Invited Speakers

Janet Bryant
Janet Bryant "Communicating Science in Your Career" Panelist
Senior Science and Technology Expert, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Chair, ACS Chemical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council and the ACS Northwest Region

Janet Bryant is currently a Senior Science & Technology Specialist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she has been innovating as a research scientist & project manager for over 35 years in nuclear systems research. With >85 technical publications and >4 dozen presentations on a wide variety of subjects to her public credit, Janet  also uses her knowledge of human capital and organizational development to deliver training to STEM professionals on the “soft skills” needed for successful and sustainable R&D careers.

Janet currently chairs the ACS Chemical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council (CIEC) and the ACS Northwest Region.  She received the prestigious Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for successful commercialization of PNNL science; is an ACS Fellow (2011); named ACS Richland Section “Chemist of the Year” (2013); and received the ACS Northwest Region E. Ann Nalley Award for Volunteer Service (2014).

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Monica Cortés Viharo "Creative Media in Science Communication" Panelist
Researcher, Dramaturge, Actor, and Public Speaking Consultant

Monica Cortés Viharo is a third year PhD student in the School of Drama at the University of Washington where she received of the McNair Graduate Fellowship and is pursing a certificate in Public Scholarship. Her research focuses on the creation, performance, and impact of Documentary and Political/Activist Theater and Transnational Feminism. She earned a BA in Theater and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Monica is also a dramaturge, an actor (SAG/AFTRA), and public speaking consultant.  She recently performed her piece Child Free By Choice:  The Non-Mommy Blog, at the 2016 ASTR (American Society for Theatre Research) Conference and presenting her paper Walk a Mile in My Shoes:  Documenting The People’s Temple at the 2017 MATC (Mid-American Theatre Conference). Monica is also the co-leader of the ATAP (American Theatre Archive Project) Northwest Team.

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James Davenport "Creative Media in Science Communication" Panelist
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Western Washington University

James Davenport is currently a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow working at Western Washington University. He received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Davenport's research centers around stellar flares, explosive events on the surface due to strong and tangled magnetic fields, and how the rate of these flares decreases as the stars age. He has written research articles on a wide range of topics, from SETI to binary star systems.
Since 2012, Davenport has been the author of the data, science, and visualization blog, which has featured popular articles such as The United States of Starbucks, 24 Hours of King County Metro, and Airports of the World. He has been a frequent speaker in Seattle and around the country on the topic of data visualization and presentation.

Sandi Doughton
Sandi Doughton "Communicating Science in Your Career" Panelist
Science Writer, The Seattle Times
Sandi Doughton is an award-winning science writer for The Seattle Times and the author of Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.
Doughton has been covering science, medicine and the environment for more than 25 years, first in New Mexico, then in the Pacific Northwest.
Doughton set out to be a biologist, but after graduate research that required her to stand in a walk-in freezer and drip rattlesnake venom into test tubes, she decided to combine her interests in journalism and science.
Her first science-writing job was in Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the atomic bomb and the center of some of the country’s most cutting edge and controversial research – including work on laser fusion and the “Star Wars” missile defense system.
Her science reporting has taken her to the Bering Sea, where she covered climate change and chased seals over pancake ice, and to Africa, where she wrote about the Gates Foundation’s efforts to develop a vaccine for malaria.
Earth science is one of her favorite subjects, because it’s a great example of the way research can make a difference in people’s lives. Doughton’s reporting on the deadly Oso landslide earned her the prestigious Perlman Award from the American Geophysical Union in 2015.
Doughton lives in West Seattle – not far from the Seattle Fault.


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Kristin Harper Write-a-thon facilitator
Principal Writer, Harper Health & Science Communications

Kristin Harper, Ph.D., is the principal writer at Harper Health & Science Communications. She has an MPH in Global Epidemiology and a PhD in Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution from Emory University. She also did postdoctoral research in molecular epidemiology at Columbia University. She has authored over 30 scientific articles, and her work has appeared in high profile journals such as Science, the PLoS journals, Environmental Health Perspectives, and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Now she uses her successful track record as a scientist to educate the public about novel research findings and to help clients write manuscripts, reports, grant proposals, and other documents that are clear, convincing, and competitive. She works with many public health foundations, public health associations, nonprofits, and universities, and her writing has appeared in magazines and journals such as Science, AIDS, and The Scientist.

Dr. Marley Jarvis
Marley Jarvis "Public Engagement and Education" Panelist
Portal to the Public Science Communication Fellowship Supervisor, Pacific Science Center

Dr. Marley Jarvis was raised in a coastal town in northern California by an artist father and oceanographer mother, and she shares a passion for both.  Throughout her career as an academic scientist, Dr. Jarvis has worked at many of the marine labs on the west coast, been to the bottom of the ocean, and gotten many, many people sea sick. Dr. Jarvis has a deep love for marine invertebrate larvae and the other wondrous plankton of the sea that serve as endless inspiration for her art projects. After completing a PhD and teaching marine biology as Adjunct Professor at University of Oregon, Dr. Jarvis left research to work with the Portal to the Public team at Pacific Science Center in Seattle. She now coaches scientists in their outreach and public engagement with science efforts, and always seeking to bridge science and popular culture through art and storytelling.

Liz Kranich
Elizabeth Kranich "Public Engagement and Education" Panelist
Teacher, Hazel Wolf E-STEM school

Elizabeth Kranich is a third grade teacher at Hazel Wolf K-8 E-STEM school, a public school in Seattle, Washington. Hazel Wolf serves a diverse urban population and is the only STEM school in the north Seattle area. As a science focused educator, Elizabeth has attended various STEM conferences and professional developments. She was a contributor at University of Washington and National Geographic’s 2015 Geoliteracy Summer Institute, where she focused on developing outdoor science curriculum for elementary students. Elizabeth also attended the 2014 ASCD National Conference where she learned different strategies for enriching urban classrooms with quality engineering and science lessons. At Hazel Wolf Elizabeth designed a year-long field study for her 3rd grade class studying the human impact on the natural spaces within the city. She also implemented engineering challenges and Project Based Learning units co-written by educators at her school.  Elizabeth is most passionate about fostering a love of discovery and nature in her students and looks forward to discussing creating a more science literate public at this year’s ComSciCon-PNW.

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Hillary Lauren "Communicating Science in Your Career" Panelist
Interpretive Content Developer, Woodland Park Zoo

Hillary Lauren is an Interpretive Content Developer at Woodland Park Zoo, where she researches animals, designs exhibits, and creates content for signs and guest materials. Hillary has a somewhat eclectic career background: designing and evaluating educational games, science education materials, freelance science writing, graphic design, and illustration. Her formal education is in biology and ecology -- she has earned a bachelor’s from Seattle University and a master’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Meg Matthews Write-a-thon facilitator
Strategic Communications Manager, UW College of the Environment

Meg works to help mission-driven people tell stories that matter. She brings nearly a decade of messaging and media relations expertise to her role as the Strategic Communications Manager for the UW College of the Environment. Meg’s provided communications counsel to a range of organizations and their partners, including science education organizations, nonprofit and cultural institutions, and government agencies. Previously, she built research and conservation communication strategies from the ground up at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and served as a trusted messaging strategy advisor for Sierra Club campaigns in the Pacific Northwest and Powder River Basin. Meg is committed to centering equity in communications and building mindful networks of communicators whose work counteracts racial oppression. A political ecologist by training, she holds an MPhil in geography from Cambridge University.

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Lindsey Murphy "Creative Media in Science Communication" Panelist
Creator, Producer, and Host of The Fab Lab With Crazy Aunt Lindsey

Lindsey E. Murphy is the creator, producer, and host of The Fab Lab With Crazy Aunt Lindsey, YouTube’s #1 kids science web series that takes everyday science concepts and turns them into fabulous DIY projects. Since launching in 2010, the show has garnered partnerships with the likes of Scientific American Magazine, the New York Academy of Sciences, and has been published in countless family publications around the nation and internet. Completely self-taught, Lindsey is considered a science generalist whose creative and casual approach to classic concepts has innovated the way science education is brought to life at home, making it fun and utterly relatable to those who have no formal training in STEM fields. Crazy Aunt Lindsey is a regular guest at conferences nationwide, speaking and giving live demonstrations, at Girl Scouts GirlFest, Geek Girl Con, and Michigan State University’s Science Festival. Lindsey is a passionate Citizen Scientist having participated in countless projects as diverse as those with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Audubon Society of Portland, and, later this year, NASA. As a STEM advocate and science communicator, Lindsey holds a special heart and focus on accessibility and diversity in STEM.

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Jennifer Nemhauser Keynote Speaker
Professor of Biology, University of Washington

Jennifer Nemhauser is a Professor of Biology at the University of Washington. Throughout her career, Jennifer has been drawn to projects where novel quantitative approaches, new technology and multi-scale biological questions meet-up. As a graduate student, Jennifer got hooked on the big question of how cells figure out where they are during development. She discovered that a simple molecule called auxin plays a pivotal role in relaying this type of information in a highly context-dependent manner. Her postdoctoral work allowed Jennifer to use first-generation genomic tools to begin building an organismal, integrated view of plant hormone signaling and development. This adventure continues in her own lab, where she has teamed up with Eric Klavins (Professor, UW Electrical Engineering) to recreate auxin signaling in yeast—using synthetic biology paradigms to ground-truth the predictions generated by systems-level approaches. Alongside her research questions, Jennifer is investigating how social and institutional systems shape the way scientists frame, analyze and disseminate their findings.

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Julian Olden "Public Engagement and Education" Panelist
Co-Director, Center for Creative Conservation
Professor, UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Science

Julian Olden is the co-director of the Center for Creative Conservation and professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Science at the University of Washington. Motivated by a vision of a world where people understand, value, and protect the Earth’s biodiversity, Julian conducts use-inspired research that links actionable science to on-the- ground management decisions for freshwater conservation. From climate change to hydropower dams and invasive species, Julian embraces various modes of science communication to engage the public into helping recognize and solve critical environmental challenges.

Ken Stedman
Kenneth Stedman "Communicating Science in Your Career" Panelist
Professor, Portland State University
Founder, StoneStable Inc.

Biology professor Ken Stedman is an educator, communicator, and co-founder of the Portland State University Center for Life in Extreme Environments. His current research focuses on viruses of extremophiles, unique chimeric virus genomes, and applications of extremophiles for vaccine stabilization. His research won the BioMed Central Research Award, was finalist for the Golden Mole Award for Accidental Brilliance (NPR), and was featured in the museum exhibit Nanoland. He was featured in This Week in Virology, a prime-time CBC documentary, and is working on a documentary film on viruses, “Edge of Life”. His research is funded by the NIH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NSF, NASA, and the American Heart Association. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from U.C. Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow in Germany, the Netherlands, and Montana. He also recently founded a company, StoneStable, Inc.

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Torrey Stenmark "Public Engagement and Education" Panelist
Chemistry Instructor, Shoreline Community College

Torrey Stenmark is a chemistry instructor at Shoreline Community College. She has taught almost every chemistry course on offer there. Stenmark serves as faculty advisor to the Science Club, making sure that the liquid nitrogen ice cream is safe as well as delicious. She also helps coordinate the DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon, a hands-on science experiment activity area for kids and adults hosted at a Seattle conference. She has designed and taught experiments in slime, secret writing, and bottle rockets to audiences with a variety of science backgrounds.
Stenmark holds a masters' degree from the University of Washington in organic chemistry. In her spare time, she uses her science skills to create award-winning science fiction and comic book costumes.

Tami Tolpa
Tami Tolpa "Creative Media in Science Communication" Panelist
Illustrator and Animator, Tolpa Studios

Tami Tolpa, operating as Tolpa Studios, has over 18 years of experience in scientific illustration and animation for clients including: Scientific American Magazine, The Scientist Magazine, Science News, Harvard University, Stanford University, UC San Francisco, the University of Washington, and numerous biotechnology companies and e-learning institutions. Tami has an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She's a past board member and current fellow of the Association of Medical Illustrators. Recognizing the potential for scientists to use visual communications more effectively, Tami and her colleague Betsy Palay founded Picture As Portal™ LLC in 2015 with a mission to “empower anyone—through a simple course of training—to create clear, compelling pictures that communicate about science, technology, and other subjects, no matter how complex.” They’ll launch their first online course, “SPARK: Five Strategies for the Visual Communication of Science,” in 2017.