Environmental Systems Ph.D. student Zachary Malone was awarded the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award. This award provides graduate students with the opportunity to participate in virtual Congressional Visits Day and to learn about the legislative process and federal science funding.
Malone, from the Sacramento area, earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Merced in 2020 and is working on his doctoral degree with professors Rebecca Ryals and Asmeret Asefaw Berhe. His research focuses on the use of organic matter amendments — such as compost — on urban soils for carbon sequestration and soil health. He is starting a research project to look at how compost can reduce the climate footprint of an urban sports park in the East Bay city of Dublin.
“This award supports my growth as a scientist by improving my understanding and involvement in science policy, “Malone said. “Through this award, we are trained how to have a congressional meeting, and we then meet with six different legislative offices throughout California.”
Malone, one of 44 students nationwide to receive the award, will lead a meeting with a staff member from Rep. Jim Costa's office.