Sharon Smolinski joined the PhD program at the School of Public Affairs in 2012. She is a scientist with over 13 years of experience in biofuels research. That career provides an understanding of various aspects of science and technology issues, particularly in the public sector. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado Denver. She also received a Master of Science in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado Denver in 2011, with a thesis on potential environmental impacts of water diversions. She is interested in environmental issues, is an avid hiker, and has volunteered with the Front Range Pika Project since 2011.