Second Cohort of U of I’s Science and Technology Policy Fellows Named

MOSCOW, Idaho — Sept. 16, 2021 — The Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (ISTPF) is pleased to announce the selection of its second cohort, Jared Talley, Ph.D. and Samantha Werth, Ph.D. These appointments signal a growing investment in science policy expertise in the state.

The ISTPF is a nonpartisan program that places scientists, social scientists and engineers in state agencies to develop and implement solutions that address some of Idaho’s greatest challenges. The ISTPF is a partnership among Boise State University, Idaho State University and the University of Idaho. University of Idaho’s McClure Center for Public Policy Research serves as the lead for the ISTPF.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the continued collaboration among Boise State University, Idaho State University and the University of Idaho in support of the Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship,” said the U of I President, Scott Green. “The ISTPF is a huge asset for Idaho. It helps our scientists, social scientists and engineers understand public policy. And it provides our lawmakers with experts who bring scientific training and unique approaches to support their decision making. When these forms of expertise work together, our whole state benefits.”

ISTPF’s 2021-22 fellows will lend considerable talent and expertise to provide Idaho decision makers with information that is well researched and transforms technical data into narratives that nonexperts are able to understand and use.

Jared Talley earned a doctorate in philosophy from Michigan State University where his research focused on collaboration, natural resources and environmental governance in the American West. He holds a master’s of public administration from Boise State University, a bachelor’s in philosophy from Boise State University and an associate degree in liberal arts from the College of Western Idaho. Most recently, Talley was a faculty instructor in Environmental Studies at Boise State University. He will spend his fellowship year in the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation and the Idaho STEM Action Center.

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Samantha Werth is an expert in environmental and economic impacts of cattle production and food supply chains. She earned a doctorate and master’s in animal biology, and a bachelor’s in animal science, all from the University of California, Davis. Until recently, Werth was a graduate researcher at the University of California, Davis. She is the ISTPF’s second ISTP Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) fellow and will support energy topics broadly in the Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

The ISTPF launched its first cohort in August 2020. The ISTPF’s inaugural fellows, Sarah Hendricks, Ph.D. and Veronika Vazhnik, Ph.D., completed their fellowship year in August 2021.

Hendricks spent her fellowship year at the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation. In that role, she completed a variety of activities, including reporting on state conservation assessments and strategies for the preservation of Idaho’s rare and declining species.

Vazhnik served as the ISTP CAES fellow in the Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources. During her fellowship, Vazhnik focused on leading an update to Idaho’s Energy Assurance Plan, a blueprint to help Idaho prepare for and prevent crises related to energy system disruptions.

John Chatburn, administrator of the Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, spoke positively of his experience with the ISTPF. “Having the perspective of a scientific researcher at hand provides enormous benefit for formulating policy and technical analysis. The opportunity to work with a fellow allowed our office to complete projects that would have been difficult for our staff to complete otherwise.”

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The ISTPF has raised $500,000 to launch and sustain the program. Financial contributors include Boise State University, California Council on Science and Technology, CAES, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Idaho National Laboratory on behalf of Battelle Energy Alliance, Idaho State University, Idaho STEM Action Center, Micron Foundation, POWER Engineers, Simons Foundation, University of Idaho and individual donors.

Media Contact

Katherine Himes
Director, James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research
University of Idaho


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