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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Growing up along Florida's rural Gulf Coast, Gil Damon's early life was shaped by exchanges between science and government. When hurricanes approached, instruments aboard federal satellites and aircraft enabled lifesaving forecasts. During clear skies, the declining health of fisheries, wetlands, rivers, and springs generated intense discussions at the state and local levels. 

To explore the interactions between scientific and political entities, Gil interned for a bipartisan pair of US senators, with a Florida representative, and in the Obama White House. Through two NASA internships, he designed an outreach database, supported agency leaders, and collaborated with astronauts on public and legislative relations. 

After completing an associate's degree at Tallahassee Community College, Gil majored in political science and psychology at Florida State University to study civic institutions and the minds influencing them. There, he conducted a psychological study on climate science communication and developed a research-inspired program to unite strangers with opposing political views. 

As a senior, Gil was named a Florida Gubernatorial Fellow to engage in land preservation initiatives with executives at his state's largest environmental agency. Before and after graduation, he served as a park ranger and boat captain in wildlife sanctuary, teaching thousands of passengers about alligators, manatees, waterfowl, and ecological threats. Gil is an archery enthusiast, amateur naturalist, occasional sailor, and licensed pilot. He joins the MPP as a Gates Cambridge Scholar.



Science communication; aerospace policy; climate policy; campaign finance; voting rights