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Meet the ISTP Fellows

Kimberly Gardner, Ph.D.

2023-24 Fellow

Kimberly Gardner

Kimberly Gardner specializes in the field of science and technology studies, exploring questions related to ethical use of data and emerging technologies. She is spending her fellowship year in a joint appointment with the Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Workforce Development Council. Gardner’s portfolio will include a number of initiatives, such as developing performance metrics for Idaho’s Launch program and assisting agency stakeholders in creating guidelines for responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. She earned a doctorate in public policy and administration from Boise State University, a master’s in public policy and administration from Baylor University and a bachelor’s in political science from Boise State University.

Sarah Maher, Ph.D.

2022-24 Fellow

Sarah Maher

Sarah Maher is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in magnetic studies and data analysis. She is spending her fellowship with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and is focused on the Greater Sage-Grouse and the connections between state and federal government. Maher holds a doctorate in Earth sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a master’s in geology and geophysics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a bachelor’s in physics and astronomy from the University of Victoria.

Anna Briggs, Ph.D.

2022-23 Fellow

Anna Briggs

Anna Briggs is an expert in diseases transmitted by insects, with an emphasis on biological factors that affect malaria parasite transmission. She was the ISTPF’s first legislative branch fellow and spent her fellowship year with the Legislative Services Office (LSO). In LSO, she contributed to a number of initiatives, including preparing a brief on Idaho’s Digital Learning Academy and presenting the brief to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC). Briggs earned a doctorate in entomology, a master’s in animal science and a bachelor’s in animal and veterinary science with minors in microbiology and Spanish from the University of Idaho

Jared Talley, Ph.D.

2021-22 Fellow

Jared Talley

Jared Talley specializes in environmental governance, philosophy and policy. He spent his fellowship year in the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation (OSC) and the Idaho STEM Action Center. His work at STEM AC focused on rural STEM education, centering around the organization of a statewide rural education collaborative. His work at OSC focused on organizing and strategizing internal collaborative efforts, as well as designing and implementing a statewide salmon recovery policy survey. Talley is currently a faculty member in environmental studies at Boise State University and is the Boise State University representative to the ISTPF leadership team. He earned a doctorate in philosophy from Michigan State University, a master’s of public administration from Boise State University, a bachelor’s in philosophy from Boise State University and an associate degree in liberal arts from the College of Western Idaho.

Samantha Werth, Ph.D.

2021-22 Fellow

Samantha Werth

Samantha Werth is an expert in environmental and economic impacts of cattle production and food supply chains. She was the ISTPF’s second ISTP Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) fellow and spent her fellowship supporting energy topics broadly in the Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR) and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Werth is currently executive director for the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the senior director of sustainability for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. She earned a doctorate and master’s in animal biology and a bachelor’s in animal science, all from the University of California, Davis.

Sarah Hendricks, Ph.D.

2020-21 Fellow

Sarah Hendricks

Sarah Hendricks specializes in bioinformatics. She spent her fellowship year at the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation (OSC), leading a variety of activities, including reporting on state conservation assessments and strategies for the preservation of Idaho’s rare and declining species. Following her fellowship year, Hendricks worked for OSC before returning to the University of Idaho as a bioinformatics data scientist. She earned a doctorate in bioinformatics and computation biology at the University of Idaho, a master’s in ecology and systematic biology from San Francisco State University and bachelor’s in biological sciences and women’s and gender studies from DePaul University.

Veronika Vazhnik, Ph.D.

2020-21 Fellow

Veronika Vazhnik

Veronika Vazhnik is an expert in energy and sustainability research. She was the inaugural ISTP Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) fellow. In this capacity, Vazhnik spent her fellowship in the Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR), leading an update to Idaho’s Energy Assurance Plan, a blueprint to help Idaho prepare for and prevent crises related to energy system disruptions. Following her fellowship year, she joined a consulting firm and specializes in sustainability. Vazhnik holds a doctorate in biorenewable systems, with a minor in operations research from Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor’s in earth and environmental sciences from University College Freiburg at the Albert Ludwig University in Germany.

McClure Center

Physical Address:

Capitol Annex Ste. 116

Mailing Address:

James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research
Capitol Annex
514 W. Jefferson Street
Boise, ID 83702

Phone: 208-364-4549