Science, Technology and Engineering Policy Society

Ariel Marshall with Stephanie Bouley

Ariel Marshall, PhD, (left) senior policy advisor to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH), was a speaker at the 2017 STEPS Miniconference. She visited graduate student Stephanie Bouley's lab. 


Members of STEPS met with former Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environment and Scientific Affairs, Kerri-Ann Jones (center).  


Graduate students Gifford Wong, Julia Bradley-Cook, and Alexandra Giese attended the AMS Summer Policy Colloquium

The Science Technology and Engineering Policy Society (STEPS) is a student-led organization bringing together graduate and undergraduate students, along with postdoctoral researchers, across disciplines and schools at Dartmouth with a shared interest in science policy.

The world’s great challenges, from public health emergencies to rapid climate change to food security, increasingly require science to guide policy. Scientists and engineers offer critical thinking and problem solving skills that provide perspective and knowledge to inform the national and global decision-making that address these challenges. At the same time, policy influences science through the budgets and governmental priorities. To effectively influence policy, scientists and engineers must have a robust understanding of the complex policy landscape. At the national level, the policy landscape includes federal agencies and branches of government that determine and implement policy agendas. At the international level, countries use science diplomacy to engage around common problems, and intergovernmental bodies—such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Arctic Council—convene to coordinate trans-national cooperation. Decisions made within governance structures at both the national and international level can determine the resilience of policy as well as the trajectory of science, technology and society for decades. 

The Science, Technology and Engineering Policy Society (STEPS) is a student-led organization that strives to pair science and policy expertise at Dartmouth to focus on the unique challenges that lie at the science-policy interface, from the local to international level. With representation from the College of Arts & Sciences, Thayer School of Engineering, Geisel School of Medicine, Tuck School of Business, and The Dartmouth Institute, STEPS is an interdisciplinary community of students and early-career researchers with a shared interest in science policy. We provide a forum for students to explore the breadth of science policy by hosting a range of events and connecting students to science policy resources. Our learning opportunities include peer mentorship and professional networking, which provides an important complement to the academic advising that is widely available on campus.


STEPS brings together graduate students, undergraduate students, and postdoctoral researchers at Dartmouth around the topic of science policy. Our goals are to:
(1) promote dialogue and learning about science policy and related topics,
(2) provide resources and promote career development in science policy, and
(3) educate young researchers about the many ways to engage with policy.

Contact and Web Resources

Find out more about STEPS activities on our website and Facebook page. Please feel free to email us with questions or requests to join. New members are always welcome! Members are encouraged to join our Facebook Group.

The John Sloan Dickey Center