Local Organizers

Our 2018 local organizers:


picShelley Chestler

Shelley Chestler just earned her PhD from the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. For her graduate work, she studied “slow” earthquakes, earthquakes that occur every 15 months beneath northern Washington, but so slowly that you cant feel the shaking. She coordinated Rockin’ Out, the Earth and Space Sciences K-­12 outreach program and taught the ENGAGE: Communicating Science to the Public Effectively course. She now works as a data scientist at Rover.com.


picEleanor Lutz

Eleanor Lutz is a second year PhD student in the UW Biology Department. She studies the neurobiology of mosquito learning and memory in the Riffell lab. Eleanor also runs a science blog, TabletopWhale.com, where she posts science animations, illustrations, maps, and other sciart projects.





picJessica Hebert

Jessica F. Hebert is a PhD candidate in biology at Portland State University, studying placental function and preeclampsia at Oregon Health and Science University. When she isn't working hard for #teamplacenta, she is an avid supporter of science communication through Oregon Museum of Science and Industry's Science Communication Fellowship. You can also find her rocking stages with her nerdband, The PDX Broadsides, singing songs about space, science, and Nathan Fillion's various laudable characteristics.



picMolly Gasperini

Molly Gasperini is a burgeoning genome scientist from the University of Washington, where she spends her time trying to develop '-omics' technology.






picWill Chen

Will Chen is a recent graduate of the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management program at the University of Washington. His research focused on using statistical analyses and mathematical models to design river flows below large dams that would benefit freshwater fish conservation while minimizing water conflicts between nature and people. He now works for The Nature Conservancy on communicating their work through social media, blogs, and mini-features. Will is also passionate about games and designs games for climate change communication and education.



Brian Katona

Brian Katona is a graduate student studying Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington. His research focus is on control systems, which means he spends his time figuring out ways make aircraft do what we want without them falling out of the sky or hitting things. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, enjoying good art, volunteering, and cooking with friends and family (and any combination of the three).




picAmber Barnard

Amber Barnard is a second-year master’s degree student in Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University. For her research, she is helping Oregon produce growers meet the newly implemented water quality standards issued by the Food and Drug Administration. When Amber’s not in the lab, she enjoys teaching high school students about politics, baking cookies (hint: use browned butter!), playing board games, and enjoying Oregon craft beers.



picYaamini Venkataraman

Yaamini Venkataraman is a current graduate student at the University of Washington's School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. She studies how climate change will affect shellfish in current and future oceans using "-omic" techniques. As a Social Media Intern, she gets to spend a lot of time ghostwriting sassy social media posts for the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. She also writes in-depth features about graduate students in the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program. When she's not raising oysters, doing labwork or yelling at her computer, you can find Yaamini somewhere in the mountains or in one of Seattle's many restaurants and breweries.