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.

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.

Forrest Lewis, AGI Geoscience Policy Intern

Forrest writes news briefs on federal geoscience policy issues for the AGI Monthly Review. He also represents AGI at coalition meetings, manages AGI’s website and social media content, and writes for EARTH magazine.

Forrest is a 2017 graduate of Harvard College with a joint degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Environmental Science and Public Policy. As an undergraduate, his research focused on tree leaf respiration as it pertained to the global carbon cycle. He also worked for the Harvard University Office for Sustainability for three years in the Resource Efficiency Program. After graduation, Forrest spent a year teaching in The Gambia as a Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Traveling Fellow.

View past intern profiles here.