This year's keynote speaker will be Maren Hunsberger. Maren is a scientist, science communicator, on-air host, actress, writer, video producer and digital content creator. She currently works for Seeker Media, writing and hosting science video content, and is a public information officer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where she creates content to promote the lab's science, tech, and engineering work. Maren can take anything and turn it into an interesting story, and can always be counted on to wear bright colors and ask a LOT of questions.   

Maren in action   Maren Goofy Pic


Panelists Include...

Dr. Catherine Klauss is a quantum physicist and science communicator. She earned her PhD from the Physics department at CU Boulder. Dr. Klauss loves telling science stories and currently supports the IBM Qiskit program, building narratives across several different media. Prior to her current role, Klauss served as science communicator for CU’s Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA). At JILA, she wrote news stories, produced videos, and held classes and workshops on science communication. Dr. Klauss also spent time as lead editor for the “NPR SciComm Office Hours,” a program to guide students towards their first published stories.

Dr. Gayathri Sivakumar is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Journalism & Media Communication at CSU, studying health communication and digital media. Her research examines how people learn from media without prior expertise, such as how a chronically ill patient might navigate online health websites. Dr. Sivakumar is also interested in the impacts of online media on political discourse and education.

Sara Pratt, formerly EARTH's senior editor, is based in Boulder, Colo. She is a graduate of the earth and environmental science journalism dual master’s program at Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and has written for Eos, Temblor, Discover, Oceanus, Geotimes, NOVA and NOVA ScienceNow, and worked in scientific publishing and educational outreach. In 2014, she founded BoCo SciComm, a social and professional networking group for Boulder area science communicators. Twitter: @GeoScienceSara.

Dr. Benét Duncan is the Climate Assessment Specialist at the Western Water Assessment (WWA) . She is responsible for coordinating WWA climate assessment activities and analysis of other climate assessments in the Southwest Region. Previously, Benét worked at the science-policy interface with the California Ocean Science Trust. In addition, as a postdoctoral fellow in UCAR’s Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise (PACE) program, Benét led development of ocean climate change indicators for Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Benét received her MS and PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado.

Peter Backlund is currently the Associate Director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. He was part of the leadership team of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) from 2001-2013, where he led strategic planning, oversaw relationships with sponsors and other research organizations, and developed a series of interdisciplinary projects that combined atmospheric, social, health, ecological, and hydrological science. Before joining NCAR, Peter was a senior advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1995-2001. Mr. Backlund helped manage Earth science activities at NASA HQ from 1991-1995, contributing to the development of the Earth Observing System (EOS) and other projects. From 1988-1991, Peter held positions with SM Systems Research Corporation, LRS Associates, and Science Applications International Corporation, where he supported NASA and other agencies.

Dr. Rajul (Raj) Pandya directs AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange. The Thriving Earth Exchange helps volunteer scientists and community leaders work together to use science to advance community priorities related to sustainability, resilience, disaster risk reduction, and environmental justice. Raj invites everyone to be part of guiding and doing science, especially people from historically marginalized communities, so that the sciences can contribute to a world where all people and nature can thrive, now and in the future. Raj chaired the National Academies committee on “Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning,” serves on the boards for Public Lab and the Anthropocene Alliance and is a member of the Independent Advisory Committee on Applied Climate Assessment. He helped launch the Resilience Dialogues, was a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association and served as Education and Human Resource Commissioner for the American Meteorological Society. Before joining AGU, Raj led education, engagement, and diversity programs connected to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, led an international research and development project that used weather data to better manage meningitis in Africa, and held a faculty position at West Chester State University.