilled at charting distant worlds. He applies some of the same STEM principles to the more down-to-earth subject of gerrymandering, which has been the subject of recent court rulings and ongoing political debate.

Postcards - Apr 9, 2018
Coffee with City Council Members

In this month's "Postcard", Griff O’Neill, a physicist by training currently working as an engineer in the semiconductor industry in California, describes how he sat down for coffee with two city council members from his community.

Stories from the Field - Mar 26, 2018
Navigating a Career in Public Service

Aruna Miller believes that there’s a strong need for the problem-solving approach that scientists and engineers can bring to office. After more than 20 years working as a transportation engineer for Montgomery County and other local governments, she ran for, and was elected to, the Maryland legislature in 2010. Now she’s running for Congress in her home state of Maryland because she believes we need more people with a STEM background making policy.

Postcards - Mar 12, 2018
Learning about Local Development Priorities

Jennifer Boehme is a marine scientist and advisor at the International Joint Commission in Windsor, Ontario, which is a commission of the U.S. and Canada that has oversight of border waters. She attended a city council meeting to understand local priorities for sustainable development, green infrastructure, and mass transit.

Other - Mar 12, 2018
AAAS Featured Force: ESAL Founder & Chair Arti Garg

A version of this post appeared on March 7, 2018, on AAAS MemberCentral, which features members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The post is reprinted here with permission. Arti Garg is the founder and chair of Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally (ESAL). She is also a data scientist living in the California Bay Area, where she serves on a municipal task force.

Stories from the Field - Feb 26, 2018
Civic Engagement for Sustainable Buildings

As an innovator and "maker" at the nexus of the built environment, energy, and transportation sectors; John Sarter frequently needs to integrate first-of-their-kind electrical systems with other building technologies. To accomplish this, he uses new materials and construction techniques that exceed, and help to advance, existing codes and local regulations. Even in a forward-looking city like San Francisco, though, the development of a building like Sol Lux Alpha – the first multi-unit residential nanogrid project in the United States – wasn't easy.

Postcards - Feb 12, 2018
Serving on a Citizens’ Advisory Committee

Amy Nagengast always thought that her engineering background and analytical mind, combined with her passion for infrastructure and buildings, might be a good fit for a local utility board at some point. She currently serves on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC).

Stories from the Field - Jan 29, 2018
Interning for a State Representative

Christopher K. Tokita interned for New Jersey state Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, Ph.D. While it may seem overwhelming to dedicate time to working in state government while also working toward a Ph.D., he found it to be very doable and rewarding. For him, it was an achievable way to explore public policy while continuing his scientific training and research.

Postcards - Jan 15, 2018
Visiting the Office of the Mayor

Tim Oolman has spent his career in industrial research & development, where his mission is to transform innovation into sustainable solutions in food and nutrition. As he looks toward the end of his traditional career, he is motivated to engage with his new community to address the broader challenges in our society and communities.

Stories from the Field - Dec 27, 2017
Taking Politicians to the Lab

Leah Pagnozzi started "Take a Politician to Work Day" out of a desire to give a voice to her fellow scientists and engineers. The program’s main goal is to reach out and build connections with city and state representatives. They accomplish this by bringing representatives to campus for lab tours led by graduate students and post doctoral researchers. They hope to encourage the development of an organic connection between scientists and policy-makers.

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