Sarah Palaich

University of California, Los Angeles

Sarah Palaich sees broad horizons ahead, thanks in part to the DOE NNSA SSGF.

The program has created opportunities, Palaich says. She conducts experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and says she can see herself working in a lab. “On the other hand, I also have a very strong interest in science education policy and I can see myself being buoyed by the SSGF community as I try to effect change in that realm. The best part is that so many doors are open and I don't have to worry about closing any for a long time.”

The fellowship gives Palaich an edge in her geochemistry research at the University of California, Los Angeles. The stipend and other support finances her trips to Oak Ridge, where she works with the Spallation Neutron Source.

Since joining the program, Palaich has learned how her study of minerals deep in the Earth applies to maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

“I’ve learned a lot more about the field” of stewardship science, she says. “I look forward to learning more as I participate in the practicum and interact with the SSGF community. I now understand that stewardship science is an exciting and essential part of the DOE's mission.”