Politics isn't rocket science, but Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, would be comfortable if it required that type of expertise: he holds a PhD from Columbia in astrophysics and has worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
While with NASA in the 1970s, Quirk conducted climate research and helped develop a model for atmospheric circulation. He said the experience informed his policy interests, something he hopes to apply to areas like California's goal of significantly reducing emission levels by 2050, as mandated in AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
'I've been concerned about global warming ever since, I've followed the energy industry ever since, and one of the reasons I wanted to come here was to look at energy policy," Quirk said.
The 2013-2014 Legislature features the largest freshman class in decades. In this recurring series, Insider Edition helps get you acquainted with the influx of newcomers.
PHOTO: Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward during the first day of session at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 . The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.