OSU grad student receives Ecological Society student policy award

Winner with turtle

Award winner Natalie Hambalek

Natalie Hambalek, an Oregon State University graduate student the Department of Integrative Biology, has been selected for the Ecological Society of America’s Graduate Student Policy Award for 2015.

The Ecological Society of America (ESA), the world’s largest professional society of ecological scientists, gave the award to four graduate students. They will participate in a congressional visits event in Washington, DC, this May, sponsored by the Biological Ecological Sciences Coalition and co-chaired by ESA. The event brings together young scientists from across the country to meet with lawmakers. The scientists will highlight the benefits of biological research and education in their respective states and the nation.

Participants attend sessions about how current political and fiscal issues may impact federal agencies. ESA graduate student policy awardees also meet with federal ecologists to learn about their work and that of their respective agencies.

Hambalek’s policy engagement began while as an undergrad at Sonoma State University where she called on California state lawmakers to pass legislation to expand access to education at the university level, including the California Dream Act. She’s been a presenter for Discovering the Scientist Within and Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Math. Her honors include a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention. She is also a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar. In pursuing her Ph.D. in zoology at OSU, she is studying the physiological effects of pesticides on amphibian declines and management efforts to mitigate adverse outcomes.

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