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MSU Sustainability Expert Named AAAS Public Engagement Fellow

Laura Schmitt Olabisi

Michigan State University Associate Professor Laura Schmitt Olabisi has been named one of 15 researchers nationally to be a 2018-19 Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The scientists were chosen for having demonstrated leadership and excellence in their research careers and an interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society.

The AAAS Leshner Fellows will meet in June 2018 at AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a week of intensive public engagement and science communication training, networking and public engagement plan development.

Throughout the year following the training, AAAS Leshner Fellows will develop and implement public engagement activities, train other scientists in their communities and work to increase capacity for public engagement at their institutions. AAAS staff will provide ongoing support and continuing professional development throughout their fellowship year.

Schmitt Olabisi is a participatory systems modeler. She works directly with stakeholders to build models that foster adaptive learning about the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems and to integrate stakeholder knowledge with academic knowledge. She is currently working in West Africa on climate change adaptation, food security and development projects. She also works in Detroit and Flint, Mich., on food security and urban agriculture systems. Schmitt Olabisi holds a doctoral degree in systems ecology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and was a 2016-17 visiting scholar at the RAND Corporation.

The Leshner Leadership Institute was established in 2015 through philanthropic support. The Institute is managed by the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, established in 2004 by Alan I. Leshner, now chief executive officer emeritus of AAAS.

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