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Running Up That Hill: A View from the Capitol

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By: Spring Gaines. Recently, I had the unique opportunity to take a winding tour of one of the most symbolic sites in Washington, D.C.—The Capitol Dome. While climbing the almost 300 steps leading up to an eye-level view of Brumidi and Cox’s work with the Rotunda frieze, the Apotheosis of George Washington and beyond, I was reminded of something I told my best friend when she asked what it is like as a Gulf Coast girl walking around this city, “It’s not the distance; it’s the incline.” 

Thoughts on Climate Optimism

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By: Eleanor Pierel. Upon entering the Knauss Fellowship, I was not sure where I would fall on the optimism scale by the end. You see, as the Climate Policy Fellow, my days revolve around climate change policy and action from the local to international scale. Yet, many of the conversations, meetings and trips throughout my fellowship had a theme of optimism and motivation in the face of climate change...

The Sky’s the Limit

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By: Michelle Nguyen. I stand there in the Hawk’s Nest launch viewing area right outside of Vandenberg Space Force Base near Lompoc, CA, watching as NOAA’s JPSS-2 satellite, atop an Atlas V rocket, successfully joins its Joint Polar Satellite System comrades in orbit. While my eyes are trained on the ascending rocket, I can’t help but think “How did I, an invertebrate physiologist by training, end up at a satellite launch?!” 

Locating Progress

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By: Kate Shlepr. Change invites uncertainty and therefore risk. I feel the weight and exhilaration of this reality as I sit to reflect on events from the past six months, both in my personal life and in our world. For one, it strikes me that I am (now) an openly queer person writing from my desk in a Congressional office two generations after the Stonewall riots; if those aren’t evidence of change, what is? 

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