The AGU Congressional Science Fellows for the 2012-2013 fellowship term are Erica Bickford and Kevin Reed. Their term will mark the 35th year that AGU has sponsored a Fellow and the third year that AGU has sponsored two Fellows concurrently.
Erika Bickford finished her Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin this summer. Her research over the years has focused on policy-relevant natural science topics, from the long-term effects of future climate change to investigating air quality impacts of transportation. She is working in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for the fellowship term. Kevin Reed completed his Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Space Science from the University of Michigan in January 2012. His scientific interests lie in weather and climate, including his study of atmospheric events such as dust devils and dust storms in order to develop a better understanding of their electric fields. He also studies climate models used to simulate tropical cyclones and help us better understand and prepare for future cyclones. He is working in the office of Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) for the duration of the fellowship.
Bickford and Reed arrived in Washington, D.C. in September and participated in a two-week intensive course on politics and the legislative process with other Congressional Science Fellows, hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Bickford and Reed were then interviewed by congressional offices and committees before being offered a position. Among their varied duties, they will help craft legislation, advise members of Congress on votes, meet with lobbyists and constituents, organize hearings, and write speeches and statements. Additionally, they may be asked to assist during congressional hearings or debates on the floor of the House or Senate.