Science Policy Lessons and a Passion for the Marine Environment with Amber Mace, Ph.D.

This week’s episode features Amber Mace, Ph.D., CEO of the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST).

We discuss Amber’s early career in science policy, her upcoming transition from CCST to the California Academy of Sciences, and the institution’s ambitious mission, with a focus on Amber’s approach to building strategic partnerships and her enthusiasm for learning and collaboration in her new role.

[00:01:30] Amber’s Early Career

  • Amber reflects on her early career, which began with teaching scuba diving and water safety at Berkeley. Her deep connection to the ocean and interest in marine ecology laid the foundation for her journey into science policy.

[00:06:00] Environmental Policy and Marine Ecology

  • We explore the common thread in Amber’s career: a focus on environmental policy and marine ecology. We discuss the pivotal experiences that shaped her passion for bridging the gap between science and policy.

[00:10:15] Transition to Science Policy

  • Amber shares insights into her transition from an academic background to science policy. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the disconnect between science and policy, and how this inspired her to advocate for better communication.

[00:15:30] Mission and Vision at the California Academy of Sciences

  • Amber discusses her upcoming transition in late September from her position as CCST’s CEO after a decade of innovative and strategic leadership. CCST Deputy Director Sarah Brady, Ph.D. has been appointed by the Board of Directors as Interim CEO. Amber discusses her new role at the California Academy of Sciences and the Academy’s bold mission to reverse biodiversity decline. She emphasizes the critical role of strategic partnerships in achieving this vision.

[00:20:45] Building Strategic Partnerships

  • Amber outlines her approach to building strategic partnerships, emphasizing the need for collaboration across sectors. She highlights the importance of galvanizing support from philanthropy, policy, and the private sector.

[00:25:20] Learning and Collaboration

  • Amber expresses her excitement about the learning opportunities and collaborations that await her at the California Academy of Sciences. She looks forward to combining her background in policy with her passion for ecology and conservation.

[00:30:00] Conclusion

  • Mark congratulates Amber on her upcoming role and looks forward to future discussions on conservation, biodiversity, and the Academy’s mission to regenerate the natural world.

Resources mentioned in the episode

California Council on Science & Technology (CCST)

California Academy of Sciences