BASC Staff

Amanda Staudt, Director
Phone: (202) 334-3512
Amanda Staudt directs the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) and the Polar Research Board (PRB) at the National Research Council. Amanda leads strategic planning, guides project development, and provides institutional oversight for both boards. From 2007-2013, Amanda was a Senior Climate Scientist at the National Wildlife Federation. In this role, she focused on communicating climate science and impacts with key decision makers and the general public, developing the intellectual and practical foundation for climate-informed conservation, and advancing climate change science education. She served on the steering committee for Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, and was an editor of Climate-Smart Conservation: Putting Adaptation Principles into Practice, a 2014 guidance produced by an expert workgroup including representatives from government, nonprofits, and academia. Prior to her time at NWF, Amanda was a Senior Program Officer for BASC, where she directed the Climate Research Committee and a number of high-profile studies, including the fast-track review of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan, and studies on weather research for surface transportation and radiative forcing effects on climate. She also spear-headed the development of the Academy's first booklet on climate change targeted to public audiences. Amanda received her B.A. cum laude in environmental science and engineering from Harvard College and her Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from Harvard University.

Laurie Geller, Senior Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-1518
Laurie Geller is Senior Program Officer for the National Academies' Polar Research Board (PRB) and for the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC). She has more than a decade of experience with the National Academies, directing numerous activities addressing polar science, climate and global change, air pollution, sustainable development, and other related topics. In recent years this has included managing the Arctic Matters public engagement initiative, the Committee on Strategic Planning for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research, the Committee to Advise the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the joint NAS/UK Royal Society booklet Climate Change: Evidence and Causes, and the America's Climate Choices suite of studies. Outside of her National Academies role, she has served as an AAAS Science Policy Fellow (with the U.S. EPA), as a Program Officer at the International Council for Science (ISCU) secretariat in Paris, and as a visiting Professor at American University-Paris. She has a Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Katie Thomas, Senior Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-3860
Katie Thomas is a Senior Program Officer for the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. She earned a B.S. in Biopsychology from the University of Michigan in 2004 and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University in 2009. Since joining the National Academies in 2006, she has directed studies on monitoring climate change impacts, urban meteorology, Arctic sea ice prediction, permafrost, and attribution of extreme weather events. She is currently directing a study on anthropogenic methane emissions in the U.S. She has also served as the rapporteur for three workshop summaries: Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda; Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns; and Improving the Understanding of Clouds and Aerosols in Climate Models.

Lauren Everett, Program Officer
Phone: 202-334-1753
Lauren Everett (née Brown) is a program officer with the Polar Research Board and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, where she has been involved in a number of studies such The Arctic in the Anthropocene: Emerging Research Questions, Opportunities to Use Remote Sensing in Understanding Permafrost and Related Ecological Characteristics, and Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. She holds an MS in Marine Studies with a focus on physical ocean science and engineering and BA in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Delaware. Lauren joined the National Academies in 2009 as a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow and is interested in high-latitude environmental policy issues and the role of polar regions in global climate change.

April Melvin,Program Officer
Phone: (202) 334-2684
April Melvin is an Program Officer with the National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) and Polar Research Board (PRB). Prior to joining BASC/PRB, April was a Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the Climate Change Division at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In this role she coordinated research on climate change impacts in Alaska, primarily economic damages to public infrastructure and costs of responding to wildfire. She has also held positions as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Florida, where she studied the effects of increasing wildfire severity in Alaska’s boreal forests, and was a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow with BASC. April received her Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry from Cornell University and holds a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Rochester.

Amanda Purcell, Program Officer 
Phone: (202) 334-1504
Amanda Purcell is a Program Officer with Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC). She began working for BASC after graduating from American University in 2008 (BS in physics and math), supporting projects on topics including: the nation’s response to climate change (“America’s Climate Choices”), future science directions in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, abrupt climate change, global connections to changes in the Arctic, climate intervention (geoengineering), and extreme weather event attribution in the context of climate change. She continued to work at the National Academies while returning to AU part-time to receive her M.A. in mathematics (2013; focus in logic). Amanda is current staff lead for the recently-launched Climate Communications Initiative and the Committee to Advise the US Global Change Research Program, provides general support for the Board’s oversight and convening capacities, and coordinates the institution-wide “Climate Change at the National Academies” newsletter/web presence. She is also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach.

Rita Gaskins, Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (202) 334-2597
Rita Gaskins is the Administrative coordinator for BASC. She has been employed with the National Academies since 1998. Before joining BASC in 2008 she worked with the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Board on Health Care Services, Board on Population Health (formerly the Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention) and the Office of Human Resources.

Shelly Freeland, Financial Associate
Phone: (202) 334-2649
Shelly Freeland is a Financial Associate with the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Polar Research Board. She joined the NRC in 2008 and has contributed to various studies such as America's Climate Choices – Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate ChangeStabilization Targets for Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas ConcentrationsHimalayan Glaciers – Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security, and a host of other studies. Outside of the science world, Shelly is a dance choreographer and has performed in and outside of the DC area.

Rob Greenway, Program Associate
Phone: (202) 334-2338
Rob Greenway is a Program Associate with the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Polar Research Board. He is responsible for facilitating the report production process for the two boards and also maintains the BASC and PRB websites. In addition, he is an accomplished guitarist and composer, and he has performed at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the White House, and many other venues throughout the DC area. Rob received his AB in English in 1986 and his MeD in Language Arts Education in 1988, both from the University of Georgia.

Michael Hudson, Senior Program Assistant
Phone: (202) 334-2583
Michael Hudson grew up in Roanoke, VA and in 2014, graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia with a B.S. in Geographic Science concentrating in Environmental Conservation, Sustainability, and Development with a minor in Environmental Science. After graduating, and without a clear career path, Michael pursued nonprofit work in Roanoke and joined AmeriCorps while working alongside a local nonprofit, The Advancement Foundation, as a community and economic developer. Harnessing that passion for nonprofit work and a background in environmental sciences, Michael moved to Washington, DC in January 2015 to pursue a position combining the two. It was then he briefly worked for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign before gaining full-time employment at the National Academies and BASC/PRB. Outside of work, Michael enjoys exploring DC, cross country skiing, happy hours, and the mountains of the Blue Ridge Valley.

Erin Markovich, Senior Program Assistant/Research Assistant
Phone: (202) 334-2733
Erin was born and raised in Naperville, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago. In May 2015, she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in August of that year, she moved to Washington, DC to work for the National Academies. Erin has been a staff member of BASC and PRB since then and has provided support to numerous studies in an administrative capacity. Erin remains connected to the atmospheric science community by staying involved in the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and exploring new ways to further her education both formally and informally. She strongly supports the St. Baldrick's Foundation and has shaved her head twice, in 2011 and 2013, to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research. She is a big fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, enjoys film and photography, painting, playing the ukulele, and exploring what's new in science. In the future Erin hopes to continue her education, become a published writer, and travel to all seven continents.