Veterans Day

White House Champions of Change- Veterans Advancing Clean Energy & Climate Security

By Tania Allen

This was my first time attending an event remotely close to the White House, and the fact that it was to recognize work being done by veterans was even more special for me. I was excited!

Entering the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House for the “Veterans Advancing Clean Energy & Climate Security” within a few days from Veterans Day was an honor. It was a reminder of the purpose for the work I do every day, helping veterans to transition from military service into federal employment. A reminder that the experience gained during active duty is easily translatable into the civilian word and that there is lots to be gained.

The honorees included 12 veterans from different branches of the military making a difference in the areas of clean energy and climate security for future generations. The common theme had to do with decreasing our dependence on foreign sources of energy.

 One of the honorees, Captain Adam Cote, was actually calling in to the meeting from Afghanistan. The focus of his company was thermal energy and energy storage technology. This expertise is sure to impact our future generations.

The other honorees included Dave Belote, Robin Eckstein, Philip Green, Avi Jacobson, Kevin Johnson, Joseph Knott, Joseph Kopser, Nat Kreamer, Andrea Marr, Elizabeth Perez-Halperin and Drew Sloan.

The work being done by those within our Agency mirrors the commitments of these honorees. Our commitment to protecting the environment is the mission of our agency and we are fulfilling this mission by increasing our veteran hiring over the years. We have doubled our veteran hiring over the past six years and we continue to improve because we understand the value that our veterans bring to the civilian workforce.

As the honorees proved all a veteran needs is an opportunity. I believe President Barack Obama said it best, “If you can lead a platoon in a war zone, you can lead a team in the board room.”
For more information on the EPA’s Veterans Employment Program, please click HERE.

About the author: Tania Allen serves as the Veterans Employment Program Manager in the Office of Human Resources and Human Capital Management Division for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Honoring Our Veterans

On this Veterans Day, I want to express a deep gratitude to all of the many men and women, past and present, who have proudly defended this nation through their military service. I feel especially privileged to have met many of these fine public servants and veterans who currently work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

At the EPA, we have worked very hard to expand our hiring of veterans over the past six years.  In fact, we have doubled the number of veterans hired during that time. From September 2012 to September 2013, more than 15% of our new hires were veterans, of which more than 5% were disabled veterans. Agency-wide, almost 9% of our permanent employees are vets. We have been able to accomplish this by expanding our participation in job fairs, career information events and outreach at military bases.

Our experience tells us that veterans make great additions to any workforce. With skills in planning, leadership, mentoring, personnel and administrative operations, problem-solving, negotiation, advocacy, communication, and in a multitude of technical fields, veterans are a welcome addition to any team.


Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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To All Veterans: Thank you for your service!

Before working to protect human health and the environment, EPA scientists Swinburne A. J. (Jason) Augustine, Ph.D. and Heriberto Cabezas, Ph.D. worked to protect our country while serving in the U.S. Military. Both scientists recently shared some thoughts about their work for our “EPA Researchers@Work” website, and we are highlighting those interviews on Veterans Day, 2012 as part of our efforts to thank Veterans everywhere for their service.

Dr. Jason Augustine at Work Scientist at Work: Interview with A.J. (Jason) Augustine, Ph.D.

Dr. Swinburne A. J. Augustine (Jason), Ph.D. is an EPA Research Microbiologist/Immunologist. His research is aimed at developing and applying rapid, cost-effective and multiplexed immunoassays to determine and/or measure human exposures to environmental pathogens using antibodies in human saliva as biomarkers of exposure. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the American Society for Microbiology. Dr. Augustine also served in the U.S. Army.

How does your science matter?

Every day, we are exposed to a myriad of harmful environmental (airborne, food-borne, and waterborne) organisms. Sometimes they make us sick but more often than not, our immune system protects us from these pathogens. My research uses antibodies in human saliva to measure levels of exposure to environmental pathogens. Epidemiologists use this data to determine if the levels of exposure are high enough to be harmful to humans. This information helps inform Agency decisions on what measures should be taken to protect human health. My research partners and I are analyzing multiple pathogens simultaneously, which saves EPA time and money.

Click here to read the whole interview.

EPA's Dr. CabezasScientist at Work: Interview with Dr. Heriberto Cabezas, Ph.D.

Dr. Heriberto Cabezas, Ph.D. is currently the Senior Science Advisor to the Sustainable Technology Division in EPA’s National Risk Management Research Lab, where he works to advance the scientific understanding, development, and application of science and technologies to address a variety of areas related to sustainability. He was formerly an Acting Director of the Division, and Chief of the Sustainable Environments Branch.

How does your science matter?

My work focuses on preventing environmental problems from happening in the first place. I mostly work on designing processes that have the smallest environmental footprint.

More recently, I have been working on sustainability. We have to ask ourselves, “How can we successfully manage the environment so that we avoid environmental problems in the long term?” The kinds of things that my coworkers and I do matter because it’s the best way to protect the environment and human health: being proactive. We’re not trying to fix a problem after it has already occurred, but trying to see if we can prevent the problems from occurring in the first place. I think that is important.

Click here to read the whole interview.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.