March 30, 2011
From geography to foreign policy: Marston to serve as Jefferson Science Fellow
A Kansas State University geographer will spend the 2011-2012 school year as a Jefferson Science fellow assisting the U.S. government with foreign policy.
Richard A. Marston, university distinguished professor and head of the K-State department of geography, begins his 12-month fellowship in mid-August. The Jefferson Science Fellowships allow tenured academic scientists and engineers from institutions of higher learning in the U.S. to help form and implement national foreign policy. The program is administered by the National Academies and supported through a partnership with the science, technology and engineering academic community, professional scientific societies and the U.S. Department of State.
Marston is among 13 individuals selected for the 2011-2012 fellowship, and is the second K-State faculty member selected for the honor. Brett DePaola, professor of physics, is a 2010-2011 Jefferson Science fellow.
All Jefferson fellowships are contingent upon awardees obtaining an official U.S. government security clearance.
Marston will be assigned to a specific office at either the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. His work may include extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and involvement in missions. Fellowship assignments generally involve providing up-to-date expertise in the rapidly advancing science, technology and engineering arenas that routinely impact the policy decisions encountered by the State Department or USAID.
"I'm looking forward to plying my trade in a different way for a year in helping to solve international environmental problems," Marston said.
Highly recognized in his field, Marston teaches and conducts research in environmental geography, geomorphology, mountain geography and water resources. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, the Explorers Club and the United Kingdom's Royal Geographical Society. He served as 2005-2006 president of the Association of American Geographers, and since 1999 he has been co-editor-in-chief of Geomorphology: An International Journal of Pure and Applied Geomorphology.
He also is the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Geosciences Alumni Award from Oregon State University, the 2004 Sterling L. "Bud" Burks Award for Outstanding Environmental Research from the Oklahoma State University Environmental Institute, and the 2003 Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors. He has served on the president's Western Water Policy Review Advisory Commission. Marston is the author of numerous journal and book publications. He has received more than $2 million in grants and contracts for his research, including funds from the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey.
Following his fellowship Marston will return to K-State in September 2012, but will remain available to the State Department or USAID for short-term projects for the following five years.
Marston, a Certified Professional Hydrologist, joined K-State in 2005 and received the university's highest academic ranking of distinguished professor in 2006. He earned a bachelor's in geography-ecosystems from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a master's and doctorate in geography from Oregon State University.
More information on the Jefferson Science Fellowship program is available at http://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/jefferson.