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February 27, 2024

Title: Celebrating International Women's Day and the Paths Taken to a Career in Science

Date: March 8, 2024, at 2:00 pm Eastern/11:00 am Pacific

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women and the USGS will feature three amazing women scientists, highlighting the paths they took, a paved(!), leading to their career with the USGS. 

Dr. Aparna Bamzai-Dodson, Dr. Erin Buchholtz, and Dr. Maggie Hunter will each share their background and career path, highlighting things they have learned along the way that still guide them today.  They will also share an overview of their research portfolio at the USGS. Learn more about Aparna, Erin, and Maggie below.


A woman with dark hair and a black and white shirt smiles for her picture while standing in a park.

Dr. Aparna Bamzai-Dodson is the Assistant Regional Administrator for the USGS North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (NC CASC). In this role, she undertakes stakeholder and partner engagement to identify strategic science goals, outputs, and objectives. She is also responsible for tracking budget planning and expenditures, organizing the solicitation and review of project proposals, and coordinating efficient and effective communication and collaboration among NC CASC-funded scientists. Aparna completed her Ph.D. through the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma, while working fulltime for USGS. Her dissertation research focused on the theory and practice of engaging stakeholders in the creation of actionable science for climate adaptation. This research will provide an opportunity for the NC CASC to learn how to improve its practice of producing usable knowledge to support decision making.



A woman smiles

Dr. Erin Buchholtz is the Assistant Unit Leader of Wildlife in the USGS South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Her research is at the nexus of wildlife movement ecology, landscape ecology, and socio-ecological systems; she's had the opportunity to work in ecosystems ranging from the southeastern US to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. She applies quantitative and spatial methods such as circuit theory and resource selection modeling to support conservation and management actions. Prior to joining the South Carolina Co-op Unit, Buchholtz worked at the USGS Fort Collins Science Center. Now in the South Carolina Co-op Unit based at Clemson University, she enjoys mentoring and advising graduate students in the Department of Forestry & Environmental Conservation and exploring the biodiversity of upstate South Carolina.








Manatee and Dr. Margaret Hunter underwater

Dr. Maggie Hunter obtained her PhD from the University of Florida and is a Research Geneticist with USGS. She is the director of the Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center Conservation Genetics laboratory which uses genetic and genomic tools to inform management of invasive and imperiled species. She specializes in the development and assessment of environmental DNA (eDNA) markers and methodologies, population genetics, and genetic biocontrol of invasives species. She also has a focus on global biodiversity policy and is a co-lead for the conservation genetic working groups under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) and is a founding member of the Coalition for Conservation Genetics.

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