NatSci's Anna Groves receives prestigious ESA Graduate Student Policy Award

Published April 6, 2017

Anna Groves

Anna Groves, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Plant Biology and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior (EEBB) program in the MSU College of Natural Science (NatSci), is one of only six graduate students nationally to receive a 2017 Graduate Student Policy Award (GSPA) from the Ecological Society of America.

This prestigious award provides graduate students with the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., for policy experience and training in their fields of study.

“By training ESA members to effectively communicate science to lawmakers, we can bridge the gap between science and policy and help fill the critical need for science-informed policy decisions,” said Katherine McCarter, executive director of ESA.

“This is an outstanding and well-deserved honor, recognizing Anna’s passion and talents for communicating science,” said Lars Brudvig, associate professor of plant biology and Groves’ faculty advisor. “I’m thrilled that she will have the opportunity to extend her work to the critically important area of science-informed policy.”

Groves studies prairie restoration ecology and plant community assembly, specifically focusing on tallgrass prairie restoration. She also has experience in science communication through blogging, teaching and speaking to the public. Groves is the co-founder and president of the EEBB Graduate Group and serves as the secretary of ESA’s Student Section.

“I've been considering science policy as a career for some time, and this program is the perfect opportunity for me to experience science policy efforts first-hand and start to make important connections in the field,” Groves said. “I hope to someday be able to do my part to improve perceptions of science and scientists held by the public and our lawmakers in D.C.”

The award winners will travel to D.C. later this month to learn about the legislative process and federal science funding, and to hear from ecologists working in federal agencies and to participate in Congressional Visits Day, when they will meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill. The event, co-organized by ESA and sponsored by the Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition, offers GSPA recipients the chance to interact with their members of Congress and discuss the importance of federal funding for the biological and ecological sciences.

The other 2017 GSPA recipients are: Jason M. Aloisio (Fordham University), Tyler C. Coverdale (Princeton University), Christine J. Pardo (University of Miami), Jessica M. Rudnick (University of California, Davis) and Benton N. Taylor (Columbia University).

For more information visit: https://www.esa.org/esa/2017-graduate-student-policy-award-recipients/.