For the second consecutive year, the American Society for Mammalogy (ASM), an AIBS member society, is sponsoring a graduate student's internship in the AIBS Public Policy Office in Washington, DC. The 2006 ASM/AIBS intern is Natalie Dawson, a PhD student in biology at the University of New Mexico. The internship runs from September to December 2006.
During her time in Washington, Dawson will have an opportunity to learn about science policy by participating in various public policy events, activities, and initiatives of interest to ASM and AIBS.
Originally from Michigan, Dawson received her undergraduate degree in biology/environmental science from Central Michigan University. Her doctoral research focuses on the mammals of the Alexander Archipelago (within the Tongass National Forest in Alaska). She is using genetic techniques to define endemic species on islands; these species will in turn serve as models for redefining the management techniques currently employed on this island system. For several years Dawson has also worked with her graduate adviser, Joe Cook, to conduct an inventory of mammals in the national parks of Alaska; the inventory is being carried out for museum collections, including the University of Alaska Museum and the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.
Dawson reports that she is "excited about the chance to work with AIBS. My research on the Tongass has given me a small taste of the political side of science, and I have enjoyed that aspect of my work immensely. This will be a great opportunity for me to apply the skills I have learned from working with government agencies in Alaska and to learn much more about the broader applications of public policy on a national level."
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