Josh Reding, North Carolina STEM Policy Fellow

Joshua Reding is a recipient of the 2022-2023 North Carolina STEM Policy Fellowship, a program launched in 2020 which provides graduate students from North Carolina colleges and universities with opportunities to serve in high-level state government offices addressing policy topics related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Josh is being hosted by the Office of Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Department of Commerce, where he seeks to encourage creative local talent and support community development through work on the One North Carolina Small Business Program.

Josh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research investigates unusual white dwarf stars which may have formed in stellar mergers as “failed” supernovae, and he also is fascinated by astronomical instrument design. Josh extensively engaged in science outreach and education as a graduate student, including as a member of the SciREN Triangle team and as organizer and host of the local event series Astronomy on Tap in the Triangle. Hoping to use his science communication skills to address more prescient problems, Josh entered the science policy realm by participating in the American Astronomical Society’s 2020 Congressional Visit Days program. Here, he described the growing negative impacts of satellite pollution using data from an innovative telescope designed and built at UNC Chapel Hill, and called for action from the offices of North Carolina Senators Tillis and Burr and Representative Price (NC-04). Having seen how clever ideas of any size can address such major issues, Josh is delighted for the opportunity to explore the broader ingenuity of North Carolinians in crafting solutions which will improve the lives of everyone living in the Tar Heel State.

Josh completed his B.A. in astrophysics and philosophy at Colgate University in 2015, and received his M.S. in astrophysics from UNC Chapel Hill in 2020. He lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, Olivia, and two cats, Ghillie and Hobbes. Josh can be reached by email at, or by phone at (919) 814-4763.