I have a passion for public and educational outreach. It all started with being the go-to person for family and friends to evaluate a forecast, explain a cloud they saw, or fill them on the latest weather research. Out of this practice, the Community Cloud Atlas was born. Through this social media outlet, I have been able to answer cloud-related questions from people all of the world and have used it as an outlet to explain current cloud research. With the OLYMPEX field campaign, I had the opportunity to increase my outreach efforts through funding and support from NASA. Going into schools and getting kids excited about weather is a thrill for me. Most of all, I love seeing something “click” in people’s minds when I explain OLYMPEX, clouds, or other weather phenomena to a public audience, regardless of age. Most recently I enjoyed engaging with the local and broader community through NSF-supported outreach efforts during the RELAMPAGO field campaign. Here are some examples of my more formal outreach efforts.
OLYMPEX Outreach Coordinator
I organized, coordinated, and participated in outreach activities for the OLYMPEX project. Tasks included:
- Worked with the NASA Education and Outreach team to coordinate a local media day and social during the start of the project
- Worked with the NASA Education and Outreach team to organize and promote a teacher’s webinar and develop classroom material
- Contacted and visited schools on the Olympic Peninsula to present about OLYMPEX and local weather before and after the field experiment (reaching over 600 students, grades 1-12, in 13 schools)
- Organized and hosted visiting students at sites during the project
- Participated in virtual classroom Xchats during the experiment
- Presented about OLYMPEX for the Olympic National Park’s Winter Speaker Series and other public venues on the Olympic Peninsula
- Coordinated and participated in media requests (watch my television debut here)
- Contributed to NASA’s Notes from the Field blog during the field campaign
- Had an OLYMPEX booth at the American Meteorological Society’s WeatherFest in Seattle (2017): a free public event with over 50 hands-on and educational exhibit booths for scientists of all ages.
- Continue to maintain social media pages (Twitter, Facebook).
I’m co-developer and co-administrator of the Community Cloud Atlas (CCA): a social media tool, including Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress pages, that we started in Spring 2014. This resource provides a means for anyone to share their pictures of the sky and for us to build a database of cloud types as teaching tools. In addition, we identify the clouds and explain the associated science to the public. We have nearly 2500 Facebook Followers, have provided pictures and explanations for K-12 and college-level classes, and have presented on the Community Cloud Atlas at the AGU Fall and AMS Annual meetings.
GLOBE Scientists’ Blog
NOVA Cloud Lab
I served as an expert advisor for the PBS NOVA Cloud Lab, which provides educational material to the public. My responsibilities included identifying clouds in photos, providing feedback on video content, and participating in a week long NOVA Labs Meet the Scientists Q&A.
Severe Weather Presentations for Science Classes
Each May from 2007 through 2011, I participated in and eventually led a series of presentations about severe weather and weather safety to 9th grade science classes at Loveland High School in Loveland, CO.