I am typically working on several projects simultaneously. My work and the trainings I offer explore the role of stories and other arts/humanities approaches in shaping public perspectives of science and ecology. Media outlets across North America have covered my work and projects I have contributed to. Check that out here!
Featured Project: Her Flag
36 states ratified the 19th amendment. 36 female artists designed stripes for a massive flag to commemorate these states. I was selected to design Wyoming’s stripe!
My design honors 36 women who inspired and informed my own understanding of equality. These women are all modern women, such as my sisters, mom, aunts, mother-in-law, mentors, and collaborators. Some of these women taught me to empower other women. A few taught me about natural history. One taught me how to teach people about science. Another taught me how to garden, and one introduced me to bluegrass.
Intertwined throughout the stripe, I also added familiar elements of biodiversity that make a place home, such as the Wyoming toad, a ladybug, a chickadee, Indian paintbrush, a beaver, yucca seeds, bison, pronghorn, and more. The background is made of 36 four-patch quilt squares, sewn from my great grandmother’s quilt scraps.
Teaching Science Communication
In addition to teaching a host of workshops now and in the past, I teach science communication (visual, writing, and more) at the University of Wyoming. I’ve posted the syllabus for each course here. I am also happy to guest lecture or lead workshops on these course topics.
Ecological Concepts in Children’s Books
This project is an investigation of how ecological concepts are represented in children’s books. Anticipated outcomes are an academic article for submission in a journal such as Biology Teacher, along with workshops which will facilitate discussions between librarians, teachers, children’s book creators, and biologists.
The Ecologically True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare
I am conducting research and interviews in/about ecosystems where tortoises and hares actually co-exist. Research has been conducted in Arizona and East Africa. A 3-month multimedia exhibition took place in 2018-2019. Details.
Public Art and Publicly Engaged Art
In the past few years, I have increasingly melded my training in visual arts and my childhood as a 4-H kid learning to quilt and knit. Recent project range from murals to main street beautification, from massive flags commemorating women’s right to vote and fiber arts encouraging everyone to vote. Details.
Drawn to Science: Studying the Efficacy of Art-Science Integration
I am the lead investigator on a set of studies investigating the efficacy of art-science integration for teaching and learning about the natural sciences. For the Drawn to Science studies, our investigation focuses both on drawing training and expectations for instructors and training and expectations for students. These courses include, but are not limited to, a freshman seminar focused on natural history appreciation, life science for elementary educators, and animal biology. These studies are in progress.
Sharing Science: Attitudes, Motivations, and Behaviors at the University of Wyoming
I am the lead investigator on a pair of studies investigating how students, faculty, and staff perceive their own work in science engagement with non-specialist audiences. These survey-based studies are in-progress.
Ecological Society of America
Section Editor, Communicating Science, The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America (link): In 2018, I was recruited to launch and edit a new section of ESA’s oldest journal. Effective November 2018, The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America will now accept submissions for consideration in a new section dedicated to Communicating Science. This new space in the journal provides ESA members interested in communication and engagement a platform for publishing articles on topics of relevance, timeliness, and value for members working at the communications, engagement, and ecology interface. Details and submissions.
Communication and Engagement Section (link): Through a combination of teaching and communicating, I have come to believe deeply in the importance of science communication training. To that end, I co-founded the Communication and Engagement Section of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in 2014. I regularly co-facilitate science communication training workshops at annual ESA conferences. I also developed and now maintain the Section website, served as Secretary (2015-2016), and was voted to serve as Chairperson-Elect (2016-2017) and Chairperson in 2017-2018.