Local Organizers


Our 2019 local organizers:


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.


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).





Meredith Fore

Meredith Fore is a freelance science writer and communicator. She obtained her M.S. in physics from the University of Washington in 2017, and remained a graduate researcher until Spring 2019. Her research focused on theoretical studies of the way molecules vibrate. She enjoys writing about physics and astronomy, riding horses, and teaching her dog new tricks.





Ernesto Ulloa

Ernesto Ulloa is from Mexico City where he studied Applied Mathematics, which led him into the exciting field of Biostatistics. He is currently a fourth year student in the Biostatistics PhD program at University of Washington. His current research focuses on understanding and improving current statistics methods geared towards understand causality using observational data.




ToddTodd Harwell

Todd Harwell is a doctoral student in the Environmental Sciences program at Oregon State University with a focus on Environmental Education. Specifically his research is aimed at exploring the relationships between informal science education institutions (including museums, zoos, aquaria, nature/science centers, and more) and the LGBTQ+ community.  Beyond academic life Todd enjoys biking around town, throwing clay into mugs on the pottery wheel, and spoiling his feline son, Keshito.




JacobJacob O'Connor

Jacob O'Connor works in the Baker lab in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington, using computers to try and make entirely new tiny proteins that will be used as new medicines. He is a communication fellow at the Pacific Science Center and a member of the ENGAGE board of directors.