Welcome to Our January 2021 Cohort
We are thrilled to announce our 2021 cohort of Community Science Fellows! This exceptional group is the first one led in partnership with AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Association for Science & Technology Centers (ASTC). Together, our three organizations seek to bridge our networks and resources in support of community science projects across the country. We’re pleased to work with these Community Science Fellows as they work with communities across the U.S. to advance community science!
Project Location: Durham, North Carolina, [ASTC sponsored]
Max Cawley is an educator, researcher, evaluator, and science communicator with the Museum of Life & Science in Durham, NC. Max is a firm believer in participatory, democratic, and responsible science and knowledge dissemination, and believes that anyone and everyone can, and should, contribute to our growing understanding of the world.
Max’s work aims to build better public understanding, public engagement, and public empowerment to take on pressing socioscientific issues that demand our attention and intervention, such as artificial intelligence, human life in space, Anthropocene extinction crisis, synthetic biology, and climate change. Max believes that more robust, accessible, equitable, and just engagement with science is a matter of democratic right, and that building a more science-literate public is key to maintaining a healthy democracy into the future. He looks forward to playing a small part through this Fellowship – helping communities understand and measure their climate risk and empowering them to advocate for resilience and change.
Project Location: New Orleans, 7th Ward [AGU sponsored]
Angela M Chalk is a 4th generation 7th Ward resident. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Healthy Community Services, a non-profit organization, located in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, LA. She is a Past President for the Louisiana Public Health Association; former Secretary of the 5th District Police Community Advisory Board, (PCAB); a Foundation for Louisiana LEAD the Coast Cohort and Curriculum Advisory Committee and a retired Civil Service Employee with the Louisiana Department of Health. Also, she serves on the American Public Health Association’s Center for Climate, Health & Equity Steering Committee; an APHA Food & Nutrition as well as an Environmental Abstract Reviewer; a member of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana Advisory Committee. Ms. Chalk has testified before the 116th U.S. Congress Sub-Committee on Waters, Oceans and Wildlife Recently, she was asked by the National Audubon Society to submit a Native Plant Academy instructional cohort curriculum to be used statewide across all of the LA Audubon Society’s platforms. Ms. Chalk received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications; Minor: Public Health from Dillard University and holds a Master of Science Health Care Management from the University of New Orleans. Currently, Ms. Chalk is enrolled at Virginia University at Lynchburg pursuing a Doctor of Health Administration degree. She is recognized by the Water Environment Federation as a Green Infrastructure Practitioner and is a certified Produce Safety Alliance Grower.
Project Location: Greenwich, Connecticut [AMS sponsored]
Kim Drouin is a Physical Oceanographer in-training and a PhD Candidate at Duke University working under the guidance of Dr. Susan Lozier. Her current research focuses on understanding the pathways of the surface circulation in the South Atlantic using observational data. She holds a M.S. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography and a B.S. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Miami. Kim is the Director and Co-Founder of the ELEMENT program at Duke, an after-school outreach and mentoring program created to enhance exposure to the STEM field for underrepresented elementary school students. Passionate about education and community outreach, Kim also served as the Camp Coordinator for Duke’s Environmental Science Summer Program. Last year, Kim was selected for the Duke Environmental Impact Fellowship that focuses on enhancing leadership, self-awareness, teaching, and communication skills. Outside of work, Kim enjoys going on adventures with her two rescue-dogs, practicing yoga, and recreating her family recipes.
Project Location: New Orleans, LA (Upper 9th Ward Bunny Friend Neighborhood) [AGU sponsored]
Zach Hurst is a postdoctoral fellow with the Transformational Agro-ecosystems Science Team in the Department of Natural Resources and Society at the University of Idaho. He earned a Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science and Management from Texas A&M University. Zach is interested in the application of social science to increase the sustainability of working landscapes. His research primarily draws upon social-psychology to inform research on ecosystem service values, collaborative natural resource management and biodiversity conservation. Zach has a particular interest in how scientific research can help contribute to the achievement of societal goals.
Vineet Jagadeesan Nair
Project Location: Ostego County, NY - [AMS sponsored]
Vineet is a 2nd year Masters/PhD student in the Computational Science & Engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He conducts research in the Mechanical Engineering department – applying tools from optimization, control theory, and machine learning to model smart grids and transportation networks. Prior to MIT, Vineet completed and M Phil in Energy Technologies at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar and received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is passionate about using interdisciplinary tools to tackle climate change and advance environmental justice, particularly in relation to the electric power sector. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, running, reading, cooking, and singing.
Project Location: Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond - [ASTC sponsored]
Devin Jefferson has spent his career connecting non-profit missions to high impact initiatives through Program Management, Youth Development, and STEM programming in both formal and informal settings. As a native of Richmond, Virginia, Devin has a deep knowledge of and connection to the Metro Richmond area. This history serves him well as he has developed STEM-focused programming for culturally and racially diverse audiences over the years. Devin’s academic background in Biology allows him to develop and execute high-quality STEM programming with community partners spanning governmental, nonprofit, and stakeholder audiences. Key experiences in Devin’s career include novel management and leadership roles in non-profits with multiple Boys & Girls Clubs and Science and Technology Centers, as well as hands-on education and administrative roles in public schools and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Richmond and the New York City area. Devin’s STEM background has allowed him to incorporate science learning into each of those roles and stay aligned with his passion for promoting the values of scientific thinking. Community engagement has been an ever-increasing focus as Devin spent time as Community Relations Manager for a charter school in Brooklyn, New York. That wealth of experience is being showcased with his transition back to Richmond in 2020 as the Community Science Catalyst at the Science Museum of Virginia. Devin currently leads RVAir, the Museums’ Community Science initiative to study local Air Quality and develop community-driven solutions to challenges relevant to environmental justice and urban planning.
Project Location: New Orleans (ISeeChange) [AGU sponsored]
Susan Lamb recently graduated from the University of Florida with a M.S. in Soil and Water Sciences and holds a B.S. in Geology with a certificate in Human Needs and Global Resources from Wheaton College (IL). Her interest in human-water relationships has guided her to research ranging from irrigation decision-making on the U.S. High Plains to community-led water projects in rural Nicaraguan communities. She is passionate about making science accessible to a variety of stakeholders to support water justice efforts on scales both local and global.
Project Location: National City, California - [ASTC sponsored]
Yanet Lopez is currently the Community Engagement Manager at the Fleet Science Center located in San Diego, California. The Fleet Science Center’s mission is to realize a San Diego where everyone is connected to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. In her current capacity, she is involved in supporting the neighborhoods of Barrio Logan, National City, Southeast San Diego, and San Ysidro to reach their STEM aspirations. Yanet has more than 8 years of experience in federal grant management, previously working for California State University, Northridge’s TRIO grant projects and within community-based nonprofit organizations supporting students and their families to reach their postsecondary goals. More recently, Yanet gained experience building authentic community engagement and partnerships through her work in the Barrio Logan community in San Diego. Yanet’s life experiences inform her work; she was born in Mexico but raised in San Diego and considers her bilingual and bicultural identity helps to build bridges between theory and praxis. When she is not working, Yanet enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and caring for her extensive indoor plant collection.
Project Location: Sandy Springs, GA - [AMS sponsored]
Rosanne McConnell is currently enrolled in a MAS in Climate Science and Policy at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in La Jolla CA. Projected graduation, June 2021.
Retired from the Federal Aviation Administration as an Air Traffic Controller. Worked at facilities in NY, MD, VA and CA.
Retired from the military as a weather forecaster for the US Air Force. Worked in Washington, DC with overseas deployments to South Korea, Netherlands, Bulgaria and the Philippines.
“My aspirations are to work for a non-profit organization that addresses climate change and environmental issues”.
Shane Montoya, Director of Exhibits and Facilities at Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum
Project Location: Louisville, KY (Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency), [ASTC sponsored]
Shane Montoya is a lifelong New Mexico resident having been born and raised in Albuquerque. He attended college at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces where he attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. An intense interest in the intersection of science and art led him to a position as an Exhibit Developer at Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum. He worked in this role for eight years and was able to learn an exceptional amount about the operations involved in running a Science Center while being able to develop dozens of unique hands on STEAM exhibits for Explora and museums around the country. An urge to expand on the positive community impact of his work led Shane to look for ways to contribute beyond exhibit development and through leadership opportunities. For the past six years Shane has been the Director of Exhibits and Operations at Explora with a three year stint as the Director of Visitor Services mixed in during that same time as well. He is currently focusing his efforts on supporting and contributing to the development of Explora's Cradle Through Career STEAM Learning Campus. This initiative will produce X-Studio, a teen workforce development center and Brillante, an early child learning center and preschool which will both work in unison with Explora to create pathways for young New Mexico learners in underserved communities to make their way to well paying jobs in the STEM fields as well prepared young adults.
Edith Newton Wilson
Project Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida [AGU sponsored]
Edith Newton Wilson, PhD Edith is the owner of Rock Whisperer LLC, where she works to engage emerging professionals in energy solutions for a changing world and consults on renewable energy and climate mitigation projects. Edith is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and the Geological Society of London, a member of the American Geophysical Union, and a founding member of the Geosciences Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas. In 2018-2019, she chaired the ad hoc Committee on Climate Change for the AAPG. She received her BA in Geology from Dartmouth College in 1982, and her MA and PHD in Carbonate Sedimentology from Johns Hopkins University in 1988. Her career in the energy industry began in Houston where she was an international explorer, negotiator and manager with Amoco and bp. In Oklahoma, Edith worked with Phillips Petroleum on global new ventures, ConocoPhillips on leadership development, Samson Resources on domestic shale gas projects, and in 2008 co-founded TallGrass Energy. Edith has traveled throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa-where she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2004-and is conversant in French, Italian and Portuguese.
Project Location: Berwyn Heights, MD [ASTC sponsored]
Irmarís Rivera-Llavona is a geoscientist from Puerto Rico. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Geology from University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. She is currently working as Operations Coordinator at EcoExploratorio: Museum of Sciences of Puerto Rico. Irmarís also works as a Drinking Water Hygiene Specialist at the Puerto Rico Department of Health. Her passion for Science Communication, led her to create The Geology Project (TGP), a social platform dedicated to improving geoscience communication and education, which received the 2019 E-An Zen Geoscience Outreach Grant by the Geological Society of America - Geology & Society Division. Irmarís is a science educator, who considers community service a life-mission. She is an adventure seeker, a nature admirer who loves to travel, drink Puerto Rican coffee, shopping, enjoys family time, and silly jokes.
Stay Up To Date
A huge congratulations to all of the January 2021 Community Science Fellows! Follow along here and on social media channels of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), and American Geophysical Union (AGU)'s Thriving Earth Exchange to see how these community science projects progress throughout the year.