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.
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.”
Low-cost tech/engineering projects and demonstrations
My STEM Story: I was an early team member of Foldscope, a low-cost origami-based paper microscope that started out as a project in a Stanford Bioengineering lab and eventually became the flagship product of a startup. Through this project, I was able to interact with many institutions, educators, and hobbyists throughout the world and run microscopy workshops locally and internationally.
Currently working on: Encouraging high school students to engage in STEM Research through an experimental design program that provides a digital learning platform to prepare high school students to conduct STEM research for STEM Fairs and STEM in the City, a community workshop that teaches youth techniques for field research.
Talk with me about:
Virtual field trips
My STEM Story: I have always loved STEM but I discovered my favorite STEM discipline was chemistry in 10th grade.
Projects: Since the last COPUSMeeting, I was honored by Atlanta Magazine as one of their 2019 Women Making a Mark Honorees, I received a Torch Bearer’s Award for Excellence in Science Education from Dekalb County Public Schools and I published a chapter Creating Support Systems for Black Women in Non-traditional STEM Career Paths in Women’s Influence on Inclusion, Equity and Diversity in STEM Fields.
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!!”
Russ 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