Outside the lab

Science outreach volunteering

I adore talking about science to all sorts of people! I’m doing that currently:

cucumbers and pickles• as a Master Food Preserver with the University of California Cooperative Extension. I organize events around food waste prevention and teach workshops on safe (and delicious!) methods of food preservation, with a special emphasis on food microbiology and fermentation. View a workshop I co-taught for Rethink Recycling Day here.

• as a Science Mentor for the open-access youth science journal Frontiers for Young Minds. I coordinate middle-school students to review articles written by scientists for kids.

• with K-12 classrooms and educators via video chat and guest lectures. Skype a Scientist has long been one of my favorite ways. In 2020 I participated in a “Science Behind” talk on survival in space for the NISE Net Moon Adventure Game (video here). And in 2021 I gave a lecture as part of the NASA-sponsored Destination Space outreach program for elementary schools in the San Jose area; watch my talk on microbes in space here!

• with high school students as part of the Methylothon project. I develop course materials and lead lessons in microbial ecology, from field sampling to phylogeny.

• between 2018 and 2020 I was a docent at the California Academy of Sciences, spending time in the Rainforest, the Flooded Amazon, the Giants of Land and Sea exhibit, and talking about sustainability in food and energy.

Writing for non-microbiologists