Outreach

My philosophy has always been that science can’t function in its own bubble. In order for our work to have the most impact, and to better the world in general, scientists have the responsibility to integrate community service and education in everything that they do.


Current Initiatives

For the most up-to-date information on my outreach activities, see my CV.

“Noise in Nature” and Careers in STEM – School Presentations

I visit classrooms in Springfield public middle schools to talk to the children about wildlife, urban ecology research, bioacoustic research, and careers in STEM. I have visited Up Academy Kennedy Middle school for the past two years, and STEM Academy Middle School the year before.

In Florida, I presented a pilot workshop for elementary and middle school children called: “Noise in Nature”. The first workshop was presented this summer at the Florida Museum of Natural History – “Bird Brained” science summer camp. The camp was open to children in Gainesville, Florida and throughout North-Central Florida. It focused on hands-on activities to show how human noise can disrupt animals in their habitat, and also how animals communicate. In addition, I demonstrated the equipment and techniques that acoustic biologists use to study animal communication. I developed materials for the children to make their own “observations” as I played videos of animals communicating, connecting them in a real way to science It was a big hit! Since then, I have presented this workshop at YOPP after-school program in Gainesville, FL, and at Up Academy Kennedy Middle School for Grade 7 students in Springfield, MA.

Noise in Nature Presentation at
Noise in Nature Presentation at “Bird Brained” FL Museum of Nat History Summer Camp
Showing off some of the sophisticated equipment that acoustic biologists use to study natural sounds and animal communication
Showing off some of the sophisticated equipment that acoustic biologists use to study natural sounds and animal communication

Past Initiatives

OEB Science Cafe

Science Cafe is a monthly science forum where UMass OEB graduate students invite a scientist to talk to members of the public about their research in a less formal setting. I was the main videographer of the event, and I worked with Amherst Media Organization to receive formal training in videography. The film was then edited and hosted on the local Public Access Channel in Amherst, as well as the Science Cafe YouTube page to spread our reach even further.

That’s Life [Science] Blog

A life science outreach blog by an interdisciplinary group of University of Massachusetts students. I was the communications committee chairperson, social media staffer, peer editor, and staff writer contributor.

web: thatslifesci.com, my author page: here, twitter: @thatslifesci, facebook: thatslifesci, instagram: @thatslifesci

Articles:

The Power of Fear: Four Ways Bring Scared Affects Wildlife

It’s a Trap! How Looks Can Be Deceiving in Habitat Selection

Pleistocene Rewilding: A Controversial Idea in Conservation Biology

Single Large or Several Small? The Ongoing Debate in Nature Preserve Design

Life on the Edge: 3 Important Ways that Habitat Edges Affect Forests

Is Milk Bad For Me? Finding Scientific Truths in the “Post-Truth” Era

Four Unexpected Ways that Living in Cities Affects Wildlife

‘Tis the Season for Citizen Science

A World Without Birdsong

Birds: Hobby or Science?

Virtual Panel, Brookline Bird Club Meeting, Virtual (Feb. 2021).

Urban Ecology: Birds, bears, and Backyards

Workshop, Chicopee High School, Chicopee, MA (2019).

Birds in Your Backyard

Public Talk, Allen Bird Club Meeting, Springfield Museum of Science, Springfield, MA (Nov. 2018).

When Birds Go Unheard

Public Talk, Allen Bird Club Meeting, Springfield Museum of Science, Springfield, MA (May 2018).

Three Minute Thesis Competition Semifinals

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (May 2018).

Science Fair Judge

Middle School Science Fair, Up Academy Kennedy Middle School, Springfield, MA (2018).

Engineering Our Environment Keynote Panelist

High School Seminar Series, Boston Museum of Science, Boston, MA (Apr. 2018).

Careers in STEM

Interactive workshop, Up Academy Kennedy Middle School, Springfield, MA (2018).

Birds and Nature

Interactive bird banding workshop, Up Academy Kennedy Middle School, Springfield, MA (2017).

Urban Ecology: Nature In and Of the City

Seminar, Applewood Retirement Home, Amherst, MA (Oct. 2016).

Birds and Wildlife Biology

STEM Middle Academy, Springfield, MA. Bird life cycle presentation, careers in wildlife biology, nest box building, and nature walk (Apr 2016).

Science Fair Judge

I began judging middle school science fairs this year (2013), and it was an amazing experience! I couldn’t believe the enthusiasm and sophistication that children of all ages had during the course of the fair. I will certainly be volunteering for science fairs again next year.

SNRE Graduate Student Council President

I am proud to say that I was elected President of the SNRE GSC in March 2014. I am looking forward to increasing the wealth of professional development, community service and social activities that the GSC has to offer, and to increase involvement of graduate students in these enriching activities.

As a member of the SNRE GSC, I have taken on a couple project to benefit the program and the community. We are responsible for assessing and awarding travel grants to SNRE graduate students. I will also be organizing a 5K run in February to benefit the organization. Finally, I organized a blanket and coat drive for the homeless of Gainesville.

Florida Museum of Natural History – Butterfly-fest 2013

Butterfly fest is a popular and exciting festival every fall at UF’s FMNH. I was happy to volunteer in the “Discovery Room”, and loved watching the children learn about biology through hands-on and interactive exhibits.

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Courtesy of FLMNH

Career Day – What is a Wildlife Biologist? Farmington Middle School

A fun presentation along with some animal bones for the kids to pass around. I show them what it’s like to be in the field of ecology.

Camp Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Travel and Service Program

I led a month long bicycling, camping and community service trip through VT and NY. We had a group of about 13 teenaged participants, and it was a life-changing experience!

TLS
Trip Leader- TLS (Teen Learning and Community Service Trip) – Camp Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA, Becket, MA
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Group picture at mini golf
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Service project at elementary school garden in VT

Ecohusky Student Group

As group treasurer, I organized the annual Ecohusky 5K race, along with several other initiatives and events to spread awareness of environmental issues on the UConn campus and throughout the Mansfield community.

Powershift
Climate Change protest with Ecohusky in front of the Capital in D.C. …Not the best weather for the occasion

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