CitSci Blog Series: Project BudBurst

I recently interviewed Kay Havens of Project BudBurst for a post with SciStarter and Discover Magazine blogs. Havens and I talk about the citizen science project, its volunteers, and notable information gleaned from the help of citizen scientists, among other things.

Check out the full piece on either Discover Magazine Blogs or on SciStarter!


Future Fiction Challenge




A few months ago, I entered the Future Fiction Challenge from the Center for the Future of Museums within the American Alliance of Museums.

The challenge was interesting – write a fiction piece (or produce another art form of your choosing) imagining what the future of learning will look like in 2040 and how museums will fit into that future.

I decided to write a piece imagining the back and forth between teachers and students in a new, largely online, learning environment. Well, it must have been unique enough to earn me a spot as a runner-up in the challenge!

I’m incredibly honored and excited to be a part of the finalist group, and am eager to read the other entries. A huge thanks to CFM for the honor!

To read my piece and find out more about the Future Fiction Challenge, visit the Center for the Future of Museums’ Vibrant Learning site.

Project Update: Women of STEM

It’s been 22 days since the launch of the Women of STEM profile series, highlighting women in diverse STEM fields. In the time since, some major milestones have been hit!

So far, nine women have been profiled, ranging from biological scientists to teachers to astrophysicists, and from graduate students to broadcasting series producers. Many more are on the docket, so check back often!

Completely blowing my expectations out of the water, the project has been viewed 804 times by 597 unique visitors. Incredible! Most viewers have been from the United States, and viewers from 22 other countries have also paid a visit, most notably from Brazil, Canada, India, and France.

I’m floored at the attention the project has received and am planning to continue highlighting these awesome women as much as I can. A huge thanks to all the participants in the project, and to viewers of Women of STEM.

If you or someone you know would be a good fit for this project, please let me know! I’d also love to hear how you’re connecting with the project — leave a comment on either site to reach me.

Global Science Engagement & National Parks: AAAS Debrief

Besides science communication, AAAS’s 2016 annual meeting offered a wide variety of sessions for everyone from the “hardcore scientist” to science educators, evaluators, and policy-makers.

One of the most awesome (literally) sessions I was able to attend was “Grand Visions for the Future of US Science in a New Global Era.” This was a panel presentation led by some of the biggest big-wigs in the science field. France Cordova, of the National Science Foundation, John Holdren of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, Charles Bolden of NASA, and Franklin Orr of the US Department of Energy were in attendance.

Gary Machlis, Science Advisor to the Director of the National Parks Service, delivered one of the best presentations of the lot. He had a humor and ease in his speaking, even to a large room of attendees. Gary spoke on “The Near-Horizon Future of Science in National Parks,” a look at what may be to come in National Park monitoring and conservation (can you say artificial intelligence and de-extinction??).

Take two of my sketch-noting experiment took me a bit farther from the traditional elements of the practice. I held off on many illustrations to convey thoughts, and limited myself to just a few colors to distinguish sections. This type of note-taking is more natural to me, and felt comfortable. Is comfortable always good? Not so much, but it was easier to complete. Take a look below:

AAAS Sketchnote 2

Communicating Science: AAAS Debrief

A few weeks ago, I attended the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)’s Annual Meeting (aka conference). I was there for a few reasons – to learn more about science communication and related fields, to network and learn about different organizations, and to meet up with the Citizen Science Association, a group that I volunteer on a few committees for.

This is my “adventures in sketch-noting!” first attempt. I’ve been interested in the concept of sketch-noting since attending an excellent Visual Communication session at the Visitor Studies Association’s 2015 conference in Indianapolis. For those uninitiated, it’s a form of note taking which focuses on using visuals like drawing, diagrams, and section markers to amplify the visual interest of your notes. The idea is that this type of note would then be something you’d a) remember more clearly after the note-taking was over, and b) be happy to come back to and review, because it is so darn appealing.

So, smashing together a few of my interests, I bring you my first attempt at sketch-noting: the “Using Visuals for Science Communication” session from AAASMtg2016.

AAAS Sketchnote 1