CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Encouraging scientists to hone their skills while securing the growth and protection of Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program has awarded nine emerging scientists with the 2017 Science Policy Fellowship.
Alongside those scientists, Islander alumna Dr. Brittany Blomberg, a doctoral graduate of the Coastal and Marine System Science Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, was awarded the fellowship and will receive a $55,000 stipend to continue her research and impact policy through her assigned position with the Texas General Land Office (TGLO) in Austin, Texas.
Recognized as Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s 2015 Outstanding Doctoral Graduate Blomberg’s research has been awarded and utilized in countless conferences across the nation from New Orleans to Myrtle Beach. Blomberg gives her sincerest thanks to Dr. Jennifer Pollack, Associate Professor of Marine Biology and Dr. Paul Montagna, Endowed Chair for Ecosystems Studies and Modeling at A&M-Corpus Christi.
“Through the interdisciplinary nature of the Coastal and Marine System Science Program, I am now prepared to step beyond traditional research and apply my knowledge across disciplines and different science policy sectors,” said Blomberg.
The Science Policy Fellowship is a competitive award that is aimed at supporting the development of future generations of scientists. Fellows gain first-hand policy making experience as they spend a year on the staff of federal or state environmental, natural resource, oil and gas, or public health agencies in the Gulf of Mexico region. Through this field-based learning experience, fellows learn what it takes to make scientific information not just useful – but useable.
“This will be my first experience outside of academia and I’m eager to put my skills and expertise to practice in a policy-making setting,” said Blomberg. “I want to gain insight into how I can make my research more usable to policymakers and this fellowship will provide me the opportunity to learn about science policy dynamics through an immersive, hands-on experience.”
As part of the fellowship, Blomberg plans to attend orientation in Washington, D.C. in September 2017 and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans in February 2018.
“Not only will this opportunity help inform my research to meet the needs of policy makers but it will also be invaluable for mentoring students that will be the next generation of scientists, resource managers and policy makers,” said Blomberg.
Blomberg has been working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab since finishing her degree at the Island University. She will start her position with the TGLO in September 2017.