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March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the month we’ll be profiling D.C. based women you should know. Amy Morse, the founder of Ideas Club, is heading the project. Today she profiles Gretchen Goldman. If you’d like to suggest someone for Amy to profile, tweet at her. -ed.

Gretchen Goldman is a PhD environmental engineer with a love of travel and taste for southern food. When she’s not biking around the district, Gretchen enjoys planning international adventures and sampling diverse cuisines. After years of pouring over science, studying air pollution and health effects in graduate school, Gretchen decided the real action was in the science policy space. She moved to D.C. to try to put her science-filled brain to good use. Gretchen is a lead analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit that does analysis and advocacy on science policy issues, from climate change to nuclear weapons. Gretchen’s research has covered everything from media access to scientists to the politics of sugar (cited in the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, CNN.com, and many more). She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University. She currently serves on the Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Impact on Community

Gretchen raises awareness about how science plays a huge role in our lives. She serves on a committee that analyzes climate change projections in D.C. and sets goals on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the region (see below for ways that you can learn more or get involved locally). Using science to make decisions gives us better outcomes about our health, safety, and the environment. More informed choices improve the food we eat (especially sugar intake), the drugs we take, and the products we use. Gretchen hopes that her work will help all people by keeping our policies informed by science – so that we all can be safe, healthy and happy. You can follow her awesome blog or Twitter.

Woman Who Inspires Her

Jane Jacobs was an urban planning thought-leader and advocate. She was instrumental in fighting plans to build highways through urban communities in the 1950s and 1960s. She also developed ideas on the importance of vibrant urban communities that revolved around people – not automobiles. It takes guts to stand up against powerful forces for what you know is right. Gretchen admires her and many others for fighting the good fight.


How You Can Get Involved