Professional Development through Evidence-based Public Engagement
Engaging with the public about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is a professional responsibility, a civic duty, and expected by funding agencies. Engagement involves interactions between STEM professionals and the non-STEM public about STEM topics, often at the intersection of science and society. With funding from the BEACON Center I collaborated with colleagues at UT Austin to organize a series of training workshops for scientists (in-person and virtual). As part of these workshops we collected a wide range of resources that have recently been posted to the 500 Women Scientists website across three pages: Science Communication, Outreach, and Policy.
We also wrote a series of blog posts about these events: 2016 workshop, how BEACONites engage the public, February 2017 workshop, August 2017 workshop, 2018 workshop.
At the BEACON Center I regularly engage in science-related events for the public including the Darwin Day Roadshow and science nights at local elementary schools. Many of these opportunities (at BEACON and beyond) are also highlighted on the BEACON website.
Engaging the Public about Amphibians
My love of amphibians led me to organize a variety of events throughout undergraduate and graduate school. In Florida, I was involved with the E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center. This amazing environmental education engages 4th and 7th students as part of a curriculum aligned with the New Florida State Standards. In addition to engaging with the students on these classroom visits, I led special events like 'Frog Friday' with a variety of stations for families to visit and learn about frogs in Florida.
In Michigan, I am working with local high schools and plan to engage nature centers in citizen science projects in salamander research through SPARCnet.