Outreach is an integral part of being a scientist. Effective outreach involves taking science outside the ivory tower and helps ensure that our work is accessible to all members of the community. A critical component of outreach is working with those who may not have the same opportunities to engage in science as we have or who are from groups that haven’t had the same chances to be full participants in the scientific community. In addition, for me, outreach is a great opportunity to share my passion for my work and a whole lot of fun! In recognition of my work doing and building capacity for outreach, I was awarded Penn State’s 2016 Intercollege Graduate Student Outreach Achievement Award, which was a great honor!
As part of my NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, I coordinate this citizen science project which works with school students in Grades 6-12 in the Miami-Dade area to investigate how anoles use urban habitats.
Working as a team with other Penn State graduate students, I designed and presented an iPad-based activity that allows users to participate in the crowd-sourced evolution of shapes.
Local outreach is a great way to make a positive impact and get outside the academic bubble to connect with community members.