2023 Congressional Delegation - OBFS
Friday, March 24, 2023 10:01 AM

In partnership with the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) is pleased to announce the 2023 delegation in support of federal investments in biological sciences research supported by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.

Members of the delegation will participate in AIBS Communication Bootcamp for Scientists in preparation for in-person meetings with members of Congress Monday, April 24. For the next two days, the entire team will then engage with Congressional staffers and members directly.

“The goal of these Congressional delegation visits is to not only help lawmakers understand the important role the federal government plays in supporting biological sciences,” said Dr. Lara Roketenetz, OBFS President and Director of the University of Akron Field Station. “We are fortunate to have a team
of researchers, leaders and advocates from a wide range of field station and marine lab institutions willing and able to speak on behalf of these critical endeavors.”

The Congressional Visits Day returns to the in-person format in 2023 after being held virtually in 2021 and 2022. The annual event enables scientists to meet with their federal lawmakers and help inform science policy. “AIBS is pleased to once again host this important event in Washington, DC, where scientists from around the country have the opportunity to discuss the impacts of federal investments in scientific research and education with lawmakers,” said Dr. Jyotsna Pandey, Director of Public Policy for AIBS. “AIBS greatly values OBFS's partnership and persistent engagement in these critical conversations.”

2023 OBFS/AIBS Congressional Delegation Team Members 

Conner Philson, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA): Conner Philson is a field biologist and behavioral ecologist studying the evolution and fitness consequences of social behavior. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA and a Graduate Fellow at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Conner’s work has been featured by the likes of National Geographic, American Scientist, and CNN. In addition to his research, Conner engages in science policy with work focusing on mitigating climate change and its impacts, the loss of biodiversity, and scientific infrastructure. Conner is a National Science Policy Network SciPol Scholar and an Associate Editor at the Journal of Science Policy and Governance. Conner serves on the Board of Directors for OBFS, chairing the Outreach and Communications Committee and focuses on strategic engagement with policymakers.

Rebecca Kauten, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Regents Resource Center: Dr. Rebecca Kauten serves as Scientist in Residence for Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. She supervises field studies based at the lab including both social and physical science projects and serves as a technical resource for undergraduate and graduate researchers from across the region. Dr. Kauten also teaches courses in GIS, environmental management and human environment dynamics in Iowa, Montana and Maine, including studies in environmental and spatial science, sustainability, population dynamics and global analysis of food and water systems. Dr. Kauten holds advanced degrees in Geographical & Sustainability Science and Public Policy, and currently partners with multiple OBFS committees and members on research endeavors.

Jennifer Seavey, Shoals Marine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire and Cornell University: Dr. Jennifer Seavey is the John M. Kingsbury Director of the Shoals Marine Laboratory. She is also Faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University and the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SMSOE) at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Seavey is an applied ecologist focused on anthropogenic impacts on wildlife species and ecosystem function. Her research program explores climate change; spatial ecology; conservation biology; and the recovery of endangered species.

Shane Waddell, University of California-Davis (UC Davis): Shane Waddell is Associate Director of the UC Davis Natural Reserve System which manages six field stations as part of a 41-site statewide network. The UC Natural Reserve System (NRS) is the largest university-administered suite of protected areas in the world. Shane started at UC Santa Barbara’s Sedgwick Reserve in 1998 before settling in at UC Davis in 2000. He served as the Director of the Quail Ridge Reserve from 2011-2021. He studied mathematics and economics at UC Santa Barbara and taught math and English with the Peace Corps in Nepal. He serves as the chair of the UC NRS Information Management Committee. Shane serves on the Board of Directors for OBFS, chairing the Governance Committee.

About OBFS
The mission of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) is to help member stations increase their effectiveness in supporting critical research, education, and outreach programs. We pursue this goal in a manner that maximizes diversity, inclusiveness, sustainability, and transparency. For more information visit www.obfs.org.

About AIBS
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity organization that advances the biological sciences for the benefit of all science and society. We work with like- minded organizations, funding agencies, and political entities to promote the use of science to inform decision-making. For more information visit www.aibs.org.

Contact: Conner Philson, OBFS Outreach & Communications Chair, 571-490-5300, [email protected]