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 Research Council. He graduated cum laude in chemistry from Harvard University (1994) and earned his Ph.D. in Physical Atmospheric Chemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2002). He 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. Previous to the NRC, Dr. Dunlea served as the Atmospheric Chemistry Program Manager in the Climate Program Office in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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 NRC, directing numerous studies and other activities addressing various aspects of climate and global change, air pollution, sustainable development, and related topics. In recent years this included managing the America’s Climate Choices suite of studies, the Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and production of the joint NAS/UK Royal Society booklet Climate Change: Evidence and Causes. Outside of her NRC role, she has served as an AAAS Science Policy Fellow (with the EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs), 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, Associate Program Officer
Lauren Everett (née Brown) is an associate 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 as 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, Postdoctoral Fellow
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.
Kristina Pistone, Mirzayan Fellow
Phone: (202) 334-1374
Kristina Pistone received her PhD in oceanography (climate and atmospheric science) from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to this she earned bachelor's degrees in Physics and Spanish Literature also from UCSD. Her doctoral dissertation work focused on different components of the Earth's albedo (reflectivity): first using satellite observations to quantify the amount of extra heating in the Arctic due to the recent decrease in sea ice, and next analyzing the effects of aerosol pollution, particularly from biomass burning, on clouds in the northern Indian Ocean. During and since her PhD she has also been involved in issues of science communication, including volunteer outreach to general audiences and a National Science Foundation GK12 grant to teach in a high school physics classroom. More recently, she received a yearlong Fulbright grant to the Universidad de Chile where she studied air pollution in the Santiago basin.
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 started at the National Academies as a Project Assistant in 2008 after she graduated from American University. She has since become a Research and Financial Associate and obtained a Masters in Mathematics (also from American, 2013). In her free time, Amanda is an avid Olympic weightlifter and nutrition nerd.
Shelly Freeland, Administrative and 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 Choice – 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. Chief among his responsibilities is 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, 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.