- Every year, Kirk Lohmueller and I teach a workshop on demographic inference from genomic data for graduate students and postdocs in conservation genetics as part of the La Kretz Conservation Genomics Workshop
- I volunteered at the “Exploring Your Universe” event at UCLA on November 17, 2014. Allison Fritts-Penniman and Johnathan Chang organized two great booths for the EEB department: a strawberry DNA extraction using soap and rubbing alcohol and a marine invertebrate touch-tank. During my shift, I taught children ages 4-18 about the concepts of DNA and the genetic code and led them through the simple extraction process.
Every spring, my colleagues and I participate DNA Day (and the EmpowHER STEMDAY in 2014 and 2015) at UCLA. We teach middle and high school children about Darwin’s Finches, natural selection and niche partitioning using a game in which the students tried to collect different sized objects using a variety of tools (mimicking the beaks of Darwin’s finches). The students then examine real bird specimens from UCLA’s Dickey Collection and test their own powers of observation. Our workshop was featured in CBS’s coverage of the event.
- At the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, I designed an
interdisciplinary “Nature Storytime” workshop for children. I read them the Iroquois tale “Skywoman,” in which animals native to eastern North America dive into primordial waters to retrieve dirt to create the First Land. After the story, I taught them about the natural history of the animals featured in the tale, demonstrating how details of the myth stem from close observation of the natural world by the Iroquois. We handled specimens, pelts and shells and worked together to create murals about the animals of the story.
- Growing up in Los Angeles, I was a volunteer Beach Captain for Heal the Bay. This organization works to clean up Santa Monica Bay and raise public awareness for local environmental issues through public outreach, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and public Beach Cleanups.
If you are interested in me leading a workshop at your local LA school or aquarium, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org