Community Outreach Work
More about me.
Since beginning my PhD program, I have been very involved in informal environmental science K-12 education. I am currently looking for postdoctoral fellowships or non-academic research positions where I can work with public schools or with community groups.
When I moved to Athens, GA, at the start of my PhD, I immediately joined an environmental outreach organization, EcoReach. It is now my sixth year in the organization, and I previously served as the coordinator 2018-2020. As coordinator, I was responsible for connecting with local schools and community organizations to bring our volunteers to K-12 students throughout Northeast Georgia.
This summer, I organized the fundraiser “Binoculars for Young Black Birders” and we raised over $18,000 to purchase binoculars for local Black K-12 students. In my current town, Black students make up 49% of the public schools and it is a Title 1 district, which means that the schools receive federal funds. Access to equipment, like binoculars, is a huge barrier to equitable environmental education, and I hope to continue this type of work in my career.
While I was the coordinator for EcoReach, a K-12 environmental science outreach organization, we spent a lot of time rethinking our approach to outreach and reprioritizing which schools we would work with. We wanted to make sure that our outdoor education and after-school science activities were equitable. We spent more time at the most under-resourced schools that had the greatest populations of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students. We recently started a “Backyard Critter” social media campaign. It encourages exploration in the students’ backyards, focuses on urban ecology, promotes the idea that a person doesn’t need to go to an inaccessible park or nature center to find wildlife, and showcases animals that our young students have photographed.
As I continue in my career, I hope to continue working with public school age children and their families to bring environmental science education to more people in my communities.