Virtual Policy Interns: Introduction
(This following is a report from Stephanie Plaza-Torres and Lyndsey Farrar, Paleontological Society / AGI Policy Interns)
Hello Paleontological Society!
My name is Stephanie Plaza-Torres and I am currently working – remotely – as a Paleontological Society / American Geosciences Institute Policy Intern. I graduated with a B.S. in Geology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez last year and this fall I start my PhD in Geology at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Currently I am working on a project focusing on the digital data and metadata best practices for paleontological collections and looking into how these relate to the value of specimens for researchers and museums. I am collaborating on this project with Lyndsey Farrar and at present I am in the process of interviewing collectors and curators from different institutions to gather information for my project.
Since mid-May, when I started this internship, I have attended to policy webinars, been to a meeting of the National Academy of Science pertaining the impact of COVID-19 on ocean activities, and participated in AGU’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Virtual Advocacy Days. These opportunities have given me the chance to get to know more about the world of policy, connect with policy makers, and learn about the effects of COVID-19 on scientific institutions.
I am excited on what is to come for the rest of the internship!
My name is Lyndsey Farrar and I am also working with the Paleontological Society and the American Geosciences Institute as a Policy Intern. I graduated with an M.S. in geology from Miami University in 2019 and for the past year I have been working as an adjunct lecturer for Miami University and the University of Dayton.
The project that I am working on focuses on physical museum specimens, especially the process that occurs when these collections move to another institution. I am also interested in the novel uses of specimens that are not of research or display quality. We hope to meet with many curators, collections managers, and anyone who works with collections. Please let us know if you are interested in discussing these topics with us!
I started the internship at the beginning of June, and since then I have attended the iDigBio and SPNHC and ICOM NATHIST virtual conferences. I have also been able to sit in on a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee where they discussed the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color who live in environmental injustice zones.
I am very grateful for this opportunity and I am very excited to learn more about how policy impacts the paleontology community.
If you want to contact us, you can reach us at our emails: