2023 State Science Policy Fellow Host Offices


Potential Host Offices

Three offices are seeking to host potential State Science Policy Fellows in 2023. These include:

Office of the Vice President for Sustainability, University System of Maryland (USM)

Maryland is a leader in addressing climate change with a comprehensive program for mitigation and adaptation. The current goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and an intent for net zero by 2045. This goal is complemented by ongoing programs for coastal resilience, adaptation to more intense storms, more severe floods, extensive droughts and heat waves. These state-wide efforts are guided by the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (MCCC). The Science Policy Fellow will participate in the MCCC Science and Technical Working Group meetings as well as attend MCCC meetings. The Fellow will be able to participate in any STWG activity that suits their background and professional interests.

The Science Policy Fellow, working with experts within the University System of Maryland and Second Nature, will lead the development of a report describing conceptual pathways for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (a graduate university for the environment distributed across 6 diverse locations and with research activities on every continent) to achieve net zero. In addition, the Fellow will collaborate with experts across USM to develop recommendations for tracking progress, sharing knowledge across the USM institutions and documenting practices that could be adopted by other organizations in Maryland and beyond.

The Fellow will report to the President of UMCES and Mark Beck, Director, Office of Capital Planning, University System of Maryland located in Cambridge, MD.

Climate Program, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)

The MDE Sea Grant Fellow will have the opportunity to complete a comprehensive study, analysis, and evaluation of its ecological restoration permitting process and provide a report to the General Assembly by June 1, 2024.  The study intends to:

  1. Define ecological restoration, including measurable scientific objectives,
  2. Consider how MDE should holistically consider the restoration of multiple ecosystem services over the restoration of individual resources,
  3. Make recommendations on adaptive management applied to restoration permitting and
  4. Make recommendations on the ecological restoration permitting process.  

The study shall be conducted in consultation and coordination with stakeholders, including state and local agencies, the restoration industry, environmental organizations and community groups.  The role of the Sea Grant Fellow is to assist in all aspects of the project and as a result, the Fellow will have the opportunity to apply scientific principles to inform environmental policy. MDE's office is located in Baltimore, MD.

Office of the Director, Maryland Environmental Service (MES)

The mission of the Maryland Environmental service is to provide operational and technical services to protect and enhance the environment for the benefit of the people of Maryland. As a not-for-profit business unit of the state of Maryland, MES provides multi-disciplinary environmental compliance services to enhance and protect the environment through innovative solutions to the region’s most complex environmental challenges. MES combines public sector commitment with private sector flexibility and responsiveness. MES receives no direct operations funding from the state and does not have regulatory authority. Key areas of focus include waste management, dredging and restoration, advancing clean and climate responsive infrastructure and engineering services and storm and wastewater management. MES's office is located in Millersville, MD.

Office of the Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

The Department of Natural Resources is a state leader in providing roadmaps to climate resilience through its technical and financial support to local governments and communities. Partnerships with other state agencies, federal funders, private sector and non-profits amplify these efforts and are critical for delivering comprehensive support to communities most affected by climate impacts. The Department focuses on nature-based solutions and recognizes that a comprehensive approach requires 1) spanning ecological and socio-economic considerations, 2) addressing both green and gray infrastructure strategies 3) building upon existing implementation and partnership efforts and 4) working closely at the community level to address locally driven goals. There are many efforts underway that need to be stitched together to create a comprehensive framework that will align existing efforts, attract new funding and achieve landscape scale resiliency.

This Fellowship will focus on creating a framework that will drive broad coordinated action for the Eastern Shore, notably Maryland’s most vulnerable areas facing significant sea-level rise impact. This work will support the Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s Adaptation and Resiliency workgroup; support work to bridge actions across several 2023-2024 work group priorities related to local government support; and be the foundation for working with a broad array of partners, local governments, communities and funding agencies to achieve a comprehensive master plan for coastal resiliency on the Eastern Shore. DNR's office is located in Annapolis, MD.

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