UCS Science Fellows Program

The UCS Science Fellows Program brings early to mid-career scientists to UCS to work on innovative and forward-looking projects that are primarily scientific, technical, or analytic in nature. Approximately every two years, UCS will announce a competition for fellowships (up to two years in length) in topic areas identified by UCS and approved by our Science Fellows Advisory Committee.

UCS currently awards Kendall Science Fellowships and Hitz Family Climate Fellowships.

Kendall Science Fellowships were initiated in 2008 to honor Nobel Prize winning physicist Henry Kendall, co-founder of UCS and long-time chair of our board. Kendall was known for his unique ability to shake up the status quo and catalyze new thinking, and UCS looks to Kendall Fellows to do the same across our issue areas.

Initiated in 2019, the Hitz Family Climate Fellowship was establish to support innovative policy-relevant research and solutions to address one of the world’s most pressing issues. The California-based Hitz family is dedicated to driving impact in the arts, environment, science, and education.

Meet Our Current Science Fellows

Dr. Carly Phillips is the Kendall Fellow for Protecting Carbon in Alaska’s Boreal Forests with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Her work focuses on protecting carbon in boreal forests, specifically as wildfires increasingly threaten these ecosystems in Alaska. See Dr. Phillips’ bio.

Shuchi Talati is a UCS Fellow on solar geoengineering research governance and public engagement with the Climate & Energy program. Dr. Talati works to guide sound governance and public engagement on research into proposed solar geoengineering approaches to limit global warming. See Dr. Talati’s bio.

Dr. Cameron Tracy is a Kendall Fellow working on hypersonic weapons from both a technical and policy perspective. He received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2015, and worked as a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Dr. Hanjiro Ambrose is a Hitz Fellow investigating the economic and environmental implications of different battery recycling and reuse strategies. He recently finished his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis, where all seven chapters of his dissertation focused on life cycle assessments of electric vehicle technologies.

Previous Science Fellows

Dr. Michael Latner is a Kendall Voting Rights Fellow with the Center for Science and Democracy. His research focuses on political representation and electoral systems, including redistricting and gerrymandering in the US, and the impact of electoral administrative law on political participation. Dr. Latner will work to bring public attention to robust scientific measures of integrity and bias in US electoral institutions, and the impact of electoral bias on public health, environmental, and related safety policies and outcomes. Dr. Andrew Rosenberg supervises and mentors Dr. Latner. See Dr. Latner’s bio.

Dr. Richard Ezike is the Mobility and Equity Kendall Science Fellow with the Clean Vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. His interests lie in the intersection of equity, accessibility, and providing opportunity for every person to a robust transportation system. Dr. Jeremy Martin supervises and mentors Dr. Ezike. See Dr. Ezike's bio.

Dr. Juan Declet-Barreto, Kendall Science Fellow in Climate & Energy and the Center for Science and Democracy, joined UCS in January 2016. In his Kendall Fellowship, he partnered with environmental justice groups and activists to research the potential effects of carbon trading on disadvantaged communities. See Dr. Declet-Barreto’s bio.

Regina R. Clewlow, Kendall Science Fellow in Clean Vehicles, worked with UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program from spring 2012 through summer 2012. Her work examined demand for high-speed rail and air transportation systems, their environmental impacts, and their performance under climate policies.

Dr. Jalonne White-Newsome, Kendall Science Fellow in Climate Change and Public Health, worked with UCS’s Climate and Energy Program from August 2011 - August 2013. She worked on the public health impacts and costs of extreme heat in several US cities to inform future adaptation plans in a changing climate. 

Dr. Jeremy Richardson, Kendall Science Fellow in Clean Energy Innovation, worked with UCS from January 2012 through August 2013. He worked on the fundamental cultural and economic drivers of coal production in West Virginia. He is currently a senior energy analyst in the UCS Climate and Energy Program. See Dr. Richardson's bio.

Dr. Jimmy Nelson, Kendall Science Fellow in Climate and Energy, worked with UCS in our California office through November 2014. He explored scenarios for the electric power system of California and western North America that would increase the amount of clean energy deployed in the region while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy system.

Dr. Roberto Mera, Kendall Science Fellow on Climate Attribution, worked with UCS from July 2013 through September 2015. His work focused on analyzing specific carbon emissions to determine how they are affecting global temperatures and extreme heat events.

Dr. Rachael Nealer, Kendall Science Fellow in Clean Vehicles, worked with UCS from 2013  through November 2015. Her research focused on the lifecycle environmental impacts of advanced vehicles, specifically hybrid-electric, plug-in electric, and fuel cell vehicles. 

Peter O'ConnorDr. Peter O'Connor, Kendall Science Fellow on Renewable Electricity Generation and Electric Vehicles, worked with UCS  UCS from May 2015 through May 2017. His reasearch focused on how to guide the strategic charging of electric vehicles so as to facilitate the integration of high levels of solar photovoltaic electric power generation on the US electricity grid. He is currently an analyst in the UCS Climate and Energy Program.

Dr. Andrea Basche, Kendall Science Fellow in Food & Environment, joined UCS in September 2015. Her research focused on the potential for agroecological farming systems to reduce the risk and costs of increasing drought. In addition to her work on the benefits of ecologically-based farm practices, she helped further UCS research into the links between agriculture and climate.

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