BASC Staff

Amanda Staudt, Director
Phone: (202) 334-3512
Email: astaudt@nas.edu
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.

Laurie Geller, Senior Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-1518
Email: lgeller@nas.edu
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, Senior Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-3860
Email: kcthomas@nas.edu
Katie Thomas is a Senior Program Officer for the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. She earned a B.S. in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan in 2004 and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University in 2009. Since joining the National Academies in 2006, she has directed studies on monitoring climate change impacts, urban meteorology, Arctic sea ice prediction, permafrost, and attribution of extreme weather events. She is currently directing a study on anthropogenic methane emissions in the U.S. She has also served as the rapporteur for three workshop summaries: Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda; Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns; and Improving the Understanding of Clouds and Aerosols in Climate Models.

Lauren Everett, Program Officer
Phone: 202-334-1753
Email: leverett@nas.edu
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.

April Melvin, Associate Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-2684
Email: amelvin@nas.edu
April Melvin is an Associate Program Officer with the National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC). Prior to joining BASC, April was a Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Climate Change Division at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She has also held positions as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Florida, where she studied the impacts of climate change on wildfire in Alaska’s boreal forests, and was a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow with BASC. April received her Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology/biogeochemistry from Cornell University and holds a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Rochester.

Rita Gaskins, Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (202) 334-2597
Email: rgaskins@nas.edu
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 Associate
Phone: (202) 334-1504
Email: apurcell@nas.edu
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.

Yasmin Romitti, Research Associate
Phone: (202) 334-3227
Email: yromitti@nas.edu
Yasmin Romitti is a Research Associate with the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate at the Academies. She previously worked with the Science and Technology for Sustainability Program, supporting projects such as Pathways to Urban Sustainability, Transitioning toward Sustainability: Advancing the Scientific Foundation, and the Network for Emerging Leaders in Sustainability. Prior to the Academies, she worked with the United Nations Environment Program, working on workshops and roundtables pertaining to climate change, biodiversity conservation, various environmental treaties and conventions, and the Sustainable Development Goals. She earned a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Biology at Boston University and a Master of Advanced International Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria.

Shelly Freeland, Financial Assistant
Phone: (202) 334-2649
Email: sfreeland@nas.edu
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 ChangeStabilization Targets for Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas ConcentrationsHimalayan 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
Email: rgreenway@nas.edu
Rob Greenway is a Program Associate with the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Polar Research Board. He is responsible for facilitating the report production process for the two boards and also maintains the BASC and PRB websites. In addition, he is an accomplished guitarist and composer, and he 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
Email: mhudson@nas.edu
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
Email: emarkovich@nas.edu
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.