The Hadly lab is actively involved in reaching across the divide that sometimes exists between science and the society we serve. All of us strive to communicate the significance of our work in a myriad of ways--from the expected to the unusual. We all are active contributors to traditional journals, professional societies and the classroom; but we also blog and tweet about science and conservation to our virtual global networks; we spend time building capacity in foreign countries and our own backyard; we sponsor and volunteer for science and math fairs; and we attempt novel communication outlets such as art, podcasting, and children's books. Stay tuned to see how we foster this tradition in the lab. - Liz Hadly (@Lizhadly)
Jeremy Hsu: I have been incredibly fortunate to have had so many positive experiences from a variety of programs and mentors, and feel strongly about passing those opportunities on to others. Throughout college and graduate school, I have participated in a diverse set of outreach activities, ranging from athletic – volunteering as a basketball coach at a summer camp, for example, despite being somewhat vertically challenged! – to scholarly. From tutoring and leading SAT workshops, mentoring students in science and teaching, to directing science outreach programs, I have done my best to encourage a passion for science, research, and academic skills within students. [read more!]
Katie Solari: After graduating from UC Berkeley I joined AmericCorps NCCC, a ten month long national service program for 18-24 year olds. During this time I led volunteers in trail building in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, taught children in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, and directed diverse groups of volunteers in the reconstruction of homes all over the New Orleans area. Once completing my time with AmeriCorps I spent the summer teaching English and biology to women in Tanzania. With the two donated microscopes that I brought with me to Africa I was able to show the women countless aspects of their surroundings that they had never seen before, from the organisms in their water that make them sick, to what blood looks like when infected with malaria. While in Tanzania I also co-founded a beading project, "Beads of Hope". Following the model of similar projects, I taught a few of the local women how to make beads by tightly winding cut paper. Since returning home, the women that I taught have taught others and I have worked extensively in the U.S. on advertising and distribution. So far thousands of necklaces have been sold, enabling these women to keep food on their tables, keep their children in school, and help family members afford necessary medications.
Alexis Mychajliw: One of the main reasons I love scientific research is that it gives me an opportunity to engage a wide array of people in myriad places.I am deeply invested in putting research into a societal context and involving the local community wherever I work. For example, while studying conservation with the New York City Audubon Society, I trained volunteer "citizen scientists" to census birds in their local neighborhood parks. In my new home in California, I have begun volunteering with Melissa at the EPATT tutoring program and work with Farm Sanctuary to care for rescued farm animals.
I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of scientists to build capacity in the communities surrounding their field sites, and that conservation should benefit both ecosystems and the people who live near them. To this end, at my field sites in the Dominican Republic, I am working with local Dominican field assistants through The Last Survivors and the Grupo Jaragua. In addition to collecting data for my thesis research, my undergraduate research assistant Laura Cussen and I have been interviewing children and adults in rural communities to determine levels of awareness of the solenodon, and address concerns about the continuing presence of solenodons near agricultural areas. We are seeking ways to link the conservation of the solenodon with benefits to rural livelihoods near the Dominican/Haitian border.
We are also actively engaged in outreach with urban residents in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, by developing paleontological and conservation exhibits with the Museo del Hombre and Museo Nacional de Historia Natural and volunteering with the EcoCamp at Parque Zoologico Nacional. Ultimately, we will produce a radio show and children’s book highlighting the story of the solenodon and the incredible local people working to save them.
Hannah Frank: I have been fortunate to be given a number of amazing opportunities over the years to learn a great deal about the natural world and also to share my knowledge and my passion for education. Starting in high school, I led educational tours of the Los Angeles Zoo every weekend. In college, I mentored deaf and hard of hearing middle school students and served as a freshman advisor. While living in New Zealand after college, I had the opportunity to organize activities for a large outreach event aimed at Maori and Pacific students, a group that is underrepresented in science. All of these experiences are what inspired me to go to grad school and to pursue research and teaching as a career.
Here at Stanford I am excited by the opportunities to reach beyond the classroom to get people excited about science. I have mentored three undergraduate students in the lab, helping two of them develop independent honors theses. Sharing my knowledge and helping them develop their own ideas has been incredibly rewarding and really fun! I’ve also had a number of opportunities to reach out to younger students. Through Stanford Splash, I have developed and taught two different outreach classes for middle school and high school students. Luke Frishkoff and I taught a class on herpetology in spring 2012 and most recently I developed a course for middle schoolers on environmental microbiology and ecology in which we made Winogradsky columns. A month after the class one of the students emailed me her detailed observations of her column, which rivaled some of my most attentive lab notes. The future of science looks bright and I’m excited to help shape it!