Support Scientific Empowerment!

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Donate here to help us reach our goal: $10,000 before December 31, 2016.

As of December 5th, we’ve raised $2,205. Thanks to all of you who’ve donated so far! Let’s keep it going…

Your donation allows us to connect science educators and activists from around the United States with science super stars and students in the Maya community of the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated — and check out our awesome rewards:

  • $50 = after the January unconference, receive a thank you card with a group photo of us all in Mexico.
  • $100 = after Mexico, receive a thank you card and a drawing from one of the students from the science outreach event.
  • $250 = after Mexico, thank you card, and a penpal opportunity with a Proyecto Itzaes budding scientist.
  • $500 = COPUS will give you or your organization/company a shout-out on our website and social media (with links to your site and their logo). Link and logo will stay on our website for one year from posting date.
  • $1000 = Cindy Wilber will give you a personal tour of ‘Hidden Yucatan.’ Airfare not included, but housing (right near beach) and food and a tour guide is!

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Email us if you’d also like to donate school/science materials for the Maya community.

Special kudos to anyone donating on November 17th — that’s our big give day!!! We’ll be posting updates about our fundraising goals each week, so check back here and please share with your friends!

COPUS is a completely not-for-profit, volunteer network of individuals and organizations across the nation focusing on scientific literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, and STEM equity/inclusion. Funds are used for fostering community and collaborations in STEM education (such as our unconferences) or providing educational materials to communities in need. Donations are collected through our University of California at Berkeley hub and are 100% tax deductible.

A huge thank you to Tom McFadden of SciencewithTom for creating our beautiful crowdfunding video. And special thanks to Tokiwa Smith of SEMLink, Edward Samaniego of ES Visual Studies, Diego Román, and all other COPUS contributors for the awesome pictures and videos used.

Gearing Up for the 2017 Unconference…

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img_5140Where’s our next unconference? The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico!

This unconference is going to be incredible, and styled a little different from the last one. The new style will allow all attendees to really get to know each other and bond not only over activities and presentations, but through shared experiences and interactions with the local community.

It is a casual, warm, intimate experience for around 25-30 people to share their expertise, best practices, ideas for innovations — and hopefully inspire cross-disciplinary/cultural/regional collaborations. As our mission states, “COPUS is a diverse trans-disciplinary network of individuals and organizations dedicated to public engagement with science. Members represent a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies who work together to articulate a shared vision and accelerate our collective impact.”

This gathering is several things:

  • A celebration of STEM education/outreach and the individuals that work tirelessly to promote it.
  • An opportunity for the COPUS members to share and learn from the local scientists, educators, and community members through an interactive STEM fair event. Our goal is to empower the local community with science and science connections — but to learn from their expertise and gain understanding from their experiences and perspectives too!
  • An opportunity for professional development and networking.
  • An opportunity for us all to share with each other and recharge for the year – bringing home cool new ideas and possible connections/ideas for grants, etc.

We will be in the town of Chicxulub Puerto about 35 km from the north side of Merida and about 45 minutes from the airport. For this unconference, we’re partnering with Proyecto Itzaes to connect in with the local community of teachers, scientists, and families.

Tentative Schedule (subject to change):
Note: through out the unconference, we will be focusing on providing professional development and networking opportunities for all attendees.

  • Friday, Jan 13th: arrivals and evening networking social
    (for those that are here for the full day, we’ll hold a strategic meeting, review our 2016 COPUS events/activities, prepare for Day of Service)
  • Saturday, Jan 14th:
    1) sharing of expertise & member activities from 2016
    2) finding points of overlap (grants and collaborations)
    3) working group formation for 2017
    4) award ceremony & presentations (Paul Shin & Judy Scotchmoor Awards)
  • Sunday, Jan 15th: Day of Service
    interacting with local scientists and teachers, science fair with the Maya community
  • Monday, Jan 16th: Meeting wrap-up, departures
    for those that are here for the full day, we’ll have a “Day of Action” —
    1) data sharing for projects
    2) make headway on working group action items
    3) reporting on Day of Service for website/social media & grants

Remembering Lee Allison

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Regretfully I can’t remember how we actually first met. It seems that he was just always there. Lee had an impressive geology career and was serving as the State Geologist and Director of the Kansas Geological Survey during the critical years of cyclic episodes of creationism that overtook the Kansas science standards. So most certainly our paths crossed at the National Conference on the Teaching of Evolution in 2000 if not before.

But in 2005, Lee Allison walked into my office at UC Berkeley, sat down, and said “Judy, we’ve got to do something about these anti-evolution guys – they are anti science!” That was all it took to trigger the idea and then the actions that gave birth to COPUS. That’s who Lee was. He had an unmatched and undeterred energy and enthusiasm about him. Plus, he had an overwhelming passion for understanding the history of our earth and a deep-lying respect for the science that could provide the answers and stimulate more questions.

It seemed that with every encounter with everyone, Lee sparked creative and expanded thinking. That was as true late in his career as it was at our Berkeley meeting in 2005. So before I knew it, we had secured funding from NSF to bring in some folks for brainstorming a national initiative with three goals:

  1. developing a shared appreciation of science, its contributions to the quality of life, and its underlying role in advances in technology and engineering
  2. informing and engaging the public in and about science, its process and products
  3. making science more accessible to everyone

And we even came up with a name – the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science – COPUS.

Soon there was a COPUS Core of people sharing ideas of concrete steps toward those lofty goals. This resulted in the Year of Science 2009 and the crazy idea of holding an unconference and Lee found the perfect venue – the Biosphere. There in the Arizona desert, the COPUS Core expanded into the COPUS Corps and an annual unconference became the norm… all because of a guy with an impish grin, a huge heart, and an amazing energy.

It was always fun and comfortable being around Lee – whether at a meeting of the minds in DC or sharing a beer at GSA or hanging out with COPUS friends at an unconference. You just wanted to be around him. He will be sorely missed.

By Judy Scotchmoor

SCOPE

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Cynthia Kramer, SCOPE founder and COPUS member, is committed to connecting the amazing resources in Missouri and other states across the nation, to parents and teachers, and by invoking interest in kids to excite them about STEM.

Scope’s Mission: To share information and connect real life opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) related: activities, programs, organizations, scholarships, internships and workforce opportunities; in order to better the lives of citizens, our economy and global leadership in innovation.

There’s so many things you can do at the SCOPE website! These resources are especially awesome for folks in the midwest (Iowa, Missouri, and surrounding areas).

Meet Tom McFadden

tommcfadden-and-bill-nyeTom McFadden (pictured left, next to Bill Nye the Science Guy) is a Middle School Science Teacher (The Nueva School) & Founder of “Science With Tom.”

His STEM education and outreach work (mainly in the biological sciences) is for for K-12 audiences and the general public. He’s currently focusing on increasing student engagement with science via music and YouTube (and interviewing diverse scientists about their work).

Some things he’d like to talk to other COPUS members about: 

  • Running your own entity (both for profit and non profit)
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • Digital Outreach
  • Curriculum
  • Opportunities for live musical performances and workshops

Tom’s in the San Francisco Bay Area, and particularly interested in connecting with others nearby.

One of Tom’s memorable STEM moments:

“Learning about protein synthesis in 9th grade biology. The realization that each cell in our body is teaming with billions of micro-machines whirring away turning the outside world into ourselves.”

Connect with Tom:

Meet Maya Bialik

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Maya Bialik is co-founder and associate director at The People’s Science, a non-profit that works to improve the relationship between science and the society by hosting a suite of initiatives with a range of science communication goals. She holds a Master’s degree in Mind, Brain & Education from Harvard, and her background includes research in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics. Maya also works as a Research Manager for The Center for Curriculum Redesign, where she synthesizes research to create the theoretical and empirical basis for international education reform. She also writes for Uneven Earth and the Learning and the Brain blog. Last year, she published a book about education and what students need to learn to succeed called Four-Dimensional Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed.

Three words that describe Maya:
Conceptual, intentional, candid.

The dots Maya connects:
Systems, communication, language, cognition.

Meet Marcos Chu

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Marcos leads a group of professionals that volunteer their time to build resilient learning communities. They build robots using the same materials and equipment students use when participating in robotics activities and competitions. They are platform neutral and do not favor a particular robotics competition organization — they encourage youth to follow their dreams in the PRESENT time, looking at the PAST for inspiration and the FUTURE for hope for a better tomorrow. Marcos and his team believes in laying the foundation for the future, and their hope is to inspire children that will become professionals of tomorrow to become better problem solvers.

Three words that describe Marcos:
Steampunk, demo robots, brasileiro.

The dots Marcos connects:
Marcos’s hope is to be able to network with other energetic individuals that would be interested in building STEM learning communities that are geographically no more than 30 minutes from each other along BERSDT STEM Corridor that will be parallel to old U.S historical highway 66.

Meet Mattias Lanas

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Mattias is a freelance scientific illustrator and program assistant at the Foster Foundation for Art and Wilderness, based in Palo Alto, CA. Mattias works at the nexus of science communication and visual media and love to show the world how art and science are a strong pairing of disciplines.

Three words that describe Mattias:
Illustrator, naturalist, enthusiastic.

The dots Mattias connects:
Due to his work, Mattias helps communicate science concepts to the public. He is also a firm believer in education regarding the similarities between an art-maker’s brain and that of a natural scientist.

Meet Roger Conner

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Roger Conner is the Executive Director of GO-Science (ENCRSC). He is the former VP of Communications for the International Association for Business Leaders. In addition, he has served as the Training and Development Director for the Department of Defense in a classified role. Roger’s research interests are focused on informal science education and the utilization of advanced web technologies to deliver STEM programming to geographically dispersed populations who lack access to advanced content, pedagogical experts, and advanced computing resources. Roger also directs a Gates Foundation program that uses immersive learning technologies for common-core delivery and assessment in a K-12 setting.

Three words that describe Roger:
Geek. Systems thinker. Looks for better ways to do everything.

The dots Roger connect:
Roger connects scientists, researchers, and educators to the general public in an informal hands-on science education environment.

Meet Rocio Sanchez

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Rocío Sanchez is Manager of Graduate Student Affairs with the Dept of Plant & Microbial Bio at UC Berkeley. In this role she advises doctoral students through academic and research milestones. As an adviser, she both creates and connects students to services and resources that support personal, academic, and professional development. She is active in efforts to diversify STEM fields through outreach, recruitment, and retention programs for undergraduate and graduate students at CAL. These include SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) and ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students), and Amgen Scholars programs. She serves on graduate admission committees and promotes diversity through evidence-based approaches and meaningful conversations with faculty, students, and administrators.

Three words that describe Rocio:
Chicana, adviser, soccer fan!

The dots Rocio connects:

Rocio connects students to science through mentorships and student support programs that are committed to educate and train a diverse generation of scientists to be the future leaders, researchers, educators and professionals.

Meet Morgan Thompson

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Morgan Thompson is a geneticist, but her passion is informal science education. She is exploring modes of evidence-based dialog & engagement to create new (e.g. Science Presentation as a Performing Art, Emerson College Science Communication Collaborative, etc.) & develop existing programs (e.g. Voice of Young Science USA, Science in the News, Ask for Evidence USA) that provide communication training & public service. Morgan is Assistant Director of Career Development at University of Massachusetts Medical School where she trains Ph.D. students & postdocs in communication & professional skills (http://career.umassmed.edu). She serves on the Public Outreach Committee of the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Morgan enjoys kayaking, backpacking, gardening, cooking, & random crafts.

Three words that describe Morgan:
Experimentalist, maker, nurturer

The dots Morgan connects:
Morgan connects scientists, particularly early career researchers, to opportunities for training in communication and direct engagement in their broader communities.

Meet Jessie Herbert

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Jessie Herbert is the STEM Education Program Manager at the University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area. Jessie earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Montana in 2008 and has worked in informal education since then. She became a certified SciGirls trainer in 2011 and trains educators to implement gender-sensitive curricula in their classroom. She also currently co-directs the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative. As a passionate learner, Jessie enjoys teaching and learning about all types of science. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Education from the University of Montana.

 

Three words that describe Jessie:
Energetic, Passionate, Enthusiastic

The dots Jessie connects:
Connecting people, Connecting programs

Meet Yvonne Tsai

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After many years of mentoring FIRST Lego League and then FIRST Robotics, Yvonne had a hand in starting NH TechFest to showcase STEM careers to middle and high school students . This annual festival brings in industry and university innovators to do hands-on demos and talk about what skills are necessary for the jobs of the future. NH TechFest hopes to inspire the next generation of innovators and scientists by showing off the latest in technology and providing real-life role models for teens.

Three words that describe Yvonne:
Fun-loving nerd, instigator of social activities, science and math can explain all

The dots Yvonne connects:
Yvonne connects teens to STEM professionals, show the relevance of STEM education and future careers, and connect educators and industry to find out how we can grow our future workers.

Meet Whisper Camel-Means

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Whisper Camel-Means is a Wildlife Biologist working for Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Wildlife Management Program. She started her biology career with CSKT as a Biologist Trainee in 1997 while studying Environmental Studies at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, MT. After receiving a Master’s of Science degree in Fish and Wildlife Management, she was awarded a fellowship from The Wildlife Conservation Society (WSC) and The Western Transportation Institute (WTI) to conduct a master’s project on US Highway 93 Pre-Construction wildlife movements. While in Bozeman she was employed by WTI to participate in other highway and wildlife related projects, including an animal detection system prototype project in Yellowstone National Park and a wildlife warning signing system on Bozeman Pass.

Outreach and education is an important part of her position at SKC. Along with other biologists, she strives to educate young and old about wildlife and wildlife issues for all to live more harmoniously with nature. SciNation on the Flathead Reservation is a new program that is gaining traction and an excellent reputation for bringing science and STEM/STEAM learning to children on the Reservation. With climate change looming on the horizon, CSKT has been planning for the potential effects on the Flathead Reservation. Whisper has been actively involved in the CSKT Climate Change Oversight Committee. She is an active member of The Wildlife Society, on the national and state level; with achievement of her Certified Wildlife Biologist status and past president of the Montana Chapter. She is a member of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society. Whisper is past Chair and current vice chair of the Flathead Reservation Fish and Wildlife Advisory Board.

Three words that describe Whisper:
fun, active, Libra

The dots Whisper connects:
“I get along with a wide variety of different types of people. I am outgoing and able to communicate or ask for clarification. I can talk to adults as well as children. I am excited to work with others and share what I know.”

Meet Jenny Cutraro

jennycutraroIn her own words: “Every report card I brought home from grade school noted “Is too talkative during class,” but I prefer to translate that to “Enjoys communicating with her classmates.” Today, I’ve channeled that love of talking into a career in science communications and education.”

Jenny is a producer for  youth and family programming and is currently the co-managing editor at SciStarter. She has been a writer and editor at WGBH in Boston, where she produced materials for the Emmy-­nominated PBS KIDS ecosystem science program PLUM LANDING. You’ll sometimes find her writing about science, education, and creativity for outlets including The Boston Globe, Science News for Students, and the New York Times Learning Network as well. When she’s not talking about science, you’ll find her kayaking with her family, cheering for the Green Bay Packers, and looking for slimy things under logs.

Three words that describe Jenny:
Curious, kayaker, nerd

The dots Jenny connects:
Science + k-12 education + journalism

Meet Tom Hata

1_tomhataTom’s current work revolves around the Foldscope, a field-capable, origami-based paper microscope that costs less than $1 in materials. Tom and the Foldscope team are constantly seeking new connections to communities and novel ways to implement the Foldscope in science education, health, citizen science, and everyday curiosity. Previously, he was a postdoc in the Manu Prakash lab in the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University,

Three words that describe Tom:
tinkerer, diver, former marine biologist

The dots Tom connects:
Foldscope provides a tool for viewing nature at microscopic scales while sitting in that environment.

Meet Tokiwa Smith

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A native of Miami, Florida and an alumnus of Florida A&M University, Ms. Tokiwa T. Smith is a social entrepreneur and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educator with over 10 years’ experience working in education and philanthropy. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link Inc. a nonprofit organization that exposes urban youth to STEM and CEO of Kemet Educational Services, a STEM educational consulting firm. Ms. Smith is also a writer and workshop speaker on topics in STEM education and professional development. She has her own blog, The Science Socialite, where she writes about her journey as a social entrepreneur and STEM educator. Ms. Smith’s work has been featured in several media outlets. In 2013 she was named as one Ebony Magazine’s 10 Black Twitter Tweeps to Watch! and in 2014, she was featured on NPR’s Tell Me More Women Digital Thinkers Tweet for A Day. In 2014, she wrote her first book, A Guide to Hosting STEM Events. She currently resides in Oakland, CA.

Three words that describe Tokiwa:
tenacious, adaptable, laughter

Meet Stu Koretz

1_stukoretzFollowing retirement from a biomedical career, Stu became a docent at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in 2011. At Jasper Ridge, Stu leads tours of students and the general public, participates in field research, and helps teach docents in training. He’s interested in the practical implementation of inquiry-based learning in real world outdoor settings.

Three words that describe Stu:
Ecology tour leader, nature enthusiast, photographer

The dots Stu connects:
Students and the public to Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

Meet Stephanie Gillin

1_stephaniegillin Stephanie’s first experience with wildlife was working for the Salish Kootenai College, participating in a Reservation-wide survey of reptiles and amphibians. She began her career as a Wildlife Biologist Trainee in 1997 while attended the University of Montana, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology. Stephanie has been working as a Biologist with the Tribe for 14 years. She has worked on several projects, including monitoring of Chronic Wasting Disease in ungulates, big game hunting permit organization, permit issuance and compilation of harvest data. She annually conducts numerous public outreach and environmental & cultural education on local wildlife and wildlife issues for local schools and other groups. She represents the Tribes as the Wildlife Biologist on issues related to Yellowstone bison hunting issues and management. She also assists with a wide variety of wildlife projects, including the Highway 93 post-construction monitoring of wildlife crossings and avian surveys.

Three words that describe Stephanie:
Positive, kind, team player

The dots Stephanie connects:
“I am the “middle child”, so I connect as many dots as I can!!”

Meet Russ Campbell

1_russcampbellRuss Campbell is the Senior Communications Officer at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, a private foundation located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Russ has created and published the Fund’s series on career development for scientists and STEM outreach efforts. He understands the critical role of communications in creating authentic connections leading to substantive policy and community change.

Three words that describe Russ:
creative strategic connection

The dots Russ connects:
Passionate individuals desirous for change

Meet Mónica Ivelisse Feliú-Mójer

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Mónica grew up in rural Puerto Rico, surrounded by nature and with a cow in her backyard, which sparked her interest in all things biology. A scientist-turned-communicator, she loves building connections to make science and scientists accessible to all. Her bilingual outreach and communication efforts focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics and opportunities, as well as increasing equity, access and diversity in science and science communication.

Mónica has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the COPUS Paul Shin Memorial Award (2013) for her efforts to increase public understanding of science among Hispanic audiences. Her work has been featured on international media outlets, such as UnivisiónVOXXI, and Scientific American among others.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamón and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Harvard University. Mónica is the vice-director and news editor-in-chief of Ciencia Puerto Rico (@CienciaPR), an organization leveraging social networks to engage Hispanic scientists in science communication and education. Mónica is also the Science Outreach Program Manager for iBiology, an UCSF-based non-profit organization that produces educational open-access videos on research and science-related topics featuring the world’s leading biologists.

Three words that describe Mónica:
Borinqueña, curious, loves stories

The dots Mónica connects:
She leverages online communities to connect scientists, educators and the media to empower people through science.

Meet Diego Román

Diego_200x281Dr. Diego Román is an Assistant Professor in Teaching and Learning at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, specializing in bilingual and science education.

He holds a B.S. degree in Agronomy from Zamorano University in Honduras and a M.S. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-­Whitewater. He earned a M.S. degree in Biology, a M.A. in Linguistics, and a Ph.D. degree in Educational Linguistics, all from Stanford University.

Prior to starting his studies at Stanford University, Dr. Román taught middle school science to English Learners and newcomer students for seven years, first in rural Wisconsin and then in San Francisco, California.

Three words that describe Diego:
language, science, travel

The dots that Diego connects:
Latino/Latina students in science education, international education, language acquisition

Meet Lance Powell

Lance_PowellLance Powell has used the environment as a vehicle to teach science in the Bay Area for most of the last 19 years. He has been involved in a variety of schools ranging from the inner city of San Francisco to where he is now, down the Peninsula in the Menlo Park area. As an educator, he strives to bring science alive while improving student thinking and work habits. He is all about hands-­on science, inquiry work and getting kids outside.

Currently he is serving as an instructional science coach and helping his colleagues bring in the new Next Generation Science Standards into their courses. His most recent acknowledgement earlier in 2015 was the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Education.

Three words that describe Lance:
dynamic, creative, passionate

The dots Lance connects:
Besides the numbered ones, Lance connect kids with the outdoors and the science behind environmental issues that affect them… and maybe even an internship or job.

Meet Colibrí Sanfiorenzo-­Barnhard

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Colibrí lives and works in Puerto Rico.

She is in the process of establishing a consulting firm that supports community groups and NGO’s in science education, organizational structure and administrative/fiscal support.

She integrates basic science (mainly ecology) into art projects, outdoor activities and urban participatory design.

She also connects larger NGO’s with community groups and farmers interested in conservation. Starting from scratch is hard but she loves what she does and is filled with joy everyday!

Three words that describe Colibrí:
outdoorsy, helper, researcher

The dots Colibrí connects:
NGO’s, community groups and individuals working towards the well-being of
Puerto Rico

Meet Joel Abraham

Joel_AbrahamJoel K. Abraham is an assistant professor of biology education in the Department of Biological Science at California State University, Fullerton. Joel and his students study a wide range of topics, including non-­native plant invasions in California ecosystems, sustainable urban agriculture, student conceptions and competencies in science, and teacher education and hiring practices. Many of his students have community-­based research projects, partnering with local urban gardens and schools.

Joel received his PhD in biology at UC Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Scheller Teacher Education Program at MIT. He is active in a number of programs and committees aimed at increasing diversity and public engagement in science.

Three words that describe Joel:
Ecology, Education, Community

Meet Gina Schatteman

Gina_SchattemanGina is the Co-­Director of iExploreSTEM, a non-­profit volunteer organization that
produces and supports public STEM events, primarily in rural and remote areas. Their focus is
STEM festivals, but they also work with communities to help them produce other types of STEM events as
well.

Read this feature about Gina from “Stem Women on Fire.” (http://stemwomenonfire.weebly.com/gina-schatteman.html)

Gina is engaged in research to help us better understand the impact of public science events on
the public value, appreciation, and understanding of science. She is an emeritus associate professor
at the University of Iowa where she taught and ran a lab researching the use of stem cells to treat
vascular disease in people with diabetes.

She likes being outdoors, especially in the mountains, and loves (non-motorized) winter sports.

Three words that describe Gina:
scientist, STEM festival advocate, policy wonk wannabe

The dots Gina connects:
She organizes science festivals, and these require the building of broad-­based coalitions in communities. She works to connect STEM education stakeholders in Idaho to share policy best practices in promoting STEM careers and enhancing STEM education.

Meet Amber Finley

Amber_FinleyAmber Finley is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation, and is also Spirit Lake Dakota and Standing Rock Lakota on her maternal grandmother’s side. Although she was raised in California, her home is Mandaree, located on the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota. Amber was a two-time graduate of Fort Berthold Community College before receiving her Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Wildlife Biology from Univeristy of North Dakota in 2006. In 2008, she earned her Master of Science in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco. Amber is a Gates Millennium Scholar alum, a lifetime Sequoyah member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and serves as a mentor for several diversity-­based organizations.

After returning to Grand Forks, Amber worked with other members of the American Indian community, exploring avenues for cultural awareness, development, and expression. In 2010, the group established Northstar Council, an organization with the mission of empowering indigenous people through research, education, and outreach. Finley is the Executive Director of Northstar Council.

In 2015, Amber received the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Three words that describe Amber:
Honest, Kind, Humble

The dots that Amber connects:
Culture, Science,Traditional Knowledge, and Communities

Meet Denny Casey

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Denny Casey is Director of Education and Public Programs at Virginia Museum of Natural History. He is also an adjunct instructor with state and private universities as instructor of science methods and education courses. His degrees are in natural science education and science curriculum and instruction, all from Virginia Tech.

His research interests include:

  • education for social justice, social constructivism
  • history and nature of science and technology
  • earth systems science education.

His professional service includes: Journal of Virginia Science Education and Web Administrator for Virginia Association of Science Teachers and the Virginia Junior Academy Of Science, Virginia Master Naturalist Program, Virginia Resource Use Education Council, and National Science Teachers Association Council as District VIII Director, 2015-­2018.

Three words that describe Denny:
Science educator and researcher, nature and techno-geek, community volunteer

The dots Denny connects:
Formal and informal natural history and STEM education throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia; educators, science, and professional development.

Meet Eve Klein

Eve_Klein_300x282Eve Klein manages the Portal to the Public Network, based at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Eve’s background is in the physical sciences, and she also has a masters in education (her research was in public perceptions of science). She is interested in when and where adults acquire the science knowledge needed for safety, productivity, and civic engagement.

A Little About Portal to the Public:
The Portal to the Public approach helps Informal Science Education (ISE) organizations connect public audiences with current science in their own communities through direct interactions with local science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) researchers and experts. The Portal to the Public framework has been implemented at over 44 institutions that form the Portal to the Public Network (PoPNet), a diverse community of practitioners dedicated to sharing ideas and strategies for scientist-and-public engagement. Through funding from the National Science Foundation, PoPNet has expanded to a range of informal science settings including university outreach groups, zoos, aquariums, and nature centers. The Network continues to expand and would like to connect with new institutions and other ISE organizations. Find out more information on joining PoPNet here.

Three words that describe Eve:
Adventurer, scrabble fiend, learner

The dots Eve connects:
She brings hands-on, inquiry based science activities to rural schools to provide students with positive, empowering learning experiences.

Meet Amy Vashlishan Murray

amymurray1Amy is an Assistant Professor of Science at Emerson College in Boston; a liberal arts school devoted to communication and the arts. Working closely with talented Emerson undergraduates and a local community of early career research scientists, Amy pursues a passion for addressing communication barriers between scientists, the media, and the public. She has established a Science Communication Collaborative that partners scientists and future artists and communicators for mutual communication training and has worked to build a foundation for the “Ask for Evidence” campaign in the US. To Amy’s great satisfaction, #askforevidence has been adopted in her household (by 3-­year old, Jackson, and husband, Shane) as a verbal shorthand for expressing scientific skepticism.

Amy was the 2014 COPUS winner of the annual Paul Shin Award, honoring the unsung heroes of science communication and engagement. Morgan Thompson, PhD, Assistant Director at the Center for Biomedical Career Development, nominated Amy for the award, saying Amy is “shaping the foundational scientific understanding of future communicators – both conceptual knowledge as well as the process of science and ability to critically evaluate evidence.” The Emerson Science Communication Collaborative “pairs undergraduate students interested in science communication with local early career scientists in a semester-long series of exchanges to further the training and skills of both audiences. Scientists are provided a rare opportunity early in their careers to practice media skills and effective communication with lay audiences in a non-threatening, low-risk environment that utilizes the expertise of Emerson students. The undergraduates come to know the person behind the scientist, helping to dispel popular misconceptions about the process of science and providing more accurate, nuanced, and diverse portraits of who does science. Culminating projects range from children’s books to public service announcements to a musical composition based upon the genetic sequence of a strain of H1N1 flu virus.”

Three words that describe Amy:
Scientist-educator, Idea-­collector, Evidence-­lover.

The dots Amy connects:
She connects arts and communication students and the scientific community and she connects anyone who will listen to evidence.

Meet Lisa White

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Lisa White is Director of Education and Outreach at the UC Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley. In this role she promotes teaching and learning of science, particularly of evolution, the fossil record, and the nature and impacts of global change, through online resources and hands-­on science. A geologist and micropaleontologist by training, she previously held positions of Professor of Geosciences at San Francisco State University and she is active in efforts to diversify the geosciences through wide-­ranging field and research experience programs for urban youth. These include the SF-­ROCKS (Reaching out the Communities and Kids with Science in San Francisco) and METALS (Minority Education Through Teaching and Learning in the Sciences) programs that benefit from collaborations with scientists and faculty at the University of New Orleans and the University of Texas at El Paso.

California Magazine put it well:
“As an African-American woman in one of the least diverse scientific fields, White, director of education and public programs at the University of California’s Museum of Paleontology, is accustomed to playing the part of role model. ‘There are very few female black geoscientists who study paleontology, so I get it,’ she says with a chuckle. ‘I’m going to be asked reach out to youth a lot.'”

(…and we know Lisa doesn’t see this as a chore — she loves it.)

Watch Lisa in Nova’s “Making North America” where she highlights California geology in episodes one (Origins) and three (Human).

Three words that describe Lisa:
Paleontologist, educator, sports fan!

The dots Lisa connects:
She connects communities to science through places — both local and global — that are meaningful to their lives: parks and outdoor spaces, neighborhoods, educational centers, and museums.

Read more at UC Berkeley’s news site, where Lisa was highlighted for being featured in a PBS special, or at California Magazine, where her outreach work was recently highlighted.

Lisa, in her role as Director of Education and Outreach, at the UCMP, is spearheading a new “Understanding Global Change” website project — soon to be be a sibling to the already existing Understanding Evolution, and Understanding Science resource websites.

Understanding Evolution — Teaching Resource

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What is the Understanding Evolution website?

Understanding Evolution is a non-commercial, education website, teaching the science and history of evolutionary biology. This site is here to help you understand what evolution is, how it works, how it factors into your life, how research in evolutionary biology is performed, and how ideas in this area have changed over time.

Looking for a great resource to help explain evolution to people at any age? Check out the site tour to see all the resources offered — http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/tour.php

They have an abundance of materials!

  • Evo 101 — an in-depth course on the science of evolution
  • Teaching Materials — the ultimate resource for teachers!
  • Resource Library — a browsable archive of articles, tutorials, interactive investigations and more.

The Understanding Evolution site has been a long, on-going collaborative project of the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education. For more information, see their credits page. UCMP continues to develop and maintain partnerships with other scientific and educational organizations in a joint effort to support evolution education. For a listing of these organizations, see their collaborations page. Consider collaborating!

Thanks to Lisa White, and everyone at the UCMP, for making this great resource available to the public.

Understanding Science — Teaching Resource

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Visit the Understanding Science website (http://undsci.berkeley.edu/) to learn how science really works.

The mission of Understanding Science is to provide a fun, accessible, and free resource that accurately communicates what science is and how it really works. The process of science is exciting, but standard explanations often miss its dynamic nature. Science affects us all everyday, but people often feel cut off from science. Science is an intensely human endeavor, but many portrayals gloss over the passion, curiosity, and even rivalries and pitfalls that characterize all human ventures. Understanding Science gives users an inside look at the general principles, methods, and motivations that underlie all of science.

This project has at its heart a re-engagement with science that begins with teacher preparation and ends with broader public understanding. Its immediate goals are to (1) improve teacher understanding of the nature of the scientific enterprise, (2) provide resources and strategies that encourage and enable K-16 teachers to reinforce the nature of science throughout their science teaching, and (3) provide a clear and informative reference for students and the general public that accurately portrays the scientific endeavor.

The Understanding Science site was produced by the UC Museum of Paleontology of the University of California at Berkeley, in collaboration with a diverse group of scientists and teachers, and was funded by the National Science Foundation. Understanding Science was informed and initially inspired by our work on the Understanding Evolution project, which highlighted the fact that many misconceptions regarding evolution spring from misunderstandings of the nature of science. Furthermore, research indicates that students and teachers at all grade levels have inadequate understandings of the nature and process of science, which may be traced to classrooms in which science is taught as a simple, linear, and non-generative process. This false and impoverished depiction disengages students, discourages public support, and may help explain current indications that the U.S. is losing its global edge in science. Even beyond the health of the U.S. economy, the public has a genuine need to critically assess conflicting representations of scientific evidence in the media. To do this, they need to understand the strengths, limitations, and basic methods of the enterprise that has produced those claims. Understanding Science takes an important step towards meeting these needs.

Thanks to Lisa White, and everyone at the UCMP, for making this great resource available to the public!

Science Festivals Near You

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The mission of the Science Festival Alliance (SFA) is to foster a professional community dedicated to more and better science and technology festivals. Check them out at http://sciencefestivals.org/

Whether you are a science lover, looking for opportunities for science enrichment for you and your community, OR you’re a scientist or working with an organization that is hoping to connect with the public through science outreach activities — visit the Science Festival Alliance out to learn more about annual science festivals.

When the SFA began in 2009 only a handful of science festivals existed in the United States, and they were not working (or even communicating) with each other. Since that time, the country has enjoyed a surge in the number of science festivals, and the SFA is now networking together dozens of independently operated festival initiatives. Whether you are considering starting a new science festival, would like to partner with existing festivals, or are just interested in learning about the latest developments, the Science Festival Alliance is the best place to begin.

The SFA is not an independent organization, nor is it the exclusive project of a single institution (though two full-time staff members dedicated to the SFA are housed at the MIT Museum). It is a collaborative network involving institutions, initiatives, and individuals that have committed to work together to best serve our communities through the festival format.

Thanks to Ben Wiehe for helping to raise awareness of this amazing resource within the COPUS corps!

Love Citizen Science?

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SciStarter is the place to find, join, and contribute to science through recreational activities and citizen science research projects. Their database of citizen science projects enable discovery, organization, and greater participation in citizen science. Check them out at http://scistarter.com/

If you are a scientist or a representative of a citizen science organization or community: SciStarter is the organization and community to tell eager people about your work and get them interested in helping out. If you do not represent a project, but have a favorite citizen science you’d like to see added to the SciStarter Project Finder, consider inviting someone from the project to add the project or drop a tip about the project.

SciStarter’s Mission is to bring together the millions of citizen scientists in the world; the thousands of potential projects offered by researchers, organizations, and companies; and the resources, products, and services that enable citizens to pursue and enjoy these activities.

They aim to:

  • Enable and encourage people to learn about, participate in, and contribute to science through both informal recreational activities and formal research efforts.
  • Inspire greater appreciation and promote a better understanding of science and technology among the general public.
  • Create a shared space where scientists can talk with citizens interested in working on or learning about their research projects.
  • Satisfy the popular urge to tinker, build, and explore by making it simple and fun for people—singles, parents, grandparents, kids—to jump in and get their hands dirty with science.

Thanks to Darlene Cavalier for helping to raise awareness of SciStarter within the COPUS corps!

Meet Wayne Himelsein

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Wayne Himelsein is President of Informed by Nature (http://informedbynature.org/), a non-profit with the goals of advancing the public understanding of science, and concurrently, the Senior Managing Partner of Logica Capital, a successful investment company. At Logica, Wayne heads the investment team and R&D, as well as engages with investors globally. Prior to Logica, Wayne built and managed several hedge funds that invested in his quantitative strategies. Wayne’s financial career began in 1995, when he traded securities and developed algorithms that were used to launch his first hedge fund. Wayne’s lifelong passion for science has served him well in his financial pursuits and in his personal quest to explore deep questions. An appreciation of the powerful tools of science led him to establish Informed by Nature in 2004. Wayne holds a BA from Berkeley and resides in Los Angeles.

Three words that describe Wayne:
Science lover, business builder, people person.

The dots that Wayne connects:
He connects anyone who has an internet connection to content demonstrating the amazing breadth of science. He connects students who have an interest in science to programs that help strengthen that interest.

Join the Ask for Evidence Campaign

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Ask for Evidence is a public campaign that helps people request for themselves the evidence behind news stories, marketing claims and policies.

We hear daily claims about what is good for our health, bad for the environment, how to improve education, cut crime, treat disease or improve agriculture. Some are based on reliable evidence and scientific rigour. Many are not.

How can we make companies, politicians, commentators and official bodies accountable for the claims they make? If they want us to vote for them, believe them or buy their products, then we should Ask for Evidence.

Join the Ask for Evidence Campaign!

  • Share your experiences of asking for evidence.
  • Use the hub of resources and expertise to make sense of the evidence you receive.
  • Share the site with friends and colleagues: http://askforevidence.org/

Ask for Evidence was launched by Sense About Science in 2011. Sense About Science is a charity that helps people to make sense of science and evidence and promote use of evidence in public life. This takes us from responding to outlandish diet claims by celebrities to helping parents understand vaccines, from working with people with chronic diseases to beat misleading ‘cure’ claims on the Internet to pressing for sound use of statistics in media reporting.

Thanks to Amy Vashlishan Murray for helping to raise awareness of this campaign within the COPUS corps!

Meet Ben Wiehe

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Ben Wiehe is manager of the Science Festival Alliance. He grew up going to smallest public school system in Connecticut. He went to a liberal arts college in Maine: physics and philosophy major with time abroad for Tibetan studies. He then worked his way around North America (Chiapas to Aleutians) for a long while. (After grad school in Chicago for social science, he worked for natural parks, science centers, and public television). Three years of getting science cafes started around the US led into his current position at MIT managing the Science Festival Alliance. Ben has been a part of COPUS since the beginning!

Here’s Ben’s take on COPUS:
“COPUS has been important for me for a long time. I’ve always felt that I get more out of my involvement with it than I give. Of course over the years my needs have shifted. And this is the thing that is most important about COPUS to me — I’ll sum it up to folks that don’t know much about the group:

COPUS identifies emerging leaders with little institutional backing for their passion and provides them with a supportive network.

I’ve gone through that change to an extent, and so have many of the original members. Natalie has now launched a new nonprofit. Danielle is making waves in all kinds of directions. Darlene has sorted through several of her passions and figured out how to make them reality via I-­can’t-­count-how-many business models. etc…

So welcome! Stay involved, give back — one of the things an emerging leader needs to thrive is the opportunity to lead.”

Three words that describe Ben:
He is a a social creature, hack of all trades, scavenger.

The dots Ben connects:
He connects science festival organizers to each other, and to regional/national collaborators.

Meet Sheri Potter

Sheri PotterSheri Potter, BS, is the director of community and stakeholder engagement for the Association for Women in Science, the leading advocate for women in STEM . She is also a project director for SciStarter implementing a collaborative program to bring citizen science to classrooms, hand-in-hand with NASA’s GLOBE initiative and National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools program. Sheri is a social intrapreneur with a strong commitment to developing more effective strategies to connect people to science.

Sheri’s personal mission is to build a scientific citizenry of people who understand how science works, why science matters, and what scientists do – and to help them connect that knowledge with their own lifelong journey as a citizen who benefits from, participates in, and uses science.

Sheri worked at the American Institute of Biological Sciences for over ten years in multiple capacities, including as director of membership and public programs. She launched the Leadership in Biology initiative, Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science, ActionBioscience.org and Year of Science 2009. Sheri earned an Executive Certificate in Social Impact Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania and has a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Three words that describe Sheri:
I’m with you.

The dots Sheri connects:
Sheri connects cool people to cool people to spread ideas and opportunities that promote people using and celebrating science.

Meet Jeanette Lim

Jeanette_LimAs the content coordinator for AskNature.org, Jeanette Lim expands and curates AskNature content with the help of a collaborative community of students, scientists, and educators interested in sustainability and nature­inspired design.

She brings a life­‐long fascination with the natural world, along with a PhD in biology, to her work with the Biomimicry Institute.

Here is a sampling of some fun reads that Jeanette help create:
Slime Rapidly Expands and Protects: Hagfish
Lizards Under Pressure
The Solar Powered Hornet

Three words that describe Jeanette:
Biologist, educator, maker

The dots Jeanette connects:
She helps connect designers, engineers, and other innovators with biology that
can inspire sustainable solutions to human challenges.

Meet Madhusudan Katti

Madhu

Madhusudan Katti (Madhu for short) is an evolutionary ecologist studying biodiversity in social-­ecological systems such as cities, and seeking ways to reconcile biodiversity conservation with human well-being. He is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University, Fresno.

He communicates science to diverse audiences through a variety of media:

He founded the Central Valley Café Scientifique (http://valleycafesci.org/) and has run it for over 8 years.

He produces and hosts a monthly radio show “Science: A Candle In The Dark” for Fresno’s 88.1FM KFCF station (podcast at http://bit.ly/sciencecandle).

He writes commentaries for the local NPR station, various online and print outlets, and on my Reconciliation Ecology blog (http://coyot.es/reconciliationecology).

Three words that describe Madhu:
scientist, writer, teacher

The dots Madhu connects:
urban ecology, evolution, biodiversity, conservation, science communication

Meet Cindy Wilber

Cindy WilberCindy Wilber is many things — the Education Coordinator at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (at Stanford University), the Executive Director and founder of Proyecto Itzaes, the Education Director for Centro de Educación Ambiental de la Peninsula Yucateca (CEAPY) and the advisor to the Stanford SEEDS student group (Strategies for Ecology Education diversity and Sustainability).

A Little About Jasper Ridge:
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (JRBP) is located near Stanford University’s campus in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The preserve encompasses remarkable geologic, topographic, and biotic diversity within its 481 hectares (1,189 acres) and provides a natural laboratory for researchers from all over the world, educational experiences to students and docent-led visitors, and refuge to native plants and animals.

In addition to facilitating first-rate research, this highly accessible field station provides undergraduate educational experiences and plays an active role in educating the general public.

A Little About Proyecto Itzaes:
Proyecto Itzaes, a non-profit organization that is a free, community service based, educational program in Yucatán, Mexico. PI serves communities where traditional subsistence lifestyles dependent on farming and seasonal fishing can no longer support families and is currently serving the villages of Chicxulub Pueblo, Ixil, Dzemul and the tiny village of Too. PI’s original village of Chicxulub Puerto became fully self-sustaining in 2005!

Major programs:

  • early childhood reading and family literacy programs
  • science in the villages program
  • computer literacy
  • health and environment programs
  • cultural and language preservation
  • bio-intensive gardening programs

Cindy lives and works in both Palo Alto, California and in Chicxulub Puerto, Yucatán, Mexico.

Three words that describe Cindy:
teaching, science, outreach

The dots Cindy connects:
University to k­‐12 to public to Mexico to ESA and more

Meet Bill Gomez

Bill_GomezAfter working for a Palo Alto based pharmaceutical company for many years, Bill retired in 1992 to pursue his interests in environmental education and marine science.

For 20 years Bill has been a volunteer at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve where he leads tours and works on field research projects.

He pursues his marine interest by leading tide pool tours at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and scuba diving with people who have strong marine interests. He enjoys communicating science to people with a wide range of backgrounds and watching them absorb new information and concepts.

Three words that describe Bill:
Ecology tour leader, field research voluteer, marine biology enthusiast

The dots that Bill connects:
Bill connects Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve science to students and visiting public. He connects high school and college students to marine inter-tidal science through leading tours at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. By volunteering, he helps teach science and math at Redwood High School.

Meet Barry Greenwald

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Barry Greenwald is a Chicagoan who has called Minnesota home since he moved there after college. Teaching as a full-­time occupation is his third career — after enjoyable years as an agricultural research technician, and later in sales and administration.

He’s now in his 15th year of teaching urban high school students in St. Paul, in courses ranging from biology, IB Biology, environmental science to earth science. He does volunteer work on the World Food Prize Minnesota Youth Institute, as well as local citizen science activities.

Three words that describe Barry:
A grateful father to my daughter; teacher; always on the lookout for good humor.

The dots that he connects:
Barry connects scientists and instructors from the University of Minnesota to high school classrooms. He makes connections for his high school biology and environmental science students between the classroom and their “real lives” — current and future — outside of school.

Meet Darlene Cavalier

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Darlene is the founder of SciStarter and Science Cheerleader, a popular website and organization that works with 250 current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science and technology careers to promote science and the involvement of citizens in science and science-related policy. She has held executive positions at Walt Disney Publishing and has worked at Discover magazine for 15 years, where she now is a senior adviser and writer. She has created national science awards programs, science education initiatives, and a series of science-themed roundtable discussions for, among others, the Disney Institute, Space.com, Sally Ride’s Imaginary Lines, and the Franklin Institute. She also serves on the Steering Committee for Science Debate and is a founding partner of Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology and blog, which engages experts, stakeholders, and everyday citizens in assessing the implications of emerging developments in science and technology. She originated and managed the Emmy award-winning Science of NFL Football series produced by the NFL, NBC Sports, NBC Learn, the National Science Foundation and Science Cheerleader.

A former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader, Darlene does not regret the years she gabbed through high school science classes. She earned a Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, studying science history, sociology, and science policy to learn more about people like herself: “hybrid actors,” citizens interested in but not formally trained in the sciences. Discovering it was remarkably difficult to find opportunities to participate in science in any meaningful way, she launched SciStarter. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children, who have made it a hobby to explore the rainforests of Costa Rica. She’s also a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Consortium of Science, Policy, and Outcomes.

Cavalier is the proud recipient of a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant to support “people with brilliant ideas” and she is investing that grant in the development of a series of media partnerships to help bring more citizen science opportunities to more communities.

Three words that describe Darlene:
Science and citizen advocate; founder of Science Cheerleader and SciStarter; contributing editor, Discover Magazine; wife and mom.

The dots Darlene connects:
She connects the public to citizen science activities. She connects researchers to the public. She connects underrepresented groups to science.

Meet Betsy Barent

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Betsy Barent has been teaching for twelve years and is currently teaching 8th grade science, having also taught Advanced Biology, Differentiated Biology, Practical Biology and Physical Science at the high school level.

Outside of the classroom she is involved with Understanding Science, helping to create the How Science Works iTunes University course, and has participated in the Institutional Development Award Program Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She also helped write curriculum for the Coaching Science Inquiry in Rural Schools through the University of Nebraska-­Lincoln. She is
very involved in the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science.

In 2015, Betsy was selected as state finalist for the Presidential Award! She was chosen as one of four Nebraska state-level finalist for this year’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching. “Betsy is a master teacher, committed to using innovative teaching methods that actively engage students in their own learning.” Mary Jo Leininger, Norris Middle School principal, said. “She has great passion for science and for her students and is very deserving of this prestigious recognition.”

Three words that describe Betsy:
Avid Husker fan, love to exercise, mom of two

The dots that Betsy connects:
Betsy connects teachers with teachers in our district and the state. She connects students and parents with science opportunities.

Meet Anne Holland

Anne_Holland_fullphotoMeet Anne Holland, the Exhibits and Outreach Manager at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Previous to  managing the education and public outreach for the Space Science Institute, she worked at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center.

She is a big advocate for libraries and librarians! Her favorite part of her job is helping librarians find easy and cheap activities to do with their patrons, and convincing them that they’re more than capable of doing STEM in their libraries.

Three words that describe Anne:
Space educator, skiier, new mom

The dots she connects:
She connects librarians with scientists and science educators

Meet Monica Albe

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Monica Albe is an administrator and science communicator at UC Berkeley (working in Molecular and Cell Biology and on the advisory board for Science@Cal). She has worked closely with the Berkeley Natural History Museums. Through her work at Science@Cal, she helps with free, public events like science cafes and festivals. She has a background in biology and has been at UC Berkeley since 1999. Monica is also the head of the COPUS intern team (in her humble opinion, the BEST interns around).


Three words that describe Monica:

Museum lover, naturalist, prone to laughter.
The dots Monica connects:
Monica connects the public with UC Berkeley scientists and research.

2015 Paul Shin Award Winners!

 

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Paul Shin Memorial Award

In the spirit of the energy, passion for science, and generosity of the late Paul Shin, this award was given to wildlife biologists and educators Stephanie Gillin and Whisper Camel-Means from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and to University of Montana STEM Education Program Manager, Jessie Herbert at the Yellowstone Unconference in October, 2015.

As a result of a remarkable collaboration towards spreading the excitement of science, Jessie, Whisper, and Stephanie were honored for their work. These powerful women represent both the University of Montana’s spectrUM Discovery Museum as well as SciNation from the Flat Head Reservation. They worked in conjunction to inspire youth living in rural communities with science. Their efforts culminated into the creation of the Science Learning Tent that was showcased at the 116th Arlee Celebration Powwow, which by all accounts, was a complete success. At this tent, over 300 kids got an up close and personal, hands-on science experience. The festival ran for three days and for each day, the tent highlighted a new aspect of STEM. The parents of these kids were amazed at the quality of what was offered. In addition, they also ran programs for kids through Science Bytes, which creates STEM opportunities for kids at free lunch sites. Jessie, the STEM education program manager for UM spectrUM, coordinates the traveling science pop up show continues to expose kids to science as it makes its way around the state. Their intent is to continually make it new as it travels. Based on the success of the Arlee Powwow, we can only imagine that it will make it’s way back to the reservation for the 2nd Annual Science Tent next year.

Paul Shin’s philosophy embodies these two pillars…

“Imagination is more important than knowledge!”-Einstein

“Knowledge is not power – it’s what you do with knowledge-now that’s power!” -Shin

2015 Judy Scotchmoor Award Winner

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Judy Scotchmoor Award

In honor of Judy Scotchmoor, a powerful, yet subtle leader who has effectively catalyzed change in the scientific community, this new award went to John Esterle, who embodies the COPUS founder’s interest in promoting science and carrying out the COPUS mission through decentralized channels.

John Esterle works as an executive director of the Whitman Institute. He has enthusiastically supported COPUS for years and believes in “dialogue, relationship building, and inclusive leadership”, which also parallels Judy’s leadership style. John has inspired ideas and invested in people across diverse sectors in an effort to create change. He is the ideal winner for this special award. As part of his recognition, John received an original painting of a sea star by Mattias Lanas — the same beautiful painting depicted in the COPUS logo!