My involvement with the interface between science and public policy developed while I was a AAAS Science Policy Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1999 to 2001. I have a general interest in the synthesis of science for policy makers, with a particular interest in how the science of ecology can be used to inform decisions about natural resource management and environmental challenges. An example of my recent activity is an ongoing project with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on the possible impacts of wind energy development on wildlife. As part of this project I have been synthesizing both the research on possible impacts and the policy responses of different states.
During my tenure as an AAAS Policy Fellow, I became especially interested in the science used to evaluate the environmental consequences of adopting genetically engineered crop varieties. My involvement has included working to evaluate the implications of transgenic maize for Mexico with the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation organized under the Commission on Economic Cooperation (Part of the North American Free Trade Agreement - NAFTA). You can download a copy of this report here.
In 2005, I helped to develop a position paper on genetically modified organisms for the Ecological Society of America. This was published in Ecological Applications (Co-author with A. A. Snow, D. A. Andow, P. Gepts, E. M. Hallerman, A. Power, J. M. Tiedje).
More recently I have worked on projects for the National Research Council - the research arm of the National Academy of Science. In 2007, I was on the Steering Committee for a Workshop on Research to Improve the Evaluation of Genetically Engineered Organisms on Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife and Habitat. The workshop, sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Research Council, helped identify key research priorities related to biotechnology and the environment. You can access the report on the workshop here.
This was followed by my appointment as a Committee Member and Lead Author for Environmental Sustainability Chapter for a National Academies report on The Impact of
Biotechnology on Farm Economics and Sustainability, published by The National Academies in April 2010.