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AGI Names Dacic a Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow

Natasha Dacic has been named a Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow, which empowers a geoscientist to work in a congressional capacity in Washington, D.C.

Natasha Dacic, a Ph.D. student at the U-M Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, has been named the 2024-2025 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow, chosen by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI). The Fisher Fellowship is a unique opportunity for a geoscientist to work as staff in a congressional office or committee for a year in Washington, D.C.

Dacic expects to earn her Ph.D. in Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in August 2024 at the University of Michigan, where her doctoral work is focused on understanding the geoscience behind greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soil, policies focused on agricultural emissions, and the framework needed to foster engagement between academia and community partners.

Using satellite, airborne, and model transport data, Dacic studies nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils at local to regional scales. She found that, while nitrous oxide is a major potent greenhouse gas generating 300 times more global warming impact than carbon dioxide, it may be insufficiently addressed in agricultural regulatory frameworks. For that reason, Dacic continues examining the representation of nitrous oxide in agricultural policy discourse and working to advance nitrous oxide policy.

“I am grateful to be the 2024-2025 Fisher Fellow because it signifies recognition of the potential for scientists like me to contribute to policymaking processes,” said Dacic. “The fellowship will enable me to engage directly with policy development, apply my scientific expertise to inform evidence-based decisions, and participate in a unique educational experience that will shape my career at the intersection of science and policy.”

“Policy at every level should be bolstered by the latest, most accurate geoscience, and that requires making sure that geoscientists are at the table in decision-making processes,” said AGI Executive Director Dr. Jonathan Arthur. “Natasha is well qualified to make a substantial contribution in her work on Capitol Hill, given both her scholarly achievements and her longstanding focus on opportunities to shape policy.”

Previously, Dacic earned a graduate certificate of science, technology, and public policy from the University of Michigan, as well as a bachelor’s degree in mathematics-physics and environmental studies from The College of Idaho. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America.

Each year, AGI’s Fisher Fellow joins more than two dozen other scientists and engineers for an intensive orientation program on the legislative and executive branches, organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which also guides the placement process and provides educational and collegial programs throughout the year.

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About AGI
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI), a federation of scientific and professional associations representing over a quarter-million geoscientists, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving the geoscience community and addressing the needs of society. AGI headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.

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