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Science Policy

The country is experiencing, and will continue to experience, a multitude of harmful impacts from climate change on human health, businesses, tourism, fisheries, natural ecosystems, and more. Millions of Americans rely and benefit from coastal ecosystems and oceans; yet, these systems are in danger. We need science-based decision making to address these large-scale climate problems. Now in my position at the nexus of science and policy, I aim to serve as a liaison between scientists and policy makers to inform and create evidence-based policy. 

I worked with Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally (ESAL) to create informational videos and other multimedia content. ESAL is a national organization dedicated to increasing local civic engagement by people with backgrounds in STEM. 

I was selected for AGU's Voices for science. I was given science communication and policy training. I collaborated with AGU staff to conduct monthly outreach activities (e.g., meeting with local representative office, organizing guest policy speakers) for twelve months - from April 2022 - 2023.


American Institute of Biological Sciences'
Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award

I was awarded the AIBS EPPLA program for April 2022. This award gives graduate students a chance to engage with the public policy process.  I attended a boot camp on science communication on the Hill, followed by virtual Hill visits in April, and a future in-person paid trip to Washington, DC. 

I was awarded the ESA's GSPA in 2022. This award gives graduate students the opportunity to engage with policymakers while gaining skills in science communication and experience leading Hill visits. We received training on congressional culture, federal budgets, and message development. We had virtual Hill visits on Feb 16-17, 2022.  

As part of a team of other graduate students in southern California, I met with staffers from the following offices: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Sara Jacobs, Rep. Mark Takano, and Rep. Salud Carbajal. I was lead on a visit with staffers from Rep. Katie Porter's office.


As a GOLD Fellow in the Summer 2021, I interned with the Ocean Science Trust (OST). OST is a nonprofit boundary organization whose mission is to provide evidence-based information to decision-makers by facilitating collaboration among scientists, citizens, managers, and policymakers.

I assisted on several projects including conducting a preliminary literature review on the human dimensions for otter reintroduction and assisting with the engagement of the Ocean Protection Council's Science Advisory Team. I also led a team in writing a letter to NOAA administrators outlining California's efforts and progress in climate action. 

I wrote a short reflection of my time with OST. 

As the global climate continues to change at unprecedented rates, marine coastal systems and species will be profoundly impacted. With more than 1,000 miles of coastline, California relies on these ecosystems for tourism, fisheries, recreation, and more. But how will our coasts fare under future climates? Can we predict impacts of climate change on marine coastal systems and use this information to better inform ocean policies? UC Irvine Associate Professor and marine ecologist Cascade Sorte, along with UC Center Sacramento Gold Fellow Heidi Waite describe new discoveries on the effects of climate stressors in coastal systems and potential adaptation strategies. 

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