Reclaiming STEM
2020
Workshop

Reclaiming STEM was founded to address the need for science communication and science policy training spaces for people who identify as minoritized groups: BIPOC, first-generation, disabled, LGBTQIA+, undocumented, etc.

We organize training for diverse scientists to learn how to communicate their science at the intersection of research and social justice.

The increasing diversity of scientists requires training that accounts for the challenges minoritized groups face.

Our programming seeks and invites only scientists from diverse backgrounds to present interactive and innovative workshops centering their stories.

Our mission is for attendees to not only gain skills but also be able to identify with and envision themselves in science communication and science policy spaces.

We are extremely excited about our Virtual Workshop this Fall!

Read 2020 Code of Conduct

2020 Virtual Workshop Agenda

Note: agenda updated as speakers confirmed!

Day One
Sept. 12, 2020

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST
11:00 - 11:15 AM

Self Care:
Using mindfulness and setting intentions to foster relationships
and navigate Reclaiming STEM

Wilnelia Recart González
11:15 - 11:20 AM

Opening remarks & Logistics

11:20 - 11:30 AM

Land Acknowledgements

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Decolonial Theory

Hailey Levi Danielle Kalani Heinz Robin D. López
12:00 - 12:30 PM

Break

12:30 - 2:00 PM

Comedy in SciComm Workshop

Kyle Marian

Day Two
Sept. 19, 2020

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST
11:00 - 11:30 AM

Self Care:
The Power of Saying No
to Say Yes to YOU!

Ravi Valleti
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Disabled in STEM panel

Newton Nguyen Alyssa Paparella Karen Tang Ariana Elena Castillo Megan Lynch
12:30 - 1:00 PM

Break

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Breakout Sessions

Scicomm
Storytelling for Inclusive Science Communication:
Offering Counter-Narratives
Nichole Bennett
Scipol
Pathways to Policy: From Bench to Bureaucracy

Linh Anh Cat - USA Jobs

William Gaieck - Mirzayan/ORISE

Crystal Grant - TechCongress Fellowship

Maria Montchal - CCST Fellowship

Dane Samilo - AAAS STPF

Advocacy
DEI Committees: To join or not to join
Ivan Moreno
Education
I Wonder Why They Aren’t Outside? Nature is For Everyone
Ti'Era Worsley

Day Three
Sept. 26, 2020

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST & 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM PST
11:00 - 11:30 AM

Self Care
Intentions: The Bridge Between Emotions and Possibilities

Leakana Sok
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Keynote Speaker
Rethinking “Experts” in our disciplines to empower other ways of knowing and create inclusive STEM

Lydia Jennings
12:30 - 1:00 PM

Break

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Breakout Sessions:

SciComm
The science of scicomm videos
Stephanie Castillo
SciPol
Is STEM equity in defense sectors possible?
Ravi Valleti
Advocacy
Curating your narrative: reconciling advocacy and academia
Toby SantaMaria
Education
Who was this made for? Broadening perspectives, relevance, and accessibility in museum education
Gabe Santos & Jeanette Pirlo
2:30 - 3:00 PM (bonus)

Comedy Open-Mic

Kyle Marian

Day Four
Oct. 3, 2020

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST & 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PST
11:00 - 11:30 AM

Self Care
Bend to Never Break

Phong B. Luong
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Breakout Sessions:

SciComm
Science Writing As a Conduit for Representation
Priya Shukla
SciPol
Developing a Pitch to Policymakers
Vetri Velan
Advocacy
Storytelling for Advocacy: Tools for Uncovering Scientific Meaning and Purpose
Lourdes Vera & Leslie Alanis
Education
Ten simple rules for building an antiracist lab
Bala Chaudhary
Social Justice
Equity in Action: Advocating for inclusive STEM by building people power
Tamara Marcus
12:30 - 1:00 PM

Break

1:00 - 2:00 PM

Keynote Speaker
Hope is the thing with feathers

Jason Ward

Evening Show

6:00 - 8:00 PM

ReclaimingSTEM
Comedy Fundraising Show Anupreksha Jain Thienthanh Trinh Margaret Janz Briley Lynn Lewis Eo Hanabusa Lorena Medina Luna

RSVP for Event

Meet Your Speakers

Wilnelia Recart González

Day One

I (she/hers) was born and raised in Puerto Rico. In 2013 I moved from Puerto Rico to complete my Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. I am now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of San Diego, where I teach upper-division biology courses and study the connections between disease and pollination ecology. When I am not doing research, I like to spend time with my dog, my partner, and either crafting or getting to know more about Puerto Rican culture. I love to chat with people, especially when it comes to listening to their stories and experiences. I am excited to be part of Reclaiming STEM 2020. I hope I get a chance to get to know you!

Hailey Levi

Day One

My name is Hailey Levi and I am a first-year PhD student in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I recently just graduated from the University of California, Riverside with my B.S in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. I also make Tiktok videos about science and science life.

Kalani Heinz

Day One

Danielle Kalani Heinz is a Ph.D. candidate in Hawaiian archaeology at UCLA. Her research focuses on performing activist archaeologies through a Hawaiian culture-based framework. She examines the history of water rights in Nā Wai ʻEhā, Maui, using fossil diatoms and isotope analysis to understand how water availability changed over time as a result of plantation diversion and climate change. Recognizing the importance of kulāiwi (homeland) to Native Hawaiians, she also conducts phytolith analysis to understand if Hawaiians started growing different plants to survive on their kulāiwi amidst water diversion. This project is especially close to her heart because this region is the home of her ancestors and because this research allows her to reconnect to this ʻāina (land) as a diasporic Hawaiian. She hopes to use this data to influence water management policies in Hawaiʻi, providing more water to taro farms, in order to help reestablish food sovereignty in Hawaiʻi.

Robin D. López

Day One

Robin D. López (He/Him/His) is currently a PhD Scholar in Environmental Science, Policy, & Management at UC Berkeley. Prior to UC Berkeley, he earned a Masters (San Jose State University), Bachelors (San Francisco State University) and Associate degrees (Contra Costa College), while working as a researcher for the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Part of his philosophy in navigating academia is embracing the many failures that lead to major accomplishments, while being a voice for social and racial justice via the lens of science.

Kyle Marian Viterbo

Day One Day Three

Kyle Marian Viterbo is an engagement producer at Science Friday. She is working to increase opportunities for meaningful connections between our mission and the diverse audiences we serve. As a former physical anthropologist turned science communicator, Kyle loves sharing hilarious stories about human evolution, hidden museum collections, and the many ways Indiana Jones is a terrible archaeologist. Before joining the SciFri team, Kyle worked with Guerilla Science to bring science experiences to unexpected spaces. She also started “The Symposium: Academic StandUp,” a show and workshop series that uses sharp, socially-mindful comedy to challenge academic norms and champion inclusive science communication. While gaining an MSc in Science Communication and Public Engagement from the University of Edinburgh, she fell in love with stand-up comedy and has been using it ever since to understand how moments of laughter connect all of us.

Ravi Valleti

Day Two Day Three

Futurist artist/activist, Ravi Valleti (he/him) is developing a ‘Posthuman Memoir’ of himself and a far-future fictional descendant, called “Rocket Scientist.” Valleti acts in a supporting role in the feature film “Overwhelm the Sky” - streams soon iTunes, Amazon, Netflix. Also with hopes for release soon is Valleti’s first lead acting role feature film “Devised.” Valleti is a 2019 Inductee into his alma mater UC Irvine Engineering Hall of Fame for his continuing S.T.E.A.M. equity and justice reform efforts, for advising the March for Science movement, as well as social justice broadly. This Indian-American Atheist from a Brahmin-caste family is an alum of Space Camp and Star Trek (2009). Ravi, after surviving early childhood in racist Northern Maine then navigating inequitable Silicon Valley, now bases himself in Oakland, CA, U.S.A. #SouthAsiansForBlackLives #CasteInTech #ModelMinorityMutiny @RaviValleti

Newton Nguyen

Day Two

Newton Nguyen is a fourth year graduate student at Caltech. His research focuses on developing methods to monitor atmospheric chemistry and greenhouse gas emissions by using a combination of satellites and ground-based sensors. Outside the lab, he is an avid marathoner and triathlete. He also enjoys organizing advocacy efforts for those with disabilities and building a supportive community around this shared identity.

Alyssa Paparella

Day Two

Alyssa Paparella (she/her) is a first-year graduate student at Baylor College of Medicine and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) recipient. Alyssa graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2019 and then completed a NIH-PREP (Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program) year at University of California, Davis. Alyssa also serves on the Advisory Council for Disability:IN’s NextGen Program. During the start of the pandemic, Alyssa was inspired to create a movement called DisabledInSTEM (check out @DisabledSTEM on Twitter) to make conversations of diversity in STEM include those with disabilities. Through this initiative, Alyssa has created a mentorship program and conducted interviews with people at various stages of their careers to highlight the diversity within the DisabledInSTEM community. Using her platform, Alyssa hopes to make STEM more inclusive for all.

Karen Tang

Day Two

Karen Tang (she/her) completed her BA (Hons.) in Psychology degree at the University of Calgary and is currently a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at Dalhousie University in Canada. She primarily conducts research on addictive disorders (e.g., video gaming, gambling), mental health correlates, and the interplay of sociocultural factors (e.g., stigma, culture). Karen is also an advocate for mental health and diversity (including those who are disabled!) in higher education, which was why she was drawn to the Reclaiming STEM workshop and is very honored to sit on the Disabled in STEM panel. When she is not busy being a graduate student, she enjoys painting, reading, and volunteering.

Ariana Elena Castillo

Day Two

Ariana Elena Castillo (she/her/ella) is a meteorologist and PhD student at Harvard University with a focus on atmospheric and climate sciences. Her research includes evaluating chemical species from wildfire plumes at NASA and will work on understanding the structure of the stratosphere using trace gases. Ariana's academic journey was not completely "normal" due to struggling with mental illnesses. Based on her experiences as queer disabled Latinx woman in science, she has been advocating for inclusion and accessibility for disabled folks within the STEM community and academia. In her free time, she likes to ice skate, create art, hike, and collect Star Wars fantasy pins.

Megan Lynch

Day Two

Megan Lynch is a Masters student in Horticulture & Agronomy at UC Davis. She started her ongoing carob research in community college. Her Masters project is on bud development in almond. Repeated bouts with institutional ableism inspired the founding of UC Access Now, an equity & justice campaign for disabled students/staff/faculty at the University of California that has evolved into a coalition. She runs Reclaiming STEM’s Academic Secret Menu working group Twitter account. Somehow in all this she’s working on launching a plant breeding podcast called Breeding Rainbow. She’d like to work in fruit breeding and germplasm conservation, particularly in Scandinavia. And if there’s such a thing as work/life balance, she’d like to shoehorn getting back to art and music again in there somewhere.

Nichole Bennett

Day Two

Nichole Bennett, M.A., researches science communication in the Ph.D. program at The Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas. Their work is at the intersection of science communication, applied theater, and social justice. Before this, they researched the biological impacts of climate change while earning their Masters in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from The University of Texas. They are also an award-winning theater performer, instructor, director, and technical designer. Nichole teaches improv to neurodivergent youth through The Building Connections Program and created STEMprov, which helps scientists build communication and empathy skills (http://stemprov.org).

Linh Anh Cat

Day Two

Linh Anh Cat is a biologist and division chief with the National Park Service in San Diego, CA. She earned her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine. During her time there, she helped co-found Reclaiming STEM with Evelyn. Linh Anh is also a writer for Forbes Science and a former Next Generation Fellow with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Iam Gaieck

Day Two

Iam (he/him/his) graduated from UC Irvine with both a M.S. & Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering where he studied water splitting for hydrogen production. He was a 2020 Christine Mirzayan STP Fellow at the National Academies on the Board of Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) where he helped with reports on inducement prizes, U.S. competitiveness in the 21st century, and advancing commercialization from national labs. He is now an ORISE Fellow working on water security, critical materials, and energy at the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE). Iam is a Co-Chair for the National Science Policy Network’s (NSPN) DEI Committee.

Crystal Grant

Day Two

Crystal is passionate about better understanding the effects of technology on society and is especially interested in ensuring the benefits of tech are applied equitably and that tech tools developed are free of harmful biases. During her undergraduate studies at Cornell University, she earned a B.A. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Anthropology. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University. In her research, she used bioinformatics tools to characterize the molecular changes in humans with age to better understand the relationship between aging and disease.

After defending her PhD, she worked as a Science and Technology Policy Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academies where she contributed to research policies to increase the number of Women of Color working in tech. Crystal is serving as a TechCongress fellow supporting oversight, health care, and technology issues in the Senate.

Maria Montchal

Day Two

Maria earned her PhD at UC Irvine in neuroscience, researching how memory works in humans. Some of her favorite experiences in grad school involved mentoring students and doing science outreach and education. This helped Maria realize that she wanted to do something to help people more directly after grad school, which led her to science policy. Maria is currently a Science Fellow with the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) in Sacramento, placed in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. She has loved the challenge of switching from neuroscience to learning about California’s environmental policy landscape, and is excited to talk to everyone at Reclaiming STEM!

Dane Samilo

Day Two

Dane Samilo, PhD is an immunologist by training who is currently a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed at the Department of Defense in the Office of Laboratories and Personnel. There, he works on an assortment of projects spanning STEM education and outreach program evaluation and monitoring; Federal Coordination in STEM interagency working groups on Convergence, Inclusion in STEM, and Computational Literacy; and defense laboratory infrastructure and personnel. Prior to his fellowship, Dane worked as a medical writer for Chameleon Communications and an assortment of non-academic jobs. He earned his PhD at Weill Cornell Medicine in 2018 and his BS in Biology from UC San Diego in 2009

Ivan Moreno

Day Two

Ivan Moreno is a third year PhD student in the Marine Biology program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD where he studies microbiology. He grew up in North Long Beach and prior to attending graduate school, obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from California State University, Dominguez Hills after transferring from Long Beach City College. Ivan is also a Community Engagement Fellow at Scripps where he participates in advocacy efforts in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion. His passion for advocacy comes from seeing a lack of diversity in his field of research and providing the next generation of scientists with a positive space and outlook on career-wise issues through his work. Outside of academia and work, he enjoys playing with his dog, Lava.

Ti'Era Worsley

Day Two

Ti’Era is a third-year doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an informal STEM educator and works with historically marginalized, middle-school aged youth. She works in informal makerspaces at a local Boys and Girls Club and refugee center. Ti’Era’s current research interests include creating spaces where historically marginalized youth feel that they can bring their whole authentic selves and engage in science learning in ways that have traditionally been overlooked. Ti’Era also looks at issues of diversity and inclusion in environmental education by examining socio-historical narratives of why different races have not seen themselves as "outdoorsy" and why we should disrupt that narrative. She is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Perú) and is a certified Environmental Educator and National Geographic Educator.

Leakana Sok

Day Three

Leakana (she/they) is trained in Somatic Breathwork Therapy and also studied Humanities at the University of New Hampshire. Leakana aims to empower individuals through conscious connected breathing and community organizing. They have always believed that healing and justice go hand in hand, and that in seeking one, you will brush up against the other. After reading countless authors of color, they found solace in their words. These authors’ words and Leakana’s own breathwork practice motivates them to take actions to change institutions that perpetuate systems of oppression. Leakana hopes to continue this work through empowerment and breathwork.

Lydia Jennings

Day Three

Lydia grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Tewa lands) and is Huichol (Wixáritari) and Pascua Yaqui (Yoeme). Lydia earned her Bachelors of Science from California State University, Monterey Bay in Environmental Science, Technology and Policy. Lydia now resides in Tucson, Arizona (O’odham & Yaqui lands) where she is studying at the University of Arizona in the Department of Environmental Sciences, with a minor in American Indian Policy. Her research interests are in soil health, remediation, mining policy, and environmental data ownership by tribal nations. Lydia is a 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a 2019 American Geophysical Union “Voices for Science” Fellow, a Native Nations Institute Indigenous Data Sovereignty Scholar, and was recognized in 2019 by REI as a “trail runner changing the world”.

When not in the lab, Lydia loves running the Sonoran Desert with her pup, Salchicha. In addition to her science research, Lydia is passionate about diversifying the outdoor recreation community and using running as a way to engage more youth in science, working with organizations such as Natives Outdoors, Patagonia, and Footprints Environmental Running Camp.

Stephanie Castillo

Day Three

Stephanie Castillo is a PhD candidate in science communication at Vanderbilt University. She is also the founder of Phuture Doctors, a digital media company that aims to expose students to careers in STEM while changing the face of science—one video at a time. Stephanie’s thesis work centers around video production and how students relate to a video based on the production design. The main goal of her thesis study is to determine if underrepresented undergraduate students in STEM relate more to learning about science or the journey of the scientist, or both! She has nine years of research experience and teaching which she uses to her advantage when it comes to simplifying complex concepts to a broader audience. She hopes her research will help future scientists and educators create videos that actually inspire and relate their audience.

Toby SantaMaria

Day Three

Toby/Itati is a Chicana from Tucson, Arizona. They love biology and ecology, and their ultimate goal is to be an applied ecosystems scientist at a selective liberal arts college. They completed their BA in Biology at Kenyon College and have completed REUs at North Carolina State University and Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole. Itati is currently a graduate student for a PhD in Plant Biology at Michigan State University under Lars Brudvig: investigating consequences of restoration for the carbon cycle in grassy biomes. Itati also spends their time doing science communication on Twitter as well as social justice advocacy on and offline. Itati is currently a mentor for MSU's inaugural peer mentorship program in Plant Biology.

Gabe Santos

Day Three

Gabriel-Philip Santos is a paleontologist and educator at the Alf Museum of Paleontology in LA. His work focused on marine mammal evolution, but has shifted to educational research.

He is a NatGeo certified educator and co-founder of the Cosplay for Science Initiative.

Jeanette Pirlo

Day Three

Jeanette Pirlo is a paleontologist and educator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida in Gainesville, Floria. Her work focuses on elephant ecology during the late Miocene of Florida, as well as broadening representation within natural history collections. She is a PhD candidate at UF and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, and is co-founder of the iDigBio-Summer Internship Program, providing paid summer internships for underrepresented undergraduate students.

Phong B. Luong

Day Four

Dr. Phong Luong works as the Assistant Director of Academic Counseling at UC Irvine. His current work revolves around student wellness and academic progress. He meets with students individually and facilitates workshops on the topics of communication development, stress management in an academic setting, diversity in STEM, work-life balance, Imposter Syndrome, and conflict management. He is an adjunct Psychology faculty member at Irvine Valley College, a certified Hatha yoga teacher, and Jiu Jitsu/MMA fighter and coach. He enjoys long meals with his wife and kids while sipping on Vietnamese iced coffee.

Priya Shukla

Day Four

Priya is a PhD student in Ecology at UC Davis. Her research explores the effects of climate change on shellfish aquaculture in California. She is working with the Hog Island and Tomales Bay Oyster Companies to explore whether pre-conditioning the commercially farmed Pacific Oyster to elevated seawater temperatures improves the species’ resistance to disease outbreaks. Prior to beginning her PhD, Priya received her Master’s in Ecology from San Diego State University and her Bachelor’s from UC Davis in Environmental Science and Management. She has also worked as an environmental consultant, a high school teacher, a policy specialist, a public educator, and a lab manager. Priya is an active science communicator and deeply invested in improving the accessibility of marine science. Her writing has been featured on the Aerogram, the Xylom, the Conversation, and Bay Nature. She also has an online Ocean & Climate Science column with Forbes.

Vetri Velan

Day Four

Vetri is a PhD candidate in Physics, studying the use of liquid noble elements (helium and xenon) for the detection of dark matter. He is interested in how policy at all levels of government can be used to support scientific research, including through funding, educational structures, and ensuring that institutions are welcoming to scientists from all backgrounds. Vetri is the former President of the Science Policy Group at Berkeley and a member of the National Science Policy Network. Some science policy issues that Vetri has worked on include taxation of graduate students, genetically-engineered agriculture, and the use of facial recognition systems by public institutions.

Lourdes Vera

Day Four

Lourdes Vera is a PhD candidate and member of the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI) in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University. Her dissertation research applies a framework of "Environmental Data Justice" developed with the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) to envision and implement systems of data production and stewardship driven by communities affected by environmental contamination. Specifically, she works with residents in Karnes County, Texas to monitor their air near oil and gas facilities. As a former science teacher, she is interested in fusing critical pedagogy with community-based science to promote democratic participation in science and inform environmental policy. As part of EDGI, Lourdes is on the coordinating committee and works with the Environmental Data Justice working group.

Leslie Alanis

Day Four

Leslie Alanis (she/hers), is an activist from Durham NC, she recently graduated from UNC-CH with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in food studies and in geography where she helped lead a movement for fair food and farmworker’s rights. Currently, she is an intern for the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative where she facilitates storytelling and helps with minor website tasks as well as outreach. She is incredibly passionate about environmental justice, food justice, food sovereignty, and mental health awareness. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking with her siblings as well as biking.

Bala Chaudhary

Day Four

Dr. Bala Chaudhary is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. She is a trained ecologist, conducting her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and her MS and PhD at Northern Arizona University. Research in her lab examines plant-soil-microbial ecology to address landscape-scale questions in natural and managed ecosystems from deserts to rain forests to cities. Bala has numerous publications in high profile journals and, in 2019, she received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study microbial biogeography as well as ways to promote racial and ethnic diversity in STEM.

Tamara Marcus

Day Four

Tamara serves as the Iowa Linn County Sustainability Manager and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Natural Resources and Earth System Sciences program at the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests include using bioinformatic techniques to understand the impact of warming on microbial mediation of carbon emissions from Arctic lakes. Additionally, she studies how indigenous communities access weather and climate data to better understand how to make results from climate research more accessible and applicable to individuals and communities. Using a combination of survey data and storytelling, she works with Sami communities and indigenous Australians to record environmental change observed by the traditional owners of the land. Through this work she hopes to promote collaborative development of conservation policy by both scientists and indigenous communities. Previously, she has worked with non-profits and local governments in the Indian Himalaya to translate results of her research into local environmental policy. Ms. Marcus has been a Fulbright-Nehru fellow, a NASA New Hampshire Space Grant fellow, and a National Center for Atmospheric Research fellow and completed her B.S. in biochemistry and English from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Jason Ward

Day Four

Jason Ward is a birder, science communicator, and the host of “Birds of North America”. Born and raised in The Bronx, NYC, his love for wildlife began at a young age, as he fell in love with dinosaurs. This infatuation provided him with an escape from the obstacles that growing up in the south Bronx presented.

Jason’s mission is to “impact, inspire and infect” those around him with a greater appreciation for wildlife, and to blaze a trail for future generations of conservationists growing up in underrepresented communities. In early 2020, he was named one of the Grist 50, an annual list of emerging leaders from across the U.S. who are working on “fresh, real-world solutions to our world’s biggest challenges”. Jason recently co-organized the launch of “Black Birders Week”, a week of events celebrating diversity in birding. He's also the host of the award-winning "Birds of North America", a web series that aims to provide a fresh take on birds and birding.

Meet Your Comedians

Anupreksha Jain

Evening Show

Anupreksha Jain grew up in Kota, India, and moved to the US to pursue a BS in Biological Sciences. In the course of her degree, she contributed to various research projects relating to the study of plant-insect interactions. She now calls herself an entomologist and hopes to build a career in agroecology. Currently, she is working at Harvard University investigating the effects of elevated carbon dioxide levels on bee nutrition and applying to graduate programs.

Thienthanh Trinh

Evening Show

Thienthanh recently graduated with a M.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida. Prior to this, she earned a B.A. with a double major in Biology and Neuroscience from Wesleyan University. In her free time, she likes to paint, box, rock climb, and hike. She also plays a mean game of bananagrams. She wants to use her creativity, love for science, and humor to communicate ideas in a more fun, engaging and accessible way.

Margaret Janz

Evening Show

Margaret lives in Philadelphia where she provides research support as a librarian and is a masters student in Hamline University's Natural Science and Environmental Education program. Her love for sharing information and for nature have led her to science communication, which she thinks has potential to increase access and understanding of science. She wants everyone to feel as welcome in and excited about the environment as she is.

Briley Lynn Lewis

Evening Show

Briley is a third-year graduate student and NSF Fellow at UCLA studying Astronomy & Astrophysics. She is interested in the complete “story” of exoplanets: how different kinds of planets form and evolve (possibly even evolving into something that can host life!), and how we can observe this process. Outside of research, she is passionate about teaching and science communication: writing for Astrobites, volunteering with the UCLA Planetarium, and organizing ComSciCon Los Angeles. She spends her free time reading, crafting, and hiking with her senior rescue dog, Rocky.

Eo Hanabusa

Evening Show

Eo (She/Her/Hers) graduated from UC Irvine with a B. S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Spanish. Her honors research project studied the reproductive evolution of flowering plant species endemic to Hawaiʻi. After graduating, she continued to work for her lab by contributing to phylogenetic projects, creating herbarium specimens, and singing to plants. Beyond the lab, Eo produced a weekly radio segment for KUCI News, covering stories ranging from students’ biomedical research to the social impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on Asian American communities. Eo draws inspiration from her family history and the Japanese diaspora, and is passionate about interdisciplinary approaches to making science accessible through language and culture.

Lorena Medina Luna

Evening Show

Dr. Lorena Medina Luna is an Education Designer and Communications Specialist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). She is the lead organizer for the NCAR Explorer Series, which consists of public lectures and science videos that highlight careers and science being conducted at NCAR. As a native Spanish speaker, Dr. Medina Luna is working to increase bilingual (Spanish-English) science communication in the earth and related sciences. She also supports internship programs by leading science communication workshops.

Prior to NCAR, Dr. Medina Luna worked at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science as a bilingual educator leading classes for k-12 school groups in topics ranging from biological sciences to space sciences. Dr. Medina Luna received her PhD in Geology (Geophysics) from the University of Michigan investigating the stresses that generate earthquakes. She received her M.S. in Geology from California State University, Northridge studying the southern San Andreas fault stratigraphy, using Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) geochronology. She received her B.S. in Earth and Environmental Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Thanks to our Donors

American Geophysical Union
Centennial Grant

American Geophysical Union
Voices for Science

UCLA’s Center for Diverse Leadership in Science and Graduate Programs in Biosciences

National Science Policy Network

Colorado State University-Boulder

Diverse Scholar

Union of Concerned Scientists

And a huge thank you to our Patreons and donors on Paypal for making this year's workshop possible.

You can help support our work on our Patreon!