If you’re a grad student who has wondered if your ecology Ph.D. will be useful outside of academia, check out these lessons learned after a summer in Washington, D.C.! Ecologists interested in the types of science policy opportunities for our field will want to check out these lessons as well.
As scientists contemplate our role in communicating science to policy makers, we often forget the myriad ways that policy impacts our science and the systems we study. Every field site, ecosystem, and landscape in which we work reflects the legacy of international treaties, national and state laws, and land use programs. Our discussions regarding whether and how we engage in the policy process should reflect an awareness of the many ways that these policies drive what we see and do every day in our research.