Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Places Scientists in State Agencies

MOSCOW – An expanded grant program at three Idaho universities is hiring two scholars in Idaho state government agencies to bring scholarly expertise to policy making.

The Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (ISTPF) is a nonpartisan program that introduces scientists, social scientists, and engineers to state government to learn firsthand about policymaking while applying their knowledge and skills to addressing Idaho’s pressing challenges to tackle The scholarship, in its third year, is a partnership between Boise State University, Idaho State University and the University of Idaho. Program leader is the McClure Center for Public Policy Research at the U of I.

New Fellows Anna Briggs, Ph.D. and Sarah Maher, Ph.D. started their scholarships at the end of August. Briggs will spend her fellowship year with the Idaho Legislative Services Offices and Maher with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. This is the first year that ISTPF has placed a Fellow in Legislative Services Offices. Previously, grantees have served 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 Idaho STEM Action Center.

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“The Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship offers Idaho scientists, social scientists and engineers a rare experience to engage with Idaho policy making and implementation,” said Kevin Satterlee, President of Idaho State University. “In turn, the Idaho government benefits from the expertise and creativity of these grantees. The expansion of this program provides grantees with an opportunity to use their considerable talents to address current issues facing our state.”

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Briggs earned a PhD in entomology and masters and bachelor’s degrees in animal and veterinary science from the University of Idaho. Her research focused on vector-borne diseases and examined biological factors that affect transmission of malaria parasites.

Maher is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in magnetic studies and data analysis. She holds a PhD in Earth Sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a Masters in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, and a Bachelors 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 grantees interested at the intersection of politics and science,” said Mary Anne Nelson, Administrator for the Department of Surface and Environmental Protection Wastewater at DEQ, a former host office, which holds a seat on the Advisory Board of the ISTPF. “The program has recruited strong candidates who have brought valuable insight and guidance to our department and gained experience in policy evaluation and implementation. DEQ looks forward to many more years of working together.”

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The ISTPF has raised over $1 million to launch and grow the program. Sources of financial support for Year 3 include 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, the University of Idaho and individual donors.

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