Outreach and Education

I am passionate about science outreach and bridging the gap between scientists and the public. I feel strongly that an interest in science (and a science career) is fostered at a young age, and so I have focused my efforts on promoting paleontology and Earth science at the grade-school level.

Below are some of the recent outreach and education initiatives that I have been involved in. I am always looking for more ways to connect with the public and present on paleontology, so please feel free to get in touch!

Science Instructor, Upward Bound Math & Science Program, Temple University
In this role I developed and taught two new science curricula—based on national and state education standards—to first-generation college bound high school students. We covered a range of biological, environmental, and Earth science topics, with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning and hands-on activities.

I also organized and developed projects for Temple University’s first-ever Upward Bound Science Fair. Students were able to learn about hypothesis-driven research, data collection, and presenting their findings to their peers.



Upward Bound students presenting their work to science fair judges.

Q?rius Science Education Program, SI National Museum of Natural History
I collaborated with the NMNH Paleobiology Education and Outreach Manager, Amy Bolton, and Deep Time Education Coordinator, Dr. Laura Soul, to develop interactive visitor activities for the museum’s Q?rius youth science program. We came up with two new and exciting activities that: 1) examine the use of stable isotope ecology to understand fossil food webs, and 2) show how trace fossils can tell us about extinct animal behavior. The trace fossil activity we developed was presented at the museum on National Fossil Day, 2016 and was a huge success. It is now a permanent visitor activity in the brand new Deep Time Fossil Hall at the NMNH.


Describing how we can use stable isotopes to better understand the ecology and food webs of extinct organisms in the Q?rius youth learning space.


Presenting different types of modern and ancient trace makers to visitors at the NMNH on National Fossil Day, 2016. (Photo by Karen Fitzgerald)

Scientist in the Classroom Program, National Center for Science Education
This program pairs scientists with public school teachers and their classes in order to give students an opportunity to directly interact with scientists. I was paired with a public middle school class in Fredericksburg, VA, and during my visit I:

  1. Discussed and encouraged possible science careers with the students, including how I became a paleontologist.
  2. Illustrated how paleontology can be used to understand ongoing anthropogenic climate change.

Some photos during my visit are below, and my experience with the NCSE was documented here: NCSE Blog