Ryan Edwards, a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering and PEI-STEP fellow, has received the William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship from the American Geosciences Institute. Fellows spend a year in Washington, D.C., working as a staff member in the office of a Congress member or with a congressional committee to gain first-hand experience in the legislative process and make practical contributions to the use of geoscience information on issues relating to the environment, resources and federal science policy.
Edwards uses numerical modeling of subsurface fluid flow to better understand hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," and geological storage of carbon dioxide. He also focuses on the practical and policy implications of his technical work. His PEI-STEP research investigates pathways to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage, and Edwards explored the policy side of his research as a member of PEI's Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars Program (PECS).
"My goal is to work at the intersection of science, technology and policy to help identify and push forward solutions to the energy and climate problem," said Edwards, who is advised by PEI Director Michael Celia, the Theodora Shelton Pitney Professor of Environmental Studies and professor of civil and environmental engineering.
"The Congressional Science Fellowship will allow me to be directly involved in the policymaking process," he said. "I hope to gain an inside perspective on the political challenges of energy and climate policy that will help me direct my technical work more effectively. As someone with a lifelong fascination with politics, I am also excited at the prospect of working in the United States Congress."