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Meet a Participant

One of the best ways to learn about opportunities at the U.S. Forest Service is through the eyes of a past participant.


Participant Highlight Form

ORISE is lucky to have so many great fellows/participants and mentors in our ORISE Research Participation Programs. We would like to be able to highlight the profiles of our active fellows, alumni, and mentors on our website, on our social media accounts, in newsletters, videos, or press releases. Do you have a mentor or a fellow/participant in the Research Participation Program whose accomplishments you would like to see highlighted through ORISE?

Contact ORISE to highlight a current or former participant or mentor.


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    Robert Smith

    Robert Smith, PhD, examined the impacts of air quality and atmospheric changes on forest health.
  • nicholas-povak.jpg

    Nicholas Povak, Ph.D.

    As a participant in the U.S. Forest Service Research Participation Program, Nicholas Povak, Ph.D., studied the impacts of fire suppression and management tactics on Washington forest ecosystems.
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    Kendra Wendel

    Kendra Wendel, a participant in the USDA U.S. Forest Service Research Participation Program, uses her background in applied environmental anthropology to study the lands, peoples and management practices of the Pacific Northwest.

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    Karen Dante

    Karen Dante has learned much about climate change as a postgraduate fellow in the U.S. Forest Service Research Participation Program, most importantly, its impact on forests in the United States. Dante hopes to use these experiences in the future to impact India’s (her nation) stance on the renewables industry and initiate climate smart solutions.

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    Nicole Buell

    Nicole Buell, who holds a master’s in environmental management, spends her time in the U.S. Forest Service Research Participation Program creating outreach materials to improve science accessibility.

  • I have access to new resources, experts, and the deep experience of my mentor and cooperators.  My mentor has gone out of her way to ensure I am well-positioned for the next stage of my career progression.

    —Robert Smith
  • This experience has increased my knowledge of forests and climate change not by ten, but hundredfold. I have learned so much from this fellowship, especially the intersection of science and policy. This experience really has been a 'dream come true.'

    —Karen Dante
  • I’m getting a lot out of my experience by contributing to very valuable work, and I’m also encouraged to pursue professional development to increase my skill set. I think it’s so great to be able to gain experience in the federal government. I don’t think I would have had the same opportunity had this fellowship not existed.

    —Nicole Buell