Projects

I have been contracting with the Alabama Space Grant Consortium since Fall 2022 in various capacities. As a long-term beneficiary of Space Grant, both as a graduate student in Montana and as a professor in West Virginia, I am honored to be able to continue working with Space Grant in Alabama

2024-2025: External Evaluator and Thought Partner. As ASGC plans for their next 5-year fudning cycle, I am helping to develop program SMART Goals, a Logic Model, and identify program opportunities to better support sustainability and support for students. 

2023-2024: I developed and implemented a pilot "K-12 Action Plan" modeled after the  "Space Public Outreach Team" in Montana or "Science Public Outreach Team" in West Virginia. Choosing Eclipses as the focus for the year, I helped ASGC develop their eclipse outreach plan to distribute over 50,000 safe-viewing glasses across the state to schools that have lower than 50% science achievement rates and greater than 50% of students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. I created a standards-aligned eclipse outreach module for ASGC students to deliver at schools and for teachers to use in their classrooms. I created the Alabama K-12 Eclipse Resources 2023-2024 website and led 2 eclipse teacher professional development trainings for the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Insitiative (AMSTI), reaching over 200 AL educators. 

2022-2023: I conducted a Landscape Analysis that explored the intersections of NASA’s unique capabilities to provide authentic STEM learning experiences, Alabama’s space education needs and assets, Alabama Education Standards, and opportunities and best practices for advancing diversity, equity, inclusivity and accessibility.  I conducted over 40 interviews with over 50 contacts, representing ASGC-supported students and higher education partners, NASA educators, Alabama teachers, professional development experts, and informal educators. I also conducted and analyzed a teacher survey (N=219), with findings indicating teacher needs (ex: kits of supplies, guest speakers, professional development). 

Through collaboration with the University of West Alabama Black Belt STEM Institute, I led a 5-part virtual climate change teacher professional development series January 19 through February 13, 2024. Topics include: (1) How do we know? (2) climate change physical science, (3) climate change social science, (4) climate change solutions, and (5) K-12 Climate Action and Youth Voice with material is inspired by the West Virginia Climate Change Professional Development project. Alabama teachers can earn PD credit through PowerSchools. 

In summer 2024, I am teaching the Astronomy of the Solar System online course (AST 104 + AST 1103 Lab) for the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physics.  

As of Spring 2024, I am honored to serve as an elected member of the Board of the  Environmental Education Association of Alabama.  

At the February 2024 EEAA meeting, I also gave a presentation called "Teaching Climate Change in Coal Country," inspired by my time co-leading and developiong the West Virginia Climate Change Professional Development Project, hosting 3-hour workshops via Alabama A+ College Ready, and leading a 5-part virtual climate change professional development  via the University of West Alabama Black Belt STEM Institute

Since August 2023, I have been serving as the External Evaluator and Thought Partner for the APS Science Trust Project, which empowers scientists to contend with misinformation. I analyzed the STP 4-part online training via pre- and post-surveys and interviews with participants, and wrote a Fall 2023 Evaluation Report showing that STP significantly increases participants' confidence in their ability to have productive interactions about misinformation. I also helped develop a 90-minute STP workshop that was presented at the APS March 2024 Meeting, which showed significant increases in participants' understanding of reflective listening as an important component in building Science Trust. 

A4E is a grassroots group of astronomers from around the world who are working to address the climate crisis from an astronomical perspective. With support from an NSF award to  San Francisco State University and several A4E volunteers, I co-lead the Web Resources Working Group. Over the 2023-2024 year, we collated 148 resources to the A4E Documents and Materials page, and organized these into categories and themes (tags). We helped A4E members based at San Francisco State University conduct an A4E member survey to understand how A4E members around the world use the posted resources. And, we worked with Steve Agnos Films to generate an eclipse-themed "Alignment of Planet Earth" video series and collaborated with A4E members around the world to generate Spanish, French, and Japanese translations. 

Energy Alabama is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean energy in Alabama. As of March 2023, I am contracting with Energy Alabama to develop teacher professional development opportunities focusing on the Energy Alabama energy efficiency curriculum. 

I am a collaborator on Dr. Piyush Mehta's NSF CAREER award, for which I help to create and implement a Space Weather and atmospheric drag educational outreach presentation and activity for the West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT)

I am also a collaborator on Dr. Loren Anderson's NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics award, for which I am creating a WV SPOT presentation focused on supernova remnants and using the Green Bank 20-meter radio telescope via the Skynet Robotic Telescope Network

In October 2023, I hosted two teacher workshops for 20 teachers called "Critical Conversations on Climate Science" for Alabama A+ College Ready. All teachers who filled out the workshop evaluation form (N=17) agreed or strongly agreed that the workshop helped them: LEARN about climate change, feel more PREPARED to teach climate change, and feel more INTERESTED in teaching about climate change. 

During the 2023-2024 academic year, I served as an Earth and Space Science content mentor for the NSF Noyce Teaching Fellowship Track 2 Project, Developing Leaders in Science Teaching (LIST) award to the University of Alabama led by PI Dennis Sunal. 

Throughout October through December 2023, I volunteered as part of the Hometown Organizing Project Climate Canvass effort. I helped with the phone bank component to conduct climate protection interviews and understand the impacts of storm disasters on rural Alabamians. In January 2024, I helped to analyze the data produced from the ~1,000 conversations of the canvass team. 

I hosted a "Physics and Climate Change" workshop at the American Physical Society Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) at West Virginia University on January 20, 2024. Material is inspired by Astronomers for Planet Earth