Chair’s Message

Dear STEP Colleagues,

I am so pleased to have the opportunity to be STEP chair for the next three years. I’m involved with STEP because it offers me the chance to share work with colleagues who have deep expertise, to read Tom and Patricia’s great newsletter, and to participate in growing the study of what is clearly an important area for society and the earth.

For those of you I haven’t met yet, I am an Associate Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My scholarship focuses on how politics affects policy, because sound environmental policy depends not only on good policy design, but also on navigating the complex institutional arrangements that shape the policy making process. I’m originally from Montana, which drives my interest in public lands management, wildfire, and party politics.

Many thanks to David Konisky at Georgetown for his excellent service over the past three years. I particularly appreciate the classy website and the new awards that came about under his direction. He has made it difficult to write this note outlining my goals because he has left everything running so smoothly.

Over my tenure, I’d like to accomplish the following:
• Grow the membership in the section, and particularly reach out to those whose work engages environmental and science and technology issues even if it’s not their core research area.
• Maintain the vibrancy and presence of STEP within APSA with panels that reflect our diversity.
• Make our new awards as successful as the people they honor.
• Use the new website to showcase current research of STEP members.

So here is where I ask something of each of you. Please contact me at if you want to help the STEP section.
• Write a short blog post for the website. Send me around 750 words about your most recent publication or expert commentary on a current issue.
• Serve on an award committee. With the new committees, we need more participants so please volunteer a few hours to learn about what your colleagues are doing.

I look forward to meeting many more of you throughout the coming years. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, ideas, or new directions.

Sarah Anderson
STEP Section Chair

P.S. I’m looking for a web savvy graduate student to help manage the website. Let me know if that’s you!

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