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Berhe Selected by National Academies to Serve as “New Voice” for Science

June 8, 2018

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) just announced that they’ve selected Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe to serve as an inaugural member of the Academies’ newest initiative — New Voices in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (SEM).

Funded by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, New Voices seeks to build a “national network of exceptional young leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and serving the SEM community through science policy, communication, education, outreach, international or interdisciplinary engagement, leadership development and other activities.”

Berhe was selected from a competitive field of several hundred candidates to serve as part of the very first 18-member New Voices peer group, which includes distinguished early-career SEM leaders from a variety of disciplines. Berhe joins the group as a soil biogeochemist whose research focuses on how changing environmental conditions affect vital soil processes. Her on-campus affiliations include the Life and Environmental Sciences Unit in the School of Natural Sciences, the nationally-ranked Environmental Systems Graduate Group and the Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

New Voices group members are appointed for a two-year period. The inaugural cohort will receive guidance from a six-person senior advisory committee that consists of established leaders from the National Academies. They’ll work together to develop new ways to communicate science in ways that address pressing challenges on the national and global stage.

“The program is motivated by the need to communicate science to broad audiences and promote scientists' engagement with policy makers, the public and other scientists,” Berhe said.