Kelsie Anson @kelsie_anson
I am a third-year PhD student in biochemistry at CU Boulder. I use fluorescent sensors to study the metal ion zinc and how it affects cell signaling in the hippocampus, an area of the brain important to learning and memory. I am very interested in helping kids form positive associations with science, and when I’m not in the lab I teach science detectives camps with CU Science Discovery and volunteer with after-school science programs in local middle schools. I also enjoy reading, baking, riding my bike, and exploring the Mountain West.
Julia Bakker-Arkema @jbakkerarkema
I work for CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at CU Boulder, where I’m a fourth year PhD student in atmospheric chemistry. I study the chemistry that leads to the formation of organic aerosols in the atmosphere, a process that has both environmental and human health implications. Instead of traveling the world and making atmospheric measurements on field campaigns, like many researchers in my field, I conduct laboratory experiments that simulate the chemistry that happens in our atmosphere. Throughout my career, I hope to help bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and public understanding. I love both teaching and communicating science, whether in a classroom or in daily conversation. Outside of work, I love to play volleyball, see live music, and explore Colorado.
Emily Beagle @ebeag
I am a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of Wyoming. My current research examines ways to utilize biomass to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from the power generation sector. My work includes experimentally investigating various thermal treatment options for biomass as well as examining the synergistic effects of co-utilization of biomass fuels with coal. After interning for a summer in DC, I learned the importance of effectively communicating science and engineering with the public and policy makers and would like to continue to develop this skill throughout the remainder of my PhD studies and throughout my career.
Angela Boag @BoagAE
I’m a PhD student at CU Boulder in Environmental Studies. As a socioecological scientist and member of the Communities and Forests in Oregon (CAFOR) project, I study forest ecology, management, and climate change adaptation. I’m passionate about applied ecology and participatory action research. I want to continue developing my science communication skills to strengthen relationships with community research partners and more effectively share knowledge about climate change and adaptation.
Eryn Cangi @astroemc2
I’m a first year PhD student in Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences at University of Colorado Boulder, with dual bachelor's degrees in theatre and physics. My main interests are in exoplanets, planetary atmospheres and climate science, and I've just begun work on a project investigating the role of atmospheric water in Martian atmospheric escape. During undergrad, I performed research at my home university and in two summer research programs, and every new experience made me relearn all over again how challenging and rewarding it is to be able to effectively communicate about your work to the general public and other scientists. My goal in science communication is to not only be able to speak well, but to be able to listen and empathize well with people of all backgrounds. Outside of science, my hobbies are exactly what you'd expect from someone who grew up in Oregon and moved to Colorado. I also like cooking, board/video games, travel, music, and so on.
Katie Chambers @katiegchambers_
I am a second-year PhD student in Environmental Engineering and Engineering for Developing Communities at the University of Colorado Boulder. My dissertation research examines sanitation infrastructure resilience in resource-limited communities. This summer, I interned with the Red Cross Climate Centre in Ethiopia and examined flood impacts to communities downstream of a hydroelectric dam and blogged about my experience.
Nico Hernandez Charpak
I received my PhD in nanoscale experimental Physics at CU Boulder, as well as a graduate certificate in Science and Technology Policy. During my graduate career I founded and joined various student groups dedicated to building a better, more inclusive, community at CU Boulder as well as groups that fostered conversations and engagement in science policy. I recently joined STROBE (an NSF science and technology center working on real-time functional imaging) as a research associate, to both work on exciting science, and as part of the education, professional development and communications team. I continue to be part of various science policy related task forces and groups, and I hope to develop a project that brings the world of science and scientists to a young Latino and Latino-American audience.
Sarah Crump @sarahecrump
I’m a PhD student at University of Colorado Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. I study past climate change and how it affected glaciers and vegetation, primarily in the Canadian Arctic. I’m the current president of Women in Science & Engineering (WiSE) at CU, which allows me to work with folks from a variety of STEM fields to increase the diversity and inclusivity of our communities. I’m hoping to work on communicating my science to the broader public--both to share the important lessons past climate change can teach us and to increase the visibility of women scientists--through film and lay-friendly writing. On the weekends, I enjoy running, climbing, and skiing in our backyard mountains.
Amanda Doherty @givethemrocks
I am a second-year masters student at Colorado State University. My research involves the geo-chemical rock/water interaction of native and injected water within northern Colorado aquifers. I am working with a team of geoscientists and engineers who are investigating the feasibility of storing large amounts of water underground as an alternative to surface reservoirs. After I finish my degree this spring, I hope to pursue scientific communication and outreach with K-12 as my target audience—but I haven’t ruled out a PhD just yet! When I am not doing research, I love to do yoga, hike, and cook!
My interest in marine biology stemmed from a little-known, Indo-Pacific flashing bivalve. The ‘disco’ clam has fascinated SCUBA divers for decades, but no one had studied how the flashing worked, or why the clams flashed. My PhD at UC Berkeley integrated form and function with animal behavior, and my post-doc at CU Boulder examines how vision influences the way animals avoid predators. I believe, unequivocally, that the only way science is truly successful is when the gap between academia and the general population is bridged through effective science communication, for kids and adults alike. When I’m not science-ing, I’m usually underwater taking photographs or travelling.
Rachel Edie @LittleRiverOMS
I’m a fourth year doctoral candidate at the University of Wyoming, studying emissions from oil and gas wells in the Atmospheric Science department. My research brings me to oil and gas basins across the United States and I frequently interact not only with scientists, but industry employees and the general population who are concerned about my findings. Beyond my research topic, I’m especially interested in improving representation of women and minorities in STEM fields. I also enjoy climbing, trail running, skiing uphill, and brewing beer.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences department at the University of Colorado, Boulder. My research focuses on far-infrared astronomy and instrumentation. Currently I am investigating how carbon monoxide gas is swirling around in a galaxy merger named NGC 6240, and am developing ultra-sensitive far-infrared detectors for the proposed Origins Space Telescope. My interest in science communication stems from a desire to work in science policy. Outside of work I am passionate about making art with my friends, horseback riding, and volunteering at Rocky Mountain Riding Therapy.
Jenna E Gallegos @foodbeerscience
I recently completed my PhD in Plant Biology at UC Davis where I engaged in various outreach activities such as blogging and making videos and helped found the science communication group “Science Says”. After spending the summer as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow writing for The Washington Post, I have started a new position as a science writer in a synthetic biology lab at Colorado State University under Jean Peccoud. I will be applying for postdoctoral fellowships and plan to return to the bench next year.
I am a third-year PhD student in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Working in the Oceans and Climate Lab, I am analyzing the interaction between climate change and crime. This summer, I spent two weeks in Washington, DC being immersed in the world of science policy (for better or worse) which dovetails with the Science and Technology Policy certificate I am pursuing. When I’m not staring at computer code, I enjoy playing soccer and exploring the mountains of Colorado by hiking and skiing.
Megan Harries @harriesmegan
As a fourth-year doctoral candidate in chemistry at CU Boulder, I work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to find better ways to measure complex fluid phase equilibrium. I’m interested in applying analytical chemistry principles to problems in energy, public health, and forensic science. My desire to improve the way scientists communicate has led me to organize STEMinar, an interdisciplinary meeting for CU graduate students and postdocs. I want to continue to develop my skills and a community in science communication and policy.
Carrie Havrilla @carrie_havrilla
I am a fourth-year PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at CU Boulder. I am a dryland ecologist currently studying the biotic interactions between biological soil crusts and plants in dryland ecosystems. I am interested in increasing public understanding of science, and in using science to inform public policy to solve complex global issues. While not in the lab or field, I enjoy travelling, running, playing with my dogs, and recently, weaving.
Ulyana Horodyskyj @black_ice_himal
I am the CEO of an adventure citizen science company called Science in the Wild, based in Boulder, Colorado. I received my PhD in geological sciences from CU-Boulder in May 2015, and then did a post-doc at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. While there, I received a grant from National Geographic and traveled to the Penny Ice Cap, Baffin Island (Canadian Arctic) for a ski snow sampling expedition, looking at impacts of black carbon on snow and ice. I train 6 days/week - everything from trail running, to weight-lifting, to rock and mountain climbing, to biking - in order to keep fit for the science expeditions I lead!
Gretchen Geibel @GretchenGeibel
I am a third-year Ph.D. candidate in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at CU Boulder. I use worms as a model to study muscle-fat cross talk or, more specifically, how muscle regulates fat metabolism. I am eager to improve my science communication skills so that I can help make science accessible to everyone, especially children and teens. Currently, I’m honing my sci-comm skills by participating in CU’s Lens on Climate Change project and by writing and editing for CU’s Science Buffs blog. When not writing or doing research, I enjoy hiking, volunteering with the dogs at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, and tinkering with fermented foods.
I am a third year graduate student in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at CU Boulder. I use mouse macrophage white blood cells infected with Salmonella to study nutritional immunity, a process in which host cells and pathogens compete for nutrients. Specifically, I am interested in the role of zinc as an essential nutrient in this process; the macrophages may manipulate zinc to poison or starve engulfed Salmonella. Understanding this process will enhance our understanding of immunity in human and animal populations. Before starting graduate school I tutored a variety of at-risk and/or learning disabled children in science and math, and I am interested in continuing outreach to these populations. Toward that end I will be taking an online class on science communication through the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and I am excited to connect with other scientists about this topic. I am a Colorado native, and when not in lab I am gardening or rock climbing.
Megan Jones @mjonesworth
I am a second-year PhD student in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources department at Colorado State University. My research focuses on understanding processes of change within natural resource conservation, and I am currently working on two main studies. The first is an investigation of the challenges women face as they advance to conservation leadership in the US, and the supports that help them along the way. The second is an inquiry into how participants in bird-friendly gardening programs in Colorado describe what motivates them to garden for birds, and what barriers hold them back from further behavior change. I am passionate about making conservation a more inclusive and effective field of study and advocacy, and I’m excited to build skills in science communication in support of that work.
Dilara Kiran @dvmphd2be
I am a combined degree DVM/Ph.D. student at Colorado State University. My research seeks to gain a better understanding of mechanisms by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection alters the metabolism of host immune cells. I am passionate about bridging gaps between veterinary and human medicine, advocating on behalf of the veterinary profession, and communicating the importance of translational research using animal models. Recently, I participated in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s legislative fly-in, where I spoke with Colorado Senators and Representatives about important policy issues in the field. I am interested in pursuing a laboratory animal medicine residency and public policy fellowships once I complete my program.
I am a PhD student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at the University of Colorado Boulder. My research focuses on nanocrystal semiconductors, which are materials capable of absorbing sunlight. On a daily basis, I do experiments that allow me to understand the pathways by which such materials dissipate the energy they gain from visible light. On my free time, I enjoy dancing, meeting up with friends, and reading books unrelated to my research.
Courtney Larson @LarsonCourtney
I am a Ph.D. student in ecology at Colorado State University. I am interested in wildlife conservation, landscape ecology, spatial analysis, and anthropogenic impacts on ecological systems. More specifically, my research focuses on human disturbance and its effects on the occurrence and community composition of mammals and reptiles in San Diego, CA. I am passionate about applying scientific research to sustainable land management and conservation planning.
Rhesa Ledbetter @RhesaLedbetter
As a former community college science instructor and now a PhD student in biochemistry at Utah State University, I have discovered a passion for distilling science to diverse audiences. My excitement to communicate in innovative ways stems from my love of theater, which was a big part of my childhood. I combine my love of science and communication by engaging in research at the bench and volunteering as a science reporter for Utah Public Radio. Prior to working in radio, I served as a writer and editor for the Department of Energy’s Frontiers in Energy Research newsletter.
I am finishing my PhD in atmospheric science at CU Boulder. My research focuses on the interactions between the atmosphere and wind turbines, particularly the wind energy production. I am now a graduate research assistant at NREL. A soccer player, a football fan, a karate practitioner, and most importantly, a mountain lover. Definitely an underachiever, as you can tell from the length of this bio (just kidding though).
Danielle Lemon (@ilemmon)
I am a third year PhD student in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Additionally, I am in the Science and Technology Policy graduate certificate program and intend to pursue science policy after graduation. While I’m driven by researching climate impacts on food security, my specific research focuses on El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and how diverse ENSO events create diverse teleconnections (rain and temperature patterns). These teleconnections subsequently impact global and regional food security. I am currently learning Farsi and have joined the competitive hip hop team at CU Boulder. I strongly believe that learning different languages is important for learning how to flexibly communicate, and that is not limited to spoken languages (dance, music, and art are also languages!).
I am a Masters student in Toxicology at Colorado State University. Prior to coming to Colorado, I completed an undergraduate degree in Pharmacology and Immunology at the University of Toronto, and worked for several years in scientific & regulatory consulting, assessing the safety and nutritional quality of novel foods and food ingredients. My current research focus is on evaluating if simple, sustainable dietary solutions can prevent chronic disease, starting in childhood. Growing up on 3 continents, I have a penchant for collaborating with diverse groups to solve major global challenges. Outside of the lab, I am always booking my next adventure, taste-testing the best foods in town, or turning everyday objects into illustrations.
I’m a 6th year Ph.D. candidate in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. I study genes that contribute to T-cell resistance and sensitivity of cancer cells in Dr. Jingshi Shen’s lab. I love designing genetic screens, especially for other people’s research, and my broader scientific interests include membrane trafficking, cell interactions, evolution, and the crazy diversity of life. When not in lab I can be found cooking, waving my voter registration clipboard at freshmen, and making paintings of birds. I’m a writer and editor for Science Buffs.
I am finishing my PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, planning to graduate in December. My research focuses on new types of computer memories, called Resistive RAMs (ReRAMs). This semester I am continuing my research by working at a company called Micron Technology, Inc in Folsom, CA, which specializes in design and manufacturing of different types of memories and together with Intel Corporation contributed a lot to commercialization of ReRAMs. In my free time I enjoy all outdoorsy activities, such as biking, hiking, climbing, snowboarding, playing soccer and whatever else the beautiful states of Colorado or California have to offer. Can’t wait to see Boulder and all other participants there :)
I am a second year PhD student in Cell and Molecular Biology at CSU. My research has shifted multiple times in the past 3 years. I received my Master’s from CSU in microbiology where I studied the effects of glucose metabolism on Dengue virus. My interest shifted 180 when I started my PhD because I had always had a love for neurobiology. My research project includes studying glutamate receptor transport in C. elegans. Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter in our body and is known to be important in learning and memory but also neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. I am specifically trying to identify regulators of these receptors at the synaptic level. One aspect of science I’m really passionate about is trying to bridge the gap from the research us scientists conduct, and conveying that to the general public in a concise, but understandable manner. I’m originally from California, but hoping to stay in the lovely state of Colorado! I enjoy spending time with my fiance Mackenzie and our puppy Daisy!
I am finishing my PhD this semester and teaching my own course at the University of Colorado. My research is at the interface between plant ecology and soil ecology. I also love teaching and working on teams and would like to tackle some interdisciplinary problems related to invasive species in my future career.
Tanya Roussy @sabrinachoice
I’m currently in the second year of my PHD in Physics at CU Boulder. The experiment I’m working on is, on a really fundamental level, trying to answer the question: “Why are we here?” It is actually a big mystery why there is matter (stuff) in the universe at all. By very precisely measuring very very teeny tiny asymmetries in nature, we might be able to point to a reason for our existence. I’m older than most PHD students because I took about 7 years off after high school to snowboard, and I did a MASC in Engineering Physics before coming here. I love science and engineering, and I want to work towards making Physics and STEM disciplines more diverse (and welcoming!) to underrepresented minorities. I like making podcasts and comics too.
Avery Schiff @averyjschiff
I am a third-year PhD student in the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences department at the University of Colorado Boulder. In my research, I use simulations to try and understand how the Sun’s magnetic field heats its outermost layer, the solar corona. While at CU, I've loved having the opportunity to use the planetarium and observatory to engage with the Boulder community. Once I (hopefully) complete my masters in October, I plan to devote more time to teaching and developing public talks.
Erika Schreiber @SciSchreibs
I’m a 3rd year PhD student in the Geography department at CU Boulder, based at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. My research is focusing on how sea ice responds to storms in the Arctic. I consider myself a climatologist and am fascinated by how all our Earth systems interact, particularly with the cryosphere. I’m very concerned about scientific literacy and how we can better communicate science both to students and the public to promote better general understanding as well as policymaking. Outside of science I spend most of my time fostering dogs, as well as camping, baking, and reading.
I just started my second year of my post-doc at CU Denver Anschutz Medical Campus where I study cellular highways (microtubules) and how minor chemical modifications to those highways can alter their functions and lead to diseases like cancer. I did my PhD at Yale University where I led a program called Science in the News, which is a public lecture series with two main goals. The first goal is to provide the public with a better understanding of the complex science underpinning the issues they hear every day. The second goal is to train young scientists to become better science communicators. Going forward in my post-doc, I want to strengthen my science communication skills to continue bringing science to the public by starting up my own Science in the News program in Denver. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, camping, and sewing.
Alanna Shaw @AlannaNShaw
I am an ecosystem ecology M.S. student at the University of Montana. I am interested in the phosphorus economies of terrestrial ecosystems and my current research is focused on better characterizing phosphorus supply to organisms and the biogeochemical processes that constrain it. Given an outsized enthusiasm for soils and nutrient cycling, I’m invested in learning how to tell compelling stories that communicate how profoundly cool and perennially critical they are.
I’m a 4th year PhD student in Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. I research how rivers transport sediment and change the shape of landscapes over geologic time. My specific expertise is in numerical modeling of river and hillslope erosion processes at the landscape scale. I’m new to science communication, but am interested in crafting stories that intertwine scientific discoveries and the human experience to remind people of the role that earth science plays in their everyday lives.
I am a PhD student in Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I study methods for creating cold molecules in the 500 mK range and cold molecular collisions. Specifically, I look at astrophysically and atmospherically relevant molecules such as ammonia and OH and how they behave on a quantum mechanical level. I serve on the Physics department's Recruitment, Retention, and Representation committee and am interested in issues of diversity and belonging in the physical sciences and science literacy for the public.
Dakota Smith: @weatherdak
I (on the left) am a recently finished Master’s student from the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. My research focused on using remotely sensed data to improve the modeling of land-atmosphere interactions in African grasslands. I’m currently working for the National Center for Atmospheric Research researching climate vulnerability and adaptation in cities. Outside of work, I love sharing science with others through podcasts, videos, and informal talks.
Kathryn Smith @kathryne_smith
I have lead numerous research project during my masters degree. I have examined the microbiome associated with the reproductive tract of the ewe, determined rumen bacterial species and fermentation characteristics of nursing beef calves, and examined seasonal impacts on fermentation and microbiome of heifers on native range. I will graduate this fall and remain under my current advisor for a PhD. My dissertation research will continue examining the nursing beef calf microbial development and metabolites. I hope to conduct research that can better determine when a calf becomes a fully functioning ruminant. Recently, I was elected Graduate Director of the Western Section American Society of Animal Science where I hope to facilitate student activities at sectional meetings that prepare students for industry and academic jobs, grant writing, and ways for graduate students to be part of the journal article review process.
I am sixth year PhD student in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at CU Boulder and work at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. I study the interaction of Earth’s magnetic field with the Sun’s magnetic field to better understand how magnetic field lines bend and break using NASA’s Magnetosphere Multiscale Mission. After I finish, I am interested in moving more towards working to tear down barriers that prevent underrepresented groups from accessing and thriving in STEM careers.
Ruth Ann Swaney (@r_hall_swaney)
I am an enrolled tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes. I recently earned my PhD in Forestry and Conservation Sciences from the University of Montana. My doctoral research examined the experiences of American Indians who were pursuing or had earned degrees in the field of natural resources with particular focus on the impact of their tribal identity. I work for the Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana’s Native American Natural Resource Program, am an adjunct professor in Native American Studies, and am a social science researcher examining the experiences of Native American Faculty in STEM fields.
Katia Tarasava @TarasavaKatia
I am a PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering and Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology (IQ Biology) programs, working on engineering microbes that can make biodegradable plastic out of sugar. I am also a co-founder and vice president of Women in Science and Engineering group (WiSE), a volunteer-run organization created to help, inspire and advocate for equal representation in STEM. I am passionate about changing public perception about what a scientist should be like. In my free time, I love hiking tall mountains and making art.
Hilary J. Traut
I am a Ph.D. student in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder working with the Cognitive Development Center and Banich Lab. My research primarily focuses on the structure of executive function and its development across the lifespan. Currently, I am conducting studies testing how children at varying stages of development differentially benefit from different types of executive function interventions. As a psychology researcher, I have a passion for educating the public about how psychological research is conducted, how it can affect their lives, and what rights they have as possible participants in our studies.
Kathryn Palma Wall
I am a current graduate student completing my PhD in Biochemistry from CU-Boulder with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology. My research is in structural biophysics, focused on how the lack of protein structure affects function. I plan to graduate next Spring, and pursue a career in science writing or medical writing. I am working on founding a writing support group for STEM fields at CU-Boulder. I have a passion for making science more accessible across disciplines as well as introducing STEM subjects to young kids.
I am a second year PhD student in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) at the University of Colorado Boulder. I work on the development of cutting-edge technology for millimeter and submillimeter-wave ground-based telescopes. My status as a Hispanic woman in astrophysics has influenced my goal to make STEM fields more accessible to underrepresented minorities by becoming a leader in the field and by training, mentoring, and inspiring other minority youth to enter into these fields.
Kadija Williams @ BecomingDrKNOW
I am a PhD candidate in my 5th year at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the clinical psychology program, geropsychology track. My research centers broadly on suicidality in middle-aged and older adults. In particular, I explore cultural scripts of suicide from a framework comprising psychosocial factors and self-theories. I hope to develop measures that predict suicidality, and clinical interventions that reduce suicidal ideation in high-risk adults. Currently my research, includes investigating negative attitudes toward aging and their impact on suicidality, and creating a developmental self-theory of suicide. I am excited for any opportunity that aids me in improving skills in communicating science since an important part of clinical work involves disseminating scientific research to lay audiences.