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Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Welcomes its Fourth Cohort

September 26, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — By welcoming its fourth cohort, the Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship (ISTPF) is expanding its impact and continues to advance Idaho’s science-policy ecosystem.

This year’s cohort, who started their fellowship years in late August, includes for the first time a second-year fellow. Sarah Maher, Ph.D., is a second-year fellow at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), and Kimberly Gardner, Ph.D., is a first-year fellow, who will be hosted by two agencies through a joint appointment — the Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Workforce Development Council.

Gardner earned a doctorate in public policy and administration and bachelor’s in political science from Boise State University and a master’s in public policy and administration from Baylor University. Her research focused on big data and the ethical use of data.

Maher is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in magnetic studies and data analysis. She holds a doctorate in earth sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a master’s in geology and geophysics from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a bachelor’s in physics and astronomy from University of Victoria.

“Sarah has been an integral part of the team at IDFG, and we are thrilled she will get to spend a second year with us,” IDFG Deputy Director Amber Worthington said. “Through this second-year expansion, she will be immersed in a more in-depth policymaking experience, seeing her on-the-ground work translated into policy.”

The ISTPF is a nonpartisan program that places scientists, social scientists and engineers in Idaho state government to learn firsthand about policymaking while using their knowledge and skills to address pressing challenges facing the state. The program also offers training to professionals in government, business and universities.

In the first three years of the ISTPF, six fellows were placed with six state agencies: Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, Governor’s Office of Species Conservation, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho STEM Action Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Legislative Services Office.

Now in its fourth year, the ISTPF is a partnership among Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho. U of I’s McClure Center for Public Policy Research is the program lead.

“This important program keeps Idaho talent in Idaho and engages subject-matter experts in advising on and learning about science policy all across our state,” Boise State University President Marlene Tromp said. “The impact of bringing together scientists, decision-makers and members of our communities to learn and grow together profoundly benefits our great state.”

The ISTPF has raised over $1 million to launch and expand. Sources of financial support for the fourth year are the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho and individual donors. Learn more about the ISTPF.

Media Contacts

Katherine Himes, Ph.D.
Director, James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research
University of Idaho

Alissa Korsak
Marketing & Communications Manager
University of Idaho Boise

Mike Sharp
Director of Media Relations
Boise State University

Miriam Dance
Associate Vice President of Marking and Communications
Idaho State University

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at


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