Amanda Staudt, Director
Phone: (202) 334-3512
Amanda Staudt directs the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) and the Polar Research Board (PRB) at the National Research Council. Amanda leads strategic planning, guides project development, and provides institutional oversight for both boards. From 2007-2013, Amanda was a Senior Climate Scientist at the National Wildlife Federation. In this role, she focused on communicating climate science and impacts with key decision makers and the general public, developing the intellectual and practical foundation for climate-informed conservation, and advancing climate change science education. She served on the steering committee for Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, and was an editor of Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice, a 2014 guidance produced by an expert workgroup including representatives from government, nonprofits, and academia. Prior to her time at NWF, Amanda was a Senior Program Officer for BASC, where she directed the Climate Research Committee and a number of high-profile studies, including the fast-track review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan, and studies on weather research for surface transportation and radiative forcing effects on climate. She also spear-headed the development of the Academy's first booklet on climate change targeted to public audiences. Amanda received her B.A. cum laude in environmental science and engineering from Harvard College and her Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from Harvard University.
Edward Dunlea, Senior Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-1334
Edward Dunlea is a Senior Program Officer at the National Academy of Sciences with the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He has directed studies on Climate Intervention, Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change, and A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling. He is also the lead staffer for the Advisory Committee to the US Global Change Research Program. Previous to the Academies, Dr. Dunlea served as the Atmospheric Chemistry Program Manager in the Climate Program Office in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He also held post-doctoral research scientist positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Colorado. He is an author or co-author on more than 30 journal articles in laboratory and field research in atmospheric chemistry. He holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard University (1994, cum laude in Chemistry) and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2002, in Physical Atmospheric Chemistry).
Laurie Geller, Senior Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-1518
Laurie Geller is Senior Program Officer for the National Academies' Polar Research Board (PRB) and for the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC). She has more than a decade of experience with the National Academies, directing numerous activities addressing polar science, climate and global change, air pollution, sustainable development, and other related topics. In recent years this has included managing the Arctic Matters public engagement initiative, the Committee on Strategic Planning for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research, the Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the joint NAS/UK Royal Society booklet Climate Change: Evidence and Causes, and the America's Climate Choices suite of studies. Outside of her National Academies role, she has served as an AAAS Science Policy Fellow (with the U.S. EPA), as a Program Officer at the International Council for Science (ISCU) secretariat in Paris, and as a visiting Professor at American University-Paris. She has a Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Katie Thomas, Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-3860
Katie Thomas is a Program Officer for the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Polar Research Board. She received her B.S. from the University of Michigan in 2004 and her M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University in 2009. Since joining the NRC in 2006, she has directed studies on urban meteorology, Arctic Sea ice prediction, atmospheric chemistry, and permafrost. She has also served as the rapporteur for two workshop summaries: Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda and Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns.
Lauren Everett, Program Officer
Lauren Everett (née Brown) is a program officer with the Polar Research Board and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, where she has been involved in a number of studies such The Arctic in the Anthropocene: Emerging Research Questions, Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics, and Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. She holds an MS in Marine Studies with a focus on physical ocean science and engineering and BA in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Delaware. Lauren joined the National Academies in 2009 as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow and is interested in high-latitude environmental policy issues and the role of polar regions in global climate change.
Alison Macalady, Associate Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-2591
Ali Macalady grew up in Colorado and holds a B.A. in Geology and a Master's degree in Forestry. She expects to complete her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Arizona later in the spring. Her dissertation research focuses on understanding how climate variability and change influence forest ecosystems, and in particular on how drought coupled with high temperatures can increase tree mortality rates, insects outbreaks, and wildfires. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Ali spent several years working as a reporter and radio producer, covering environmental issues in the American West. She also worked for a variety of non-profit organizations on issues related to forest conservation and management. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, hiking, exploring with her husband, and trying to keep up with her two young daughters.
Rita Gaskins, Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (202) 334-2597
Rita Gaskins is the Administrative coordinator for BASC. She has been employed with the National Academies since 1998. Before joining BASC in 2008 she worked with the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Board on Health Care Services, Board on Population Health (formerly the Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention) and the Office of Human Resources.
Amanda Purcell, Research and Financial Associate
Phone: (202) 334-1504
Amanda Purcell graduated magna cum laude from American University (AU) in 2008 with a B.S. in physics and mathematics. As a junior, she participated in NSF's Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the NASA Langley Research Center where she studied magnetic and electric field effects on carbon nanotubes. As a senior, she interned for the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Space Studies Board where she supported projects such as the 2007 Decadal Survey on Earth Science Applications from Space. Upon graduation, she began working for the NAS Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) and the Polar Research Board (PRB) as a program assistant, supporting projects such as the congressionally-mandated America's Climate Choices suite of activities, Future Research Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, Abrupt Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises, and Arctic Matters: Global Connections to Changes in the Arctic. She continued to work at the Academies while returning to AU part-time to receive her M.A. in mathematics (2013; focus in logic). Amanda is now an Associate Program Officer for BASC, working on both climate and polar-related projects. She is also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach.
Shelly Freeland, Financial Assistant
Phone: (202) 334-2649
Shelly Freeland is an Administrative and Financial Assistant with the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Polar Research Board. She joined the NRC in 2008 and has contributed to various studies such as America's Climate Choices – Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change; Stabilization Targets for Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations; Himalayan Glaciers – Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security, and a host of other studies. Outside of the science world, Shelly is a dance choreographer and has performed in and outside of the DC area.
Rob Greenway, Program Associate
Phone: (202) 334-2338
Rob Greenway is a Program Associate with the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Polar Research Board and is responsible for facilitating the report production process for the two boards. He also maintains the BASC and PRB websites. In addition, he is an accomplished guitarist and composer and has performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the White House, and many other venues throughout the DC area. Rob received his AB in English in 1986 and his MeD in Language Arts Education in 1988, both from the University of Georgia.
Michael Hudson, Senior Program Assistant
Phone: (202) 334-2583
Michael Hudson grew up in Roanoke, VA and in 2014, graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia with a B.S. in Geographic Science concentrating in Environmental Conservation, Sustainability, and Development with a minor in Environmental Science. After graduating, and without a clear career path, Michael pursued nonprofit work in Roanoke and joined AmeriCorps while working alongside a local nonprofit, The Advancement Foundation, as a community and economic developer. Harnessing that passion for nonprofit work and a background in environmental sciences, Michael moved to Washington, DC in January 2015 to pursue a position combining the two. It was then he briefly worked for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign before gaining full-time employment at the National Academies and BASC/PRB. Outside of work, Michael enjoys exploring DC, cross country skiing, happy hours, and the mountains of the Blue Ridge Valley.
Erin Markovich, Program Assistant
Phone: (202) 334-2733
Erin was born and raised in Naperville, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago. In May 2015, she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her college career she worked for University Housing as a Resident Advisor, and for the Atmospheric Science Department as a TA. Erin was also very involved in the Illinois Leadership Center as a student volunteer in the effort to educate and involve students in leadership studies and practice. She strongly supports the St. Baldrick's Foundation and has shaved her head twice, in 2011 and 2013, to raise money and awareness for cancer research. On campus she took part in the planning process of St. Baldrick's events each year, and lead the planning committee her senior year. She is a big fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, enjoys watching films, being crafty, playing the ukulele, trying new things, and exploring what's new in science! In the future Erin hopes to continue her education, publish a work of her own, and travel beyond her own backyard.