Vanessa Lazar is a Research Associate for the Gulf Research Program at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Launched in 2013, as part of legal settlements for the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the GRP was established to fund and conduct activities to enhance oil system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf regions. In this role she contributes to fellowship and capacity-building initiatives and conducts a range of program evaluations. Prior to joining to the National Academies she was at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences. At the NSF she focused on science communication activities such as strategic planning, writing about basic science research investments for public audiences, and conducting public outreach. Additionally, she supported a number of initiatives that bridged the behavioral and environmental sciences.