Congressional Science Fellowship
Todd Anthony Bianco
GSA welcomes Todd Anthony Bianco to serve as the 2012–2013 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow. Bianco received a B.S. in physics at the University of Rhode Island (2001), where he was captain of the cross-country team and was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Soon after graduation, he began work in the Mojave National Preserve, studying the local soundscape to assess the potential impacts of the proposed Ivanapah Valley Airport.
Bianco completed his M.S. (2004) and Ph.D. (2009) in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. His research combines computational modeling of mantle dynamics and melting to make predictions about the volume and composition of lava erupted at volcano groups such as the Hawaiian and Galapagos Islands and Iceland. For his research efforts during his tenure at Hawaii, Bianco was selected as the 2007 ARCS Mānoa Chapter Scholar and was awarded a Maui High Performance Computing Center Grant. Bianco has also achieved success as a science communicator, having won best presentation awards at the 2006 and 2007 AGU fall meetings, as well as the 2007 Albert Tester Memorial Symposium. In his first postdoctoral appointment, Bianco researched the potential causes and patterns of volcanism in continental environments on a project funded by the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. In 2010, he was awarded an NSF-EAR Postdoctoral Fellowship to expand his research on the fate of compositional heterogeneity in the mantle.
Bianco enjoys opportunities for education outreach. In 2007, he served as a science contributor and editor for a webpage that documented a seagoing expedition aboard the R/V Kilo Moana and led workshops and presentations related to the expedition at local schools. He also served as a visiting scientist in an NSF K–12 Program with Brown University.
As a Congressional Science Fellow, Bianco plans to rely on his experience with simplifying and scaling complicated systems and his ability to communicate scientific concepts to a wide range of audiences. Bianco relates that he is honored to serve as the 2012–2013 GSA-USGS Congressional Science Fellow and is humbled to follow in the footsteps of previous Fellows. He hopes to develop a credible and active voice for science, technology, and education policy during the fellowship year.