The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment welcomes 20 fellows to join the 2016 cohort of the Rising Environmental Leaders Program (RELP).

Now in its sixth year, this highly-competitive professional development program helps Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral scholars hone their leadership and communications skills to maximize the impact of their research. Fellows are chosen for their exceptional research capabilities, strong leadership skills and interest in linking their findings to policy and decision-making.

The 2016 cohort will engage in professional development and networking opportunities including career-related workshops, seminars, meetings with cross-sector leaders, and an intensive week in the nation’s capital where they will learn from a range of legislative, government and NGO professionals, including Stanford alumni. Known as “D.C. Boot Camp,” the week-long training is a partnership between the Stanford Woods Institute and the Bing Stanford in Washington Program.

“This year’s RELP fellows are among Stanford’s best and brightest,” said Lea Rosenbohm, external affairs adviser at the Stanford Woods Institute and director of the RELP program. “For many of them, this will be their first opportunity to witness first-hand how their research can be used to guide policy and decision making.” 

This year’s fellows have a broad set of research interests spanning from urban development to phytoplankton dynamics to energy storage.   

“Through my research on food and environmental justice, I aspire to help build a food system that is healthier for both people and the environment,” said Priya Fielding-Singh, a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department in the School of Humanities and Sciences. “Participating in RELP will allow me to identify opportunities to partner with policymakers in pursuit of our common goals."

“Through RELP, I am excited to learn more about the intersection of environmental science and policy in hopes of better understanding how to maximize the impact of my research on innovative water infrastructure systems,” said Jon Bradshaw, a PhD student in the School of Engineering. “Governmental decisions heavily influence directions within the environmental engineering field, so gaining a deeper understanding of the policy-making process will certainly enhance my future career.”

"I am thrilled to participate in RELP to gain an inside perspective on the role of government in coping with today's environmental threats and identify specific challenges to developing robust regulations around carbon and energy,” said Terra Weeks, a masters student in the Atmosphere & Energy Program in the School of Engineering. “Ultimately, I plan to utilize this training to inform energy policies as we deploy more renewable generation and move toward an increasingly mobile and electrified world.”

This year’s fellows will join a community of more than 100 scholars from all seven schools who have participated in RELP since its inception in 2010. This broad network serves to help foster more diverse environmental research projects and learning opportunities during and after the fellows’ time at Stanford.