Luers and Heller featured in article on women in climate sciences
Environmental scientist Amy Luers found the nonprofit setting more fitting than academia for her career goals. "I wanted to be at the intersection of science, policy and action," she said.
That would have been hard to do as an academic scientist, she said. "It's rare that a scientist at an academic research institution gets to really see the fruits of their labor put into practice in a significant way in their lifetime," said Luers, climate change director for the Skoll Global Threats Fund, a San Francisco-based non-profit.
There are also societal pressures. In 2008 Nicole Heller was an expectant mother with a job offer in hand from New York's Eugene Lang College. It was, in some respects, a dream offer: A tenure track position teaching environmental science.
But Heller, who studies how ecosystems respond to climate change, turned it down. Maternity leave was an issue. Her husband was in graduate school, and her family was in California. And she was eager to make a big impact with her work in terms of advancing human understanding of environmental problems.
Instead, she accepted a new position as a California-based scientist with Climate Central, a startup non-profit focused on communicating the science and effects of climate change to policymakers and the public.