Career Networking Lunch

One of the most important parts of this workshop is the chance for our attendees to interact one on one with our panelists. This is an opportunity for the attendees to chat in small groups with science communication and outreach professionals about their experiences!


Mohamed Noor, Ph.D., Professor of Biology at Duke University

Dr. Mohamed Noor

Noor joined Duke's Biology Department in 2005 and served as chair from 2013-17. His research focuses on understanding what genetic changes contribute to the formation of new species, and how the process of genetic recombination affects species formation and molecular evolution. He is a recipient of the Linnean Society's Darwin-Wallace Medal as well as several Duke teaching and mentoring awards. Noor has also served in a number of society offices, including president of the American Genetic Association and president of the Society for the Study of Evolution. He is also currently editor-in-chief of the journal Evolution. He has published two books, including the recently-released “Live Long and Evolve: What Star Trek Can Teach Us about Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds,” an entertaining introduction to genetics and evolutionary concepts (paralleling the scientific content of his Duke and Coursera classes) through the lens of the popular science-fiction television show.

Jory Weintraub, Ph.D., Science Communication Director, Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Jory Weintraub, Ph.D.

Jory Weintraub is Science Communication Director and a Senior Lecturing Fellow with the Duke Initiative for Science & Society.  He teaches science communication courses for Duke undergrads and grad students, and runs scicomm workshops for Duke faculty and postdocs.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC). Jory received a BS in Biochemistry from UC San Diego and a PhD in Immunology from UNC Chapel Hill and then completed an NSF-funded postdoctoral fellowship in STEM education, with a focus on STEM diversity and minority outreach.

Gretchen Chidester, Ph.D., CMPP™, Associate Scientific Director II, MedThink SciCom

Gretchen Chidester
Gretchen is an Associate Scientific Director II at MedThink SciCom, where she is responsible for developing scientifically accurate content that may be used in a variety of formats and providing strategic direction for a diverse array of medical and scientific communication initiatives. She earned her BS in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and her MA and PhD in Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following her doctorate, Gretchen completed her postdoctoral training at the Duke University Medical Center in the Laboratory of Psychiatric Neuroengineering. She is also credentialed as a Certified Medical Publication Professional (CMPP™) through the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals.

Madhusudan Katti, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, NCSU

Madhusudan Katti
Dr. Katti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science and the Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program for Leadership in Public Science at North Carolina State University. He is an evolutionary ecologist who discovered birds as an undergrad after growing up a nature-oblivious urban kid near Bombay, went chasing after vanishing wildernesses in the Himalaya and Western Ghats as a grad student, and returned to study cities grown up as a reconciliation ecologist. He studies animals and plants in cities with the goal of applying our understanding towards reconciling biodiversity conservation with human development. He writes for the Social Evolution Forum, The Nature of Cities, Network, and other outlets. He founded the Central Valley Café Scientifique and host an affiliated radio show, "Science: A Candle In The Dark" which airs on the 4th Tue of each month at 3:30PM (Pacific Time), and is also available as a podcast.

Fenella Saunders- Editor in Chief, American Scientist

Fenella Saunders

Fenella Saunders is Editor-in-Chief of American Scientist, a general-audience science magazine published by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, where she is also Director of Science Communications and Publications. She has been a science journalist and editor for more than 23 years, and has covered science for Discover magazine, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, NYU Physician, Scholastic, The Learning Channel, and The Discovery Channel. She received an A.B. degree in computer science from Duke University and a Master's degree in psychology and animal behavior from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Chris Smith, Curator, Daily Planet Theater, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Chris Smith

Chris Smith is the curator for the Daily Planet Theater and social media ambassador at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the largest natural history museum in the Southeastern US. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in history and came to North Carolina in 2009 to pursue a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He learned science communication as a nature interpreter for state parks and sharpened his social media skills as the education and communications manager for the Duke Lemur Center. Chris’ role at the Museum is to design and host popular science programs for the stage, and build a creative online presence for the Museum across social media. He has been interviewed dozens of times by local news and national publications, including National Geographic and Scientific American. If you find Chris, ask him about lemurs, public speaking and social media!


Tamara Poles, Community Engagement Specialist, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Tamara is a biologist and environmental scientist by training but uses her skills to conduct science outreach as an informal educator for museums and science centers. Now that she has earned her Master’s Degree in Education, she uses her education and experience to train scientists and STEM professionals in science communication. She also coordinates community events across North Carolina to enable scientists to hone their skills in public communication while allowing the public to interact with scientists in their community and learn about valuable research. Tamara has developed and currently manages the IMPACTS program at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.


Stephanie Schuttler, Ph.D., Research Associate, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Dr. Stephanie Schuttler studies the behavior, conservation, and ecology of mammals living in human-modified landscapes. She collaborates with K-12 teachers worldwide to implement eMammal, a citizen science camera-trapping program, into science classrooms. The students collect data for eMammal as part of their science classroom activities, and Stephanie uses the student-collected data to study the behavior, distribution, and range of mammals throughout the world.  Simultaneously, she conducts research on students’ perspectives towards the wildlife they see on their local camera traps to see if citizen science can improve attitudes and increase connections to nature. Stephanie is highly interested in increasing people’s connections with nature and is an avid blogger and science communicator through social media.


Chelsea Berg- Interim Director of EPA-RTP Community Engagement and STEM Education, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Chelsea Berg is an environmental scientist with a background in outdoor education, art, and storytelling. Her current research focuses on the intersection of public health and ecosystem services, but she’s put it aside for three months to man the helm of EPA’s STEM outreach and education program. Both of her jobs emphasize communication, and she’s had the opportunity to participate in Alan Alda workshops, an Edward Tufte course, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Science of Science Communication meeting. Her previous work at EPA focused on maps for community use.  Ask her about data visualization, poster design, systems science, scuba diving, and the difference between science translation and translational science. You can request Chelsea and other EPA speakers through the Speakers Bureau.  


Robert Frederick, Digital Managing Editor, American Scientist

Robert Frederick is the digital managing editor of American Scientist since November, 2015. Prior to that, he freelanced for a wide variety of outlets in print, radio, television, and online, and contributed a chapter on multimedia freelancing to The Science Writers’ Handbook (Da Capo, 2013), which was supported in part by a grant from the National Association of Science Writers.
His past work in science journalism includes four years as associate online editor and then web editor for Science magazine (2007-2011), where he also contributed to team multimedia projects, created videos, and hosted/produced the magazine's weekly podcast, taking it to #3 on iTunes' Science & Medicine category (behind only NPR-sponsored radio shows). Robert also manages @AmSciMag's Twitter handle and other social-media accounts, with contributions coming from all team members.

Christina Marvin, Ph.D., Research Associate for Science Education and Engagement, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Christina Marvin

Dr. Christina Marvin develops science engagement programs and educational content for both scientists and community members with Professor Bassam Shakhashiri, director of the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy (WISL) at UW-Madison. Our group’s mission is to foster community appreciation of science through improving connectivity between science and society. Some recent initiatives include STEM/STEAM fairs, teacher workshops, and presentations at the state capitol. Previously, Christina helped facilitate various science communication efforts throughout the Triangle, including the UNC Science Writing and Communication group (SWAC), the IMPACTS program at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, and ComSciCon Triangle. Christina received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2018.