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Thursday, December 18, 2014

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ESF Student Named Emerging Public Policy Leader

Anna Maria Stewart receives national recognition
3/26/2009

SYRACUSE - Anna Maria Stewart, a graduate student at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has been selected to receive the 2009 American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award (EPPLA).

Stewart will receive a certificate, membership in AIBS, several AIBS publications, including Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media and a subscription to the journal BioScience. AIBS will also bring Stewart to Washington, D.C., in April to attend a federal research budget briefing, meetings with members of Congress, and a reception. The events are in conjunction with the annual Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) Congressional Visits Day.

"As a young scientist conducting research at the intersection of science and public health policy, participation in the Congressional Visits Day is an invaluable opportunity for me to observe and engage in the public policy process," said Stewart. "The EPPLA is a critical step towards achieving my ultimate goal of becoming a scientist who advises intergovernmental agencies."

Stewart said she strives to conduct transformative, interdisciplinary research that will inform public policy. Her Ph.D. research in environmental and forest biology focuses on the effects of climate and socioeconomic factors on the distribution of dengue fever. She is developing a model to identify current and future human populations at risk of dengue fever in Ecuador. This research should help public health policymakers to mitigate and anticipate future epidemics. In addition to work toward her Ph.D. in ecology, Stewart is also a master's student in public administration at Syracuse University. Her undergraduate degree is in environmental biology from SU.

Stewart received a National Science Foundation GK-12 teaching fellowship in 2007 to support local high school science education. She mentored students in a class on the global environment and helped develop a guide for high school science research. She is also the vice president of the SUNY-ESF Graduate Student Association, and has served on numerous advisory and planning councils throughout her graduate career. Stewart is a member of the International Society for Ecological Modeling and AIBS.

Since 2003, AIBS has recognized the achievements of biology graduate students who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude for contributing to science and public policy. AIBS is a scientific society based in Washington, DC, dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society.

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