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Non-Academic Careers: Science Policy

Non-Academic Careers: Science Policy

Hosted by: AIBS

Presented by: AIBS Public Policy Office

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
2:00 PM EST


Duration: Approximately 75 minutes

Webinar Description

Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as early career professionals in science, often contact AIBS seeking information about non-academic science careers. A growing number of individuals are interested in careers that allow them to apply their scientific skills to the resolution of societal problems. A common area of interest is science policy/government relations/public affairs.

Staffed by professionals trained in the biological sciences, the AIBS Public Policy Office works daily to communicate biology to decision-makers, the media, and the public. Thus, AIBS staff members are able to offer practical advice and recommendations to students and recent graduates considering a career at the interface of science and policy/public affairs.

This program will:

  • Provide information about employment options in science policy and public affairs;
  • Provide tips to help interested students and early career professionals develop the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the policy/public affairs sector; and
  • Help participants determine whether this career path is right for them.

This webinar includes a presentation by Dr. Robert Gropp, AIBS Director of Public Policy, and a panel discussion and Q&A session with individuals who have successfully transitioned from an academic background in science to a career in science policy/public affairs.

Biographical Sketches

Robert Gropp, Ph.D.
Director of Public Policy, AIBS


Robert Gropp joined the Public Policy Office at the American Institute of Biological Sciences in 2003, and is now director of public policy. In this capacity, he directs staff, develops policy initiatives, and represents policy issues to lawmakers, federal officials, and the news media. Gropp writes regularly about science policy, and serves as editor of the Washington Watch column for the journal, BioScience, the AIBS Public Policy Report, and the NSC Alliance Washington Report. With Dr. Holly Menninger, Gropp coauthored the publication, Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media. Additionally, he co-chairs two national science policy coalitions - the USGS Coalition and the Biological-Ecological Sciences Coalition - which advocate for increased funding for scientific research.

Prior to joining AIBS, Gropp was a Presidential Management Intern and a congressional science policy fellow. In these capacities, he has worked in policy offices for both executive branch and congressional offices. After leaving Capitol Hill, Gropp was briefly a visiting assistant professor of environmental science at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, and provided policy technical assistance to state officials through a federally funded public health grant program.

Gropp earned his BA in biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and Ph.D. in botany from the University of Oklahoma.

Ms. Julie Palakovich Carr
Senior Public Policy Associate, AIBS


Julie Palakovich Carr works in the Public Policy Office of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, where she develops and implements policy initiatives, communicates science policy to the biological sciences community, and enables scientists to engage in public policy.

Prior to joining AIBS, she served as a legislative fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. Palakovich Carr advised the Senator on marine and science policy issues within Washington state, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Palakovich Carr has a Master's degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Biology from Boston University.

Dr. Natalie Dawson, Ph.D.
Biologist, Dawson Research and Consulting

Natalie Dawson is a biologist in Alaska and a research associate with the University of New Mexico. She works for the USGS and Alaska Department of Fish and Game on various wildlife projects throughout Alaska. Previously, Dawson was the lead scientist for the Center for Biological Diversity, working closely with the Endangered Species Act and other policies directed at species protection.

During graduate school, Dawson's research focused on biological diversity of carnivores across the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska and incorporating this science in land management planning on the forest. She also spent a semester in Washington, DC, as an ASM-AIBS public policy fellow.


Webinar only

Webinar, 1 copy of the AIBS publication Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media (price includes shipping and handling)

Webinar and 1 copy of the book Guide to Nontraditional Careers in Science* (price includes shipping and handling)

Webinar, 1 copy of the AIBS publication Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media and 1 copy of the book Guide to Nontraditional Careers*(price includes shipping and handling)

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