We are excited to share the news that Tatjana M. Washington is one of this year's recipients of the Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award, which is offered annually by the Ecological Society of America (ESA). ESA offers the award to give graduate students hands-on training and science policy experience. This year's awardees will travel to Washington, D.C. at the end of April to receive policy and communications training at ESA’s headquarters, followed by meetings with congressional policymakers on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of federal investments in the biological and ecological sciences.
A first-year Evolutionary Biology doctoral student at UChicago, Tati is a climate-change-focused ecologist who's driven to understand how climate change affects wildlife’s physiological and behavioral stress responses, and advocate for environmental justice policy. Currently, her research is focused on the impact of climate change on bird nest-building behavior in the Indian Himalayas. She grew up surrounded by farmland and longleaf pine forests in South Carolina, always appreciating the beauty nature has to offer. Tati completed an M.S. in environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts, and a B.S. in biology with a minor in environmental and sustainability studies at The College of Charleston in South Carolina. She will travel back to the Himalayas this summer to continue gathering data for her thesis proposal next year.
Tati is one of 15 graduate students in ESA's 2023 cohort. As ESA President Sharon Collinge noted, “Advocating for sustained science funding and establishing connections with legislators is an invaluable experience when laying the groundwork for a meaningful career at the science–policy interface. Many of our former award recipients have launched impressive careers in public policy, and it will be exciting to see what this year’s cohort sets out to accomplish after their experience on the Hill.”
Congratulations to Tati on this significant achievement!