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

Ask for Evidence Logo

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 a social intrapreneur with a strong commitment to developing more effective strategies to connect people to science. Among other things, she has been the director of community and stakeholder engagement for the Association for Women in Science, the leading advocate for women in STEM. She has also been 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’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 helped launch 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

Science writer and advisor

Bellingham, Washington

LinkedIn

Currently working on: Creating scripts and storyboards for educational science videos, advising for a new museum exhibition on nature-inspired design, and figuring out what’s next.

Talk with me about:

  • Biology, Engineering
  • Higher education (undergrad/postgrad), Public Outreach
  • Natural history museums
  • STEM festivals
  • Grant writing

My STEM Story: My interest in STEM began when I was a kid, sparked by many family trips to a large city park in Vancouver, Canada. I loved that I could see so many different living things in one day–squirrels, birds, sea stars, seaweed, and enormous trees.

Meet Madhusudan Katti

Associate Professor for Leadership in Public Science, North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Facebook | Twitter | publicscience.ncsu.edu | Website

Currently working on: Applying an evolutionary ecological understanding to help reconcile human development with biodiversity conservation, particularly in urban environments, both locally in several US cities, and globally with comparative studies.

Talk with me about:

  • Biology, Ecology, Zoology, Public Science
  • Higher education (undergrad/postgrad), public outreach
  • Community-based public science engagement
  • Indigenous knowledge and how to decolonize “western science” and build connections with indigenous science
  • Citizen / public science projects to map the distribution of birds and other species in cities, and the impacts of climate-change driven disasters like hurricanes

My STEM Story:  Here’s an interview recounting some early experiences that helped start my STEM journey: http://yourwildlife.org/2014/03/before-they-were-scientists-madhu-katti/

Projects:
Podcast
trianglebirds.org
forestsafterflorence.reconciliationecology.org

Meet Cindy Wilber

Executive Director Proyecto Itzaes
Director of Education Centro de Educación Ambiental de la Peninsula Yucateca (CEAPY)
Retired 2019 Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

Palo Alto, CA and Pto Chicxulub, Yucatán

cwilber@stanford.edu | Facebook | Proyecto Itzaes Website | Amigos del Centro del Educacion Ambiental de la Peninsula Yucateca

Currently working on: Projects that connect my work in California with my work in Yucatán.

Talk with me about:

  • Anthropology, Biology, Earth Science, Ecology, Health
  • K-12 Education, higher education (undergrad/postgrad)
  • Public Outreach
  • Non-profits
  • Diversity, opportunity

My STEM Story: I have always been interested in science and spent a lot of unsupervised time outside as a kid! Nature has always been the best learning space for me.

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

Digital Learning and Science Coordinator

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Twitter: @bbarent

Currently working on:  supporting teachers to make shifts in their teaching to support student learning towards NGSS.

Talk with me about:

  • K-12 education
  • Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Ecology, Engineering, Physics
  • STEM ecosystems
  • Partnerships with businesses
  • Leadership

My STEM Story: Some of my inspirations have been the Understanding Science website and How Science Works iTunes U course.

Past Projects: 
Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science Past-President
NSELA Region E Director
Norris Science Festival

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

Girl Scout Patch

GirlScoutPatch“I’m a Scientific Citizen” Girl Scout Patch

Science is all about figuring “stuff” out – so that we understand our world better. Science helps us investigate questions and solve problems in just about every way imaginable. That is pretty cool! On this patch journey, you will learn about how science works, who scientists are, and why science matters. In doing this, you will test your science know-how, go on a real science adventure, and learn how to be a good scientific citizen throughout your life. So grab your pen and paper and let’s get started!

Activities
1. Check your “science know-how”
2. Observe and ask questions the way scientists do!
3. Get involved in a citizen science project
4. Share what it means to be a scientific citizen

Purpose: When I’ve earned this badge, I’ll know how science works, who scientists are, and why science matters.

See our PDF here.

Meet Cynthia Kramer

cynthia_kramer2Cynthia Kramer, founder of SCOPE: Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration.

Cynthia Kramer founded SCOPE in 2007, when a clinical trial saved her life (read more here). This grassroots initiative is dedicated to bringing Science and Technology’s relevance, resources and information to communities (at no cost) from education to workforce, so the public can connect to why it matters, how to participate and ways to benefit as a parent, student or citizen.

Through community building, events, State and County Fairs, SCOPE serves over 36 communities, in Missouri and Iowa, to impact over 500,000 people. Kramer was previously a shoe designer, created the first backless women’s tennis shoe and loves travel with sons Mitchell and Samuel.

Three words that describe Cynthia:
Coffee addict, Social Justice Advocate, Lover of Innvoation

The dots she connects: SCOPE connects rural, urban and suburban communities to Science and Technology resources and information, from Education to Financial Aid, Scholarships, Internships, Jobs and Careers. They connect parents, students and families to the relevancy and importance of Science and Technology for the betterment of our future, communities and lives.

Encouraging Lifelong Learning

Informed_by_Nature_logo

Informed by Nature (IBN) works to advance the public understanding and appreciation of science, from its elegant approach to its awe-inspiring results. We are dedicated to encouraging lifelong learning, promoting critical thinking, and celebrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

How They Do It
ONLINE: IBN accomplishes its objectives by opening homes, schools, libraries, and any internet connection to an innovative online science portal that makes learning about science and its relevance to our lives easy and engaging. IBN compiles the best science literature, lectures, films, magazines, videos, and art, among other media, in a searchable, user-friendly website that captures science enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

OFFLINE: Our outreach programs aim to educate and inspire, whether providing the online platform for student science projects and science fairs or creating a network of high school science clubs that facilitates structured activities, hosted events, online projects, and competitions. IBN further fosters public involvement in science learning by bringing professionals to the classroom to talk about how critical thinking and science knowledge inform us daily, encouraging today’s specialists to inspire tomorrow’s innovators with an appreciation for science

Why They Do It
Through all our efforts, IBN strives to touch every life with the wonder of science, encouraging learning, critical thinking, and giving everyone the building blocks for discovery and innovation.

Learn more at http://informedbynature.org/ and thanks to Wayne Himelsein for sharing this website with the COPUS community!

2014 Paul Shin Award

The Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS) today announced this year’s winner of the third annual Paul Shin Award, honoring the unsung heroes of science communication and engagement.

The 2014 winner is Dr. Amy Vashlishan Murray, Assistant Professor of Science (in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies) at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

As a tenure-track science faculty member at Emerson College, one might think that Amy has her hands full: she teaches undergraduates with a focused interest in art and communication while conducting research in neurobiology in the Kaplan lab at Massachusetts General Hospital. But Amy recognizes that she’s uniquely situated — she’s interfacing with young talent in communication and art AND with cutting edge science. With a seemingly boundless energy, she’s capitalized on her situation to create innovative synergies that enhance the public’s understanding of science. Among her achievements are the founding of the Emerson Science Communication Collaborative and helping to establish the “Ask For Evidence” campaign in the US.

Amy explains: “I am driven by the belief that the role and responsibility of the scientist includes anticipating the social impact of development in her field and striving to develop well-informed consumers of scientific information. Initiatives like Ask for Evidence and the Science Communication Collaborative build from this belief by empowering students and members of the public to question the science they encounter in their daily lives and by engaging these stakeholders in communication exchanges with the scientific community.”

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.”

Seeking to effect national change, Amy initiated a collaboration with the UK-based nonprofit, Sense About Science, to help establish their “Ask for Evidence” campaign in the US. Thompson states, “as the name suggests, this campaign encourages everyone to question claims in politics, media, and advertising. Amy’s ingenuity and commitment was vital to providing the foundation for continued national programming following the public launch of the US campaign in February 2013. Briefly, Amy secured funding from a Consumer Awareness Project Grant at Emerson to: 1) conduct a public survey exploring the public relationship with evidence; 2) develop a US campaign website with resources for how to ask, how to evaluate evidence (including a platform to connect with local scientists), and examples of participant experiences; 3) host a media training workshop for future scientists and communicators; 4) carry-out program evaluation, including Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) questionnaires (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities, 2012).”

Amy’s passion for science communication has led her to not only play an active role in the Boston area science outreach community, but to be a member of the National Association of Science Writers, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and Voice of Young Science USA. Her passion for science education and outreach stems back to well before her faculty position at Emerson. For more than a decade, Amy has been involved in the advancement of the public’s understanding of science — directing the Harvard graduate student organization Science in the News, developing exhibits at the Museum of Science Boston, and playing an important role in discussions of the implications of new genetic technologies with the Genetics and Society Working Group.

Dr. Murray attended the COPUS 2014 Invitational from Sep 18-21 in New Mexico, and took part in two days of science outreach networking and educational events. She received the award while at the unconference. Amy said, “this award is really gratifying as recognition of work that isn’t necessarily part of the job description for typical academic scientists and isn’t is always valued explicitly in the scientific community. It is also an incredible honor because it is coming from a community of people that, themselves, have done such amazing, and often unrecognized, work in science outreach and because I’ve learned what a special individual and leader Paul Shin was to this community.”

Amy also expressed “gratitude to the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship at Emerson for helping to identify and secure funding opportunities, including the Consumer Awareness Project fund, to support development and broader expansion of this work.”

Co-founder of COPUS, Judy Scotchmoor said, “The Paul Shin award is very special to us at COPUS. In the short time that we knew Paul, we were captivated by his energy and determination to make a difference in the world. The nominees for this year’s award were fantastic, but Amy made an impression on us. Her tireless enthusiasm and commitment to sharing science is exactly what we aspire to recognize through this award.”

2012 Paul Shin Award

Washington DC — The Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science today announced this year’s winner of the Paul Shin Award – an annual award honoring individuals for their dedication to communicating science to the public.

The 2012 winner is William (Bill) Gomez, Docent at Fitzgerald Marine Preserve and Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Bill was an executive with Syntex for many years and was fortunate to retire early at which point he turned his prodigious talents to teaching and volunteering with various ecology and environmental science groups in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. As a volunteer, his activities vary from speaking to a wide range of visitors about the ecology and biodiversity of the preserves, assisting with research projects, tidepooling for 3rd graders, scuba diving with marine biology students, to sharing science with students at a nearby alternative high school.

Cindy Wilber, Education Coordinator at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, nominated Mr. Gomez saying, “Bill’s extraordinary work teaching science to the public in both formal and informal ways has contributed much to the public understanding of science and inspired thousands of learners.” Stuart Koretz, a fellow docent at the preserve wrote, “His respect and love for the natural world, detailed knowledge of natural history, enthusiastic teaching style, modesty and openness make him one of the great unsung heroes: he works tirelessly, without compensation, out of a strong need to reach out and teach natural science.”

Upon receiving the award, Mr. Gomez simply said, “I am deeply honored and overwhelmed.” Mr. Gomez will attend the COPUS 2012 Invitational UnConference in March to receive a $500 cash prize and recognition plaque.

Co-founder of COPUS, Judy Scotchmoor of the University of California Museum of Paleontology said, “The Paul Shin award is very special to us at COPUS. In the short time that we knew Paul, we were captivated by his energy and determination to make a difference in the world. Bill Gomez has a similar dedication and passion for the public understanding of science and is a most worthy recipient of this award.”