Our Team

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Edward C. Robeck, Director of Education and Policy

As Director of the Education and Policy Department, Ed Robeck provides administrative guidance and support for the activities of the Geoscience Policy and Critical Issues programs. In this role, Ed monitors budgets, funding opportunities, and the potential for collaborative projects in and across AGI departments, and with external partners. Ed also interfaces with staff on specific policy-related projects, especially as they relate to education and public outreach.

Ed holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Curriculum and Instruction in Science Education, and worked at various levels of education and educational publishing, most recently in teacher education at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland, where he holds the rank of Professor Emeritus.

Ben Mandler, Program Supervisor, Policy and Critical Issues, and Schlumberger Senior Researcher

Ben oversees the running of the Policy and Critical Issues programs, identifies project opportunities, and works with program staff to develop strategies for promoting the role of the geosciences in decision making at all levels. Ben writes and curates information products for the Critical Issues program, including case studies, factsheets, FAQs, and blog posts. He also organizes and moderates webinars and manages the Maps & Visualizations portal. His areas of particular interests in the program include human-hazard feedbacks, relationships between energy and water, and demand for mineral resources.

Ben earned his Ph.D. in Geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, specializing in petrology, volcanology, and planetary science. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Bristol (UK).

Cassaundra Rose, Geoscience Policy and Critical Issues Program Manager

Cassaundra manages Critical Issues staff and operations, writes information products and blog posts for the website, and manages social media strategies and outreach efforts for the program. She also organizes and moderates webinars and is responsible for producing and managing Critical Issues Forums for AGI. Her primary areas of interest are in climate science, natural hazard monitoring and mitigation, and water resource issues.

Cassaundra earned her Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science from Columbia University, and also holds a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of California at Riverside, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Florida State University. Her graduate research focused on past climate changes; specifically long-term changes in rainfall and runoff patterns and vegetation in western North America and Africa.

Anna Normand, Senior Policy Associate

Anna works directly in the confluence of science policy by facilitating shared engagement and understanding between federal policy makers and the geoscience community. She dissects complex federal policies into written products tailored specifically for geoscientists, builds congressional relationships on behalf of the geoscience community, and coordinates with geoscience coalitions and working groups to organize congressional briefings and initiatives.

Anna earned a Ph.D. from the University of Florida specializing in wetland biogeochemistry and completed a B.S. in chemistry from Louisiana State University. In 2016, Anna was a Knauss Sea Grant Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee working on policies and legislation related to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Michelle Barreto, Geoscience Policy Associate

Michelle communicates with a broad range of audiences in the geoscience community and with policy-makers at the federal level. She writes and edits news briefs, provides legislative analysis and reports, collaborates in various science policy coalitions and working groups, engages with congressional offices, and organizes meetings and briefings on Capitol Hill. She also supervises interns and develops information products, including the Geoscience Policy Monthly Review, factsheets, and social media content.

Michelle earned her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina, with areas of emphasis in biological oceanography, coastal resource management, and marine policy. Michelle previously worked at the U.S. House of Representatives before joining the American Geosciences Institute in March 2017.

Abby Ackerman, Research Intern

Abby researches and creates outreach materials on the importance of geologic mapping and its contributions to society. Supported by the US Geological Survey’s National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP), Abby's work highlights the various applications of geologic maps and their role in decision-making.

Abby recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from Bryn Mawr College. While at Bryn Mawr, she studied coal-related acid mine drainage (AMD) in Pennsylvania, which introduced her to the important role geoscience should play in informing policy. Most recently, she was the Summer 2017 Geoscience Policy Intern with AGI.