Gazebo Gazette

Gulf Coast native, Dr. Erin Oliver has been honing her professional development skills as a “match” with the Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) through the National Academies of Science Gulf Research Program Sciences Policy Fellowship.

This prestigious award gives fellows the chance to emerge with science policy in the Gulf and gain skills for pursuing a career in the sciences.

Dr. Oliver’s one-year fellowship is matched with a host office that best fits their interests and career goals.

“MBRACE has been a great opportunity for me to build and improve upon my science communication, program management, and stakeholder engagement skills,” said Oliver. “I have also had the opportunity to meet a diversity of people working in the Gulf region who share my interest in building sustainability and resiliency in coastal communities.”

Although Dr. Oliver is not currently doing her own research, she is 100 percent dedicated to her fellowship with MBRACE. She also plans to participate in science advocacy work.

“The reason I wanted to pursue a career outside of research is that I recognized the gap between research outputs and development of environmental policies and decision making,” said Oliver. “I wanted to work towards bridging that gap.”

“By working with MBRACE, Dr. Oliver has been able to further develop her skills facilitating research to application and working at the science-policy interface in Mississippi. And, she has also been a huge asset to the MBRACE program,” said Dr. Kelly Darnell, Interim Director, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. “She regularly represents MBRACE in Gulf-wide collaborative working groups and recently spearheaded a re-design of the MBRACE website, among many other things. Our experience with the Gulf Research Program Science Policy Fellowship has been a great one, and we look forward to hosting more Fellows in the future.”

In 2015, she received her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Louisiana State University (LSU). In 2020, she earned her Ph.D. in Ecology from the joint doctoral program with San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis).  Erin strives for a career in science policy and to ensure that scientific research and resource management align.

The Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) is under the RESTORE Act’s Center of Excellence Research Grant Programs. MBRACE strives to understand the vast ecosystem of the Gulf and provide sustainable resources for research and ecological trends past, present and future. MBRACE works with Mississippi’s research universities, state and federal agencies and local coastal communities.

This project was paid for with federal funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, and the Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).