Sabbatical year as a congressional science fellow



Probably my most illuminating experience on the Hill as the American Geophysical Union Congressional Science Fellow has been in understanding how the Congress and the federal government work. The continuous interface with government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as with congressional subcommittees and congressmen, constitutes the daily classroom setting for the Congressional Science Fellow. Familiar words and terms often used in Systems Engineering, such as ‘legal, institutional, social and political considerations and constraints,’ now carry much deeper connotations. They are not merely theoretical or abstract terms, but rather very real ones that can be associated with my discussions with congressmen and representatives of federal, state, and local agencies.