Megan Melamed

International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Executive Officer

Megan MelamedMegan joined JISAO in February 2011 as the Executive Officer of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) project.  IGAC is a unique international program that facilitates international atmospheric research to address the growing concern over rapid changes in the Earth’s atmosphere.  This month, Megan will be traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico where the IGAC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) will have its 26th annual meeting.  The SSC has 19 members from all over the world (see map below) who for a week will extensively discus how to promote international coordination and collaboration to address atmospheric chemistry issues facing society.

For Megan, being the IGAC Executive Officer is the culmination of an incredible journey.  Megan was born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in a home that was off the grid, powered by a wind generator and solar photovoltaic modules.  Much of her childhood was spent in the outdoors whether it was skiing or exploring the National Forest surrounding her home.  In 1994 Megan traveled to Jalapa, Nicaragua and decided upon seeing the difficulty in striking a balance between environmental protection and the need to allow for a developing country to progress, that she wanted a career an environmental science and wanted to work with an international community.

In 2000, Megan received two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Chemistry and in Spanish Literature, from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  She continued her education at the University of Colorado in Boulder earning a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering in 2002 and 2006, respectively. Upon completion of her doctorate work, Megan received the National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship Program award to conduct research at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma deMegan mountain biking in Mexico México (UNAM) in Mexico City. Following her post-doctoral work in Mexico, Megan was awarded an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship to work at the US Environmental Protection Agency in order to learn the interaction between science and policy. Therefore, the IGAC Executive Officer position is the perfect fit for Megan as it entails science, international collaboration, and policy.

Although Megan loves her position with IGAC, she also loves being in nature.  She spent this past summer exploring the Pacific Northwest from the North Cascades to Mount Rainier camping and hiking with her dog.  She is looking forward to skiing new terrain and wetter snow this winter.  Cycling is another one of Megan’s passions and she raced competitively road and mountain bikes for many years (the photo above shows Megan biking in Mexico with Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes in the background). However, Megan’s true passion is still the Colorado Rocky Mountains and she hopes some day soon to make her way back to the beginning of her journey.

Countries represented on the IGAC Scientific Steering Committee