Looking to Expand Your Professional Horizons?
Congressional Science Fellowship
Put your expertise to work helping shape science and technology policy on Capitol Hill. The GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow spends a year working as a staff member for a Member of Congress or congressional committee.
If you are an earth scientist with a broad geologic background, experience in applying scientific knowledge to societal challenges, and a passion for helping shape the future of the geoscience profession, GSA invites your application before the 1 February deadline. Please read our detailed fellowship page for more information.
Learn more about fellows’ experiences by reading current and past Congressional Science Fellow reports.
The Congressional Science Fellowship is offered by the Geological Society of America and the U.S. Geological Survey as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows Program.
Dr. Karen Paczkowski serves as the 2015-2016 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow. Karen holds a PhD in Geology & Geophysics and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University. She has worked in industry, academia, and non-profits, on topics that span science, engineering, and policy. She has conducted research on blood flow, mantle convection, and earthquake dynamics, designed airplane thermodynamic systems, and worked with policymakers to broaden support for investment in STEM research and education.
Karen earned her PhD in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University in 2012. Her research focused on determining the physical processes that control lithospheric drip instabilities and mantle flow in subduction zones. Karen’s research demonstrated that anomalous observations in many regions can be explained as extensions to the theory of plate tectonics.
This past year Karen served as the Geological Society of America’s Science Policy Fellow. Karen’s primary role as the GSA fellow was to act as a liaison between scientists and policy makers. She trained scientists to better communicate the value of their science to both policymakers and the public through communications workshops, webinars, and on-site training sessions. She kept GSA members updated and involved in the policy process by publishing articles about upcoming legislation, science policy events, and the importance of federal investment in science. She worked with coalitions of science organizations to write strategic communications and plan hill events for policymakers on the possible ramifications of upcoming science related legislation.
Karen is honored to be the 2015-2016 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Policy Fellow. During her year on the Hill, she hopes to tackle national challenges in energy, the environment, and STEM education. She plans to work on topics including (but not limited to) U.S. energy security, hazards preparedness and response, protection and sustainable use of natural resources, climate change mitigation and adaption, development of a competitive STEM workforce, and federal investment in STEM research and education.