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NASW workshop
CASW New Horizons in Science
Lunch with a scientist

  • NH
    Richard Alley

    Evan Pugh University Professor of geosciences and associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Penn State University

    Richard Alley studies the great ice sheets to help predict future changes in climate and sea level. He has made four trips to Antarctica, nine to Greenland, and more to Alaska and elsewhere. He has been honored for research (including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and foreign membership in the Royal Society), teaching, and service. Alley participated in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in Congress and the White House. He has authored or coauthored more than 300 refereed scientific papers. He was presenter for the PBS TV miniseries on climate and energy "Earth: The Operators' Manual," and is author of the companion book. His popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was Phi Beta Kappa's science book of the year.

    Web: https://www.geosc.psu.edu/academic-faculty/alley-richard


  • NH
    Abhay Ashtekar

    Evan Pugh Professor of Physics and director, Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, Penn State University

    Abhay Ashtekar's research has advanced our understanding of the asymptotic structure of spacetime, gravitational waves in full nonlinear general relativity, the atomic structure of spacetime geometry on the Planck scale, and the quantum nature of black holes and the big bang. His reformulation of general relativity as a gauge theory has led to loop quantum gravity, an approach to the unification of general relativity and quantum physics that is now being pursued in dozens of research groups worldwide. He has continued to play a seminal role in the development of this field as well as its subfield, loop quantum cosmology. Ashtekar is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is one of only 51 honorary foreign fellows of the Indian Academy of Sciences. Now holder of the Eberly Chair at Penn State, he was awarded the senior Forschungspreis by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and has held the Krammers Visiting Chair in Theoretical Physics at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands; a senior visiting fellowship of the British Science and Engineering Research Council; and the Sir C. V. Raman Chair of the Indian Academy of Science. He was awarded Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa by the Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet, Jena, Germany, in 2005 and by the Université de Aix-Marseille II (France) in 2010. Ashtekar received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1978. He has authored or co-authored over 270 scientific papers and written or co-edited nine scientific books on general relativity, cosmology and quantum gravity. He is a past president of the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation and a past chair of what is now the Division of Gravitational Physics of the American Physical Society.

    Web: http://igc.psu.edu/people/Ashtekar/


  • NH
    Sez Atamturkur

    Harry and Arlene Schell Professor and head of the Department of Architectural Engineering, Penn State University

    Sez Atamturkur's research focuses on uncertainty quantification in scientific computing. Her work, documented in over 100 peer-reviewed publications in some of engineering science journals and proceedings, has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Education, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as industry organizations and partners. She joined the Penn State faculty in 2018 after serving as associate vice president for research development and a Provost's Distinguished Professor at Clemson University. There she directed the NSF-funded Tigers ADVANCE project, which focuses on improving the status of women and minority faculty at Clemson, and the NSF-funded National Research Traineeship project, with funding for over 30 doctoral students and a goal of initiating a new degree program on scientific computing and data analytics for resilient infrastructure systems. She served as one of the four co-directors of Clemson's Center of Excellence in Next Generation Computing and Creativity. Prior to joining Clemson, Atamturktur served as an LTV technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She holds a doctorate in civil engineering from Penn State and earned her undergraduate degree in architecture and civil engineering from Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi in Ankara, Turkey.

    Web: https://www.ae.psu.edu/department/directory-detail-g.aspx?q=hsa109


  • WK
    Gaius J. Augustus

    Freelance multimedia science communicator, Tucson, Ariz.

    Gaius (pronouns he/him/his or they/them/their) is a multimedia communicator specializing in creating infographics and animations to make science more visual. After formal training in fine arts and video production, Gaius shifted his focus to science. He received his Bachelor's of Science in integrative studies with a focus on chemistry and biology and his Ph.D. in cancer biology. Now, he is putting it all together, using visual storytelling to create accessible and engaging science experiences.
    In addition to his science communication work, Gaius is a female-to-male-ish non-binary transgender person who shares his experiences with mental illness, poverty, and intersectional identity to advocate for a more inclusive world.

    Twitter: @GaiusDiviFilius
    Email: gaiusjaugustus@gmail.com


  • Steven Bedard

    Editor-in-chief, bioGraphic, San Francisco, Calif.

    Steven Bedard is bioGraphic's editor-in-chief. A former field biologist who spent the early 90s chasing spotted owls and northern goshawks through the woods, he now tags along with scientists and writes and produces media about their work. Having written about archaeology, engineering, and astrophysics in the past, he's found a much happier place covering the living world for bioGraphic.

    Pitching guidelines:

    bioGraphic is a multimedia magazine featuring stories from around the globe about the wonder of the natural world, the most pressing threats to biodiversity, and the most promising sustainability solutions. We take a highly visual, data-driven approach to nature and environment reporting and storytelling and deliver content in many different formats — from stunning photo essays and data visualizations to compelling immersive experiences, feature articles, and short-form videos.

    We're looking for original story ideas in any of these formats—stories that:

    • Examine the beauty and peculiarities of organisms and ecosystems
    • Demonstrate the fragility or the resilience of nature in a changing environment
    • Illustrate the interconnectedness of the natural world and human society
    • Reveal unexpected and extraordinary discoveries, and how these discoveries were made
    • show the promise of innovative technologies and ideas for protecting life on Earth
    • Introduce readers to people on the front lines of environmental issues, and those dedicated to making a difference
    • Offer new perspectives on existing issues and innovative ways of framing, discussing and visualizing both familiar and unfamiliar topics

    In particular, we're seeking story ideas on the following topics:

    • Climate Change
    • Biodiversity and human health
    • Biodiversity, land use, agriculture
    • Marine resource management

    If you have a pitch that you think might be a good fit, bring a brief (1,000 words or less) description of the piece you have in mind and what makes it right for bioGraphic, and please be prepared to discuss the following:

    • The story itself (please make sure your pitch is about a story, not a topic), and be prepared to show that you have a good sense of what the story is — the main idea, the characters involved, where and when it takes place, and its trajectory
    • Why you think it's important to tell this story now
    • If there are questions or mysteries surrounding your story, be prepared to show that you have a good handle on the answers and explanations.
    • How you plan to report the story — who you plan to talk to, if you think you can report it remotely, or where you think you need to go to report the story properly.
    • A sense of your storytelling style, both in your pitch and in examples of previous work

    Twitter: @steventbedard
    Email: sbedard@biographic.com


  • NH
    Beryl Benderly

    Freelance journalist and author

    Prize-winning journalist Beryl Lieff Benderly has written the "Taken for Granted" column on the scientific labor force and career for "Science Careers" on the Science website since 2003. Her hundreds of articles have also appeared in Scientific American, Scientific American Mind, Discover, Undark, Prism, Slate, the Washington Post, the New York Times and many other prominent publications. The author or co-author of eight trade books, including The Growth of the Mind with Stanley I. Greenspan; In Her Own Right: The Institute of Medicine Guide to Women's Health Issues; Challenging the Breast Cancer Legacy with Renee Royak-Schaler; and the classic Dancing Without Music: Deafness in America (in print since 1980), she is working on her ninth as a non-resident visiting scholar at the John J. Heldreth Center of Rutgers University. Organizations including IEEE-USA, the American Association of University Professors, the American Psychological Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Radcliffe College have given Benderly awards for her writing on the scientific labor force, biomedical engineering, cancer genetics, depression, women's health, electronic medical records, apes that use sign language, and other topics. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Web: https://www.linkedin.com/in/beryllieffbenderly



  • WK
    Lo Bénichou

    Interactive developer, Mapbox, San Francisco, Calif.

    Lo is an interactive developer and brand advocate on the Mapbox marketing team in San Francisco. They work on storytelling collaborations with external partners, write a lot of technical guides to mapping and cartography, and support journalists whenever they can. They <3 maps and graphics.

    Before Mapbox, Lo was a frontend engineer at Wired. Prior to Wired, Lo worked as a visual journalist and interactive developer for numerous media outlets like Youth Radio, NPR, KQED and more. Lo moved from Paris, France, to Oakland, Calif., in 2005. They graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Political Science and History. Outside of work, Lo usually spends their time consuming as many books, movies, and comics as possible. They are also obsessed with all things Ghibli.

    Twitter: @lobenichou
    Email: lo.benichou@mapbox.com


  • WK
    Michele Berger

    Science news officer, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Michele Berger is a science writer and public information officer at the University of Pennsylvania, where she partners with faculty, staff, and students to share and promote research primarily in the social and life sciences. Before joining Penn in 2015, she worked as a journalist for almost a decade, first for Audubon magazine and then as science editor for weather.com, the website of the Weather Channel. She has a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School and has edited 14 specialty books and cookbooks.

    Twitter: @michelewberger
    Email: mwberger@upenn.edu


  • WK
    Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

    Freelance science, environment and health journalist, Washington, D.C.

    Mollie is a freelance science/health/environment journalist in Washington, D.C. who speaks Spanish conversationally. Formerly a senior editor at Everyday Health, she's also reported for the New York Times, NPR, Reuters, National Geographic, Nature, the Atlantic, WHYY radio, the Christian Science Monitor, and many others. She has a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, with concentrations in photo documentary, science journalism and radio reporting. In 2019, she accomplished her life goal of reporting from all seven continents.

    Twitter: @mbloudoff
    Email: news@mbloudoff.com


  • WK
    Marla Broadfoot

    Freelance science writer and editor; president, Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC), Wendell, N.C.

    Marla Broadfoot is a freelance science writer with a Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a contributing editor at American Scientist, and president of the Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC). She is the author of "A Place at the Bench," a compilation of articles about women in science commissioned by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications including Scientific American, Science, STAT News, Discover, Nature News, and the News and Observer.

    Twitter: @mvbroadfoot




  • WK
    Bethany Brookshire

    Staff writer, Science News for Students, Washington, D.C.

    Bethany Brookshire is a science writer with Science News magazine and Science News for Students, a digital magazine covering the latest in scientific research for kids ages 9-14. She is also a podcast host on the podcast "Science for the People," where she interviews scientists and science writers about scientific issues that will impact people's lives. Bethany has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She has a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary. She is currently a 2019-2010 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.

    Twitter: @BeeBrookshire
    Email: bbrookshire@sciencenews.org


  • LS
    Heather Mccune Bruhn

    Penn State

    Heather McCune Bruhn is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Art History at Penn State University. She began her academic career studying both art history and printmaking before pursuing a master's and PhD in art history at Penn State. Her experience as a studio artist informs her interest in materials and process, both of which are explored in her dissertation on late gothic monstrances in the Rhineland, along with issues of finance, patronage and liturgy.

    Her most recent project has been the development of a new interdisciplinary course at Penn State (with Maureen Feineman in Geosciences), called "Rocks, Minerals, and the History of Art," that unites geosciences and art history. McCune Bruhn's funded research for the new course included learning to crush and purify lapis lazuli into ultramarine pigment, and visits to several mines and quarries, a German pigment factory, and to painted caves in Spain. She also interviewed artists, paint manufacturers, conservators, materials scientists, archaeologists, and museum curators during course development. She continues to investigate the materials and methods of artists throughout history while also seeking ways to incorporate new technologies into her classroom.

    Pick up your lunch in the Atrium; lunch will be held at the rear of the dining room.


  • LS
    Jeffery Catchmark

    Penn State

    Jeffrey Catchmark, professor in the department of agricultural and biological engineering, works on the development of biologically derived materials for applications ranging from compostable packaging and food engineering to new materials for wound treatment and tissue engineering. His research focuses on the use of widely available and renewable agriculturally derived fiber materials like cellulose and starch to form new sustainable composite material systems that offer comparable or improved performance as compared to synthetic materials in many commercial applications.


  • WK
    Nathan Collins

    Associate director, Interdisciplinary Life Science Communications, Stanford News Service, Stanford University, San Francisco, Calif.

    Nathan Collins is a San Francisco-based public information officer at Stanford University and occasional freelancer. Before moving to Stanford, he wrote for Pacific Standard for two and a half years and freelanced for several years.

    Twitter: @sciencenathan
    Email: nac@stanford.edu