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 an M.Sci. degree in Geology from the University of Bristol (UK).

Cassaundra Rose, Geoscience Policy and Critical Issues Program Manager

Cassaundra manages staff, operations, and web-based publishing in AGI’s Geoscience Policy and Critical Issues programs. She leads AGI's Critical Issues engagement and relationship-building with state and local level organizations and decision makers. Cassaundra manages, writes, and curates information products for the Critical Issues program, including case studies, factsheets, FAQs, and blog posts. Cassaundra also organizes and produces webinars and Critical Issues Forums, including recent events on coastal storm hazards and regional groundwater management. Her primary geoscience areas of interest in the program include climate science, natural hazards monitoring and mitigation, and water resource issues.

Cassaundra earned her Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science from Columbia University, a M.S. in Geology from the University of California at Riverside, and a B.S. in Geology from Florida State University. Her graduate research focused on inorganic and organic geochemistry, sedimentology, and past climate changes in western North America and Africa.

Anna Normand, Senior Policy Associate

Anna leads AGI’s policy engagement with federal policy makers and the geoscience community, which includes organizing congressional fly-ins, coordinating congressional and executive branch outreach, drafting testimony and position letters, and co-chairing geoscience coalitions (Mineral Science and Information Coalition) and working groups (Geoscience Policy Working Group). Anna oversees and contributes to the creation of information products for the Geoscience Policy program, including the Geoscience Policy Annual Review, Monthly Review, news briefs, webpages, and social media content.

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 conducts outreach to policy-makers at the federal level. Her responsibilities include tracking, analyzing, and reporting on legislative issues, writing and editing news briefs for the Geoscience Policy Monthly Review, collaborating in various science policy coalitions, and engaging with congressional offices. Michelle is a lead co-chair of the Hazards Caucus Alliance, which is a professional network that supports the efforts of the Congressional Hazards Caucus to provide members of Congress and their staff with information and education on preparing for, mitigating against, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters. Michelle also supervises the Geoscience Policy interns and helps with developing media content.

Michelle earned her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina, with areas of emphasis in Biological Oceanography, and Coastal Resource Management & Marine Policy. Prior to joining the American Geosciences Institute in March 2017, Michelle worked at the U.S. House of Representatives for the Office of Representative Carlos Curbelo. She also previously worked as the Director of Aquatics at the Cleveland Park Club in Washington, DC, as well as an Event Manager for BarkHappy.

Bryce Koester, AGI/Paleontological Society Geoscience Policy Intern

Bryce reports on federal geoscience policy for AGI’s Monthly Review, co-manages the activity of the policy social media accounts, and attends geoscience coalition meetings as a representative of AGI. As an intern, Bryce also creates and updates AGI’s website content, including the annual state geoscience factsheets. Bryce’s internship is supported by the Paleontological Society.

A recent graduate from Vanderbilt University, Bryce majored with honors in Earth and Environmental Sciences and minored in Spanish and Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Bryce's research interests include investigating potential paleoecological indicators of anthropogenic influence, which she explored in her thesis on foraminifera mutations and heavy metal concentrations in the Bahamas. Outside of academia, Bryce also interned at Urban Green Lab, a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public on science and sustainable living.

Chris Micucci, Geoscience Policy Intern

Chris actively works with federal agencies and Congress to represent the geoscience community and promote sound public policy in Washington, D.C. He also manages the Geoscience Policy program’s social media presence, contributes to information products such as news briefs and the Monthly Review, and updates AGI’s web content. In addition, he is working on an article about the ocean acidification, which will be published in EARTH magazine later this year.

Chris earned a B.S. in geology and environmental science at Allegheny College. For his senior thesis he studied how a flood control dam in Crawford County, Pennsylvania is impacting the fluvial geomorphology and the floodplain ecosystem of a local creek. His research interests involve the investigation of past climates through practices of sedimentology and geochemistry, and he plans on pursuing a master’s in the next few years.

Veronica Tuazon, Critical Issues Intern

Veronica focuses on communicating relevant geoscience information to state- and local-level decision makers. As the Critical Issues intern, she helps maintain and update the AGI website and publish web-based information products. She is writing an article for EARTH Magazine on mineral co-production and the Department of the Interior Critical Minerals List, which will be published later this year.

Veronica is entering her senior year at Stony Brook University, where she is pursuing a BS in Geology. So far, her undergraduate career at Stony Brook has focused on research in mineralogy and mineral physics. She conducts research with a faculty member affiliated with Brookhaven National Laboratory, and she was a member of the Summer 2017 cohort of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates at the American Museum of Natural History. She recently was a Stony Brook University nominee for the nationally competitive Goldwater Scholarship for excellence in undergraduate STEM research.