Scripps Classroom Connection Who's Who
Introducing Our 31 Students (on left-hand side) and 18 Teachers (on right-hand side)

Student, Marine Chemistry (2012)
As a child growing up in Southern California, I have always loved the ocean. I grew up spending most of my free time at the beach, doing activities such as swimming, surfing, and snorkeling. After graduating from UCSD, I decided to channel that love for the ocean into studying oceanography. I am currently a PhD student in the marine chemistry department at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and I study the cycling of the organic forms of iron and copper in the ocean. Iron and copper are important metals to measure when considering the overall health of the ocean, because iron is an essential nutrient and copper is extremely toxic. My research therefore, focuses on the concentrations and forms of these metals in different areas of the ocean. I have gone on many research cruises around the world to study these metals, and this has been the most gratifying part of my graduate work. Through the GK12 program, I hope to share my experiences with students in order to encourage them to broaden their view about careers in science. I am passionate about making science accessible to students and applicable to their everyday lives. I want to be able to bring students outside, in the field, to observe science in the world around them. I believe educating young people is the first step to ultimately becoming a society that understands and appreciates our natural environment.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2009, 2010)
On one of the walls of the South Carolina Aquarium, where I volunteered as an undergraduate student, there is a quote that exemplifies my feelings about the place of science in society. The Senegalese environmentalist Baba Dioum once said, "In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.” I am currently studying to become a biological oceanographer because I want to conduct research to further the understanding of the oceans and of the creatures that inhabit them. But just as importantly, I want to share this knowledge with others so that they may in turn understand, love, and conserve this environment. Research provides new understanding, but if scientists are the only ones with this understanding, very little will be accomplished. Conservation and protection have to involve public awareness, understanding, and support, and I want to play a part in furthering that process. This is the main reason that I am interested in the Scripps GK-12 Fellowship Program. It will allow me to share the things about which I am passionate with students who may not have been exposed to these ideas. Additionally, working with students and teachers provides the opportunity to spark enthusiasm about science in the students (an enthusiasm that they will hopefully carry with them into their adult lives) and to provide teachers with new ways of looking at science so that they will be able to inspire students for years to come.
Student, Seismology (2010)
I use surface wave seismology to study the lithosphere and upper asthenosphere in an effort to determine mantle flow beneath Hawaii. I look for azimuthal anisotropy, or differences in the speed of the earthquakes arriving at Hawaii from locations around the Pacific Ocean. Since earthquakes travel more slowly through hotter mantle rock, I can find the location of rock that is hotter than the surrounding mantle. My research uses these results to test the validity of the plume hypothesis. The plume hypothesis asserts that the Hawaiian Islands were formed by hot, buoyant material rising within the mantle, pushing through the lithosphere, and forming volcanoes on the surface. My project on the Hawaiian plume investigates how the Hawaiian Islands were formed and provides an understanding of the dynamical processes inside the Earth. Through the GK12 program, I hope to inspire students to have a love of science and discovery.
Student, Fisheries (2010)
I grew up in a Hawaiian culture that for decades have relied heavily on making/fixing fishing nets, growing taro, and hunting wild pigs. While this humble lifestyle seems exotic to the modern world and while I take extreme pride in my roots and heritage, as a young boy I dreamt of doing more, of being more…except I didn’t know then what “more” was. Needless to say, during my early academic years I pursued many interests, including earning an AS degree in Liberal Arts, obtaining certifications in Firefighter Technology and Emergency Medical Technician, volunteering with local beach clean-up and biodiversity surveys, and serving as an Army reconnaissance scout in the 82nd Airborne Division. Despite the diversity in these interests, I found that there was an underlying satisfaction gained from contributing meaningfully to the community. This sparked my interest in returning to academia and fulfilling a degree in environmental science, earning a BS degree in Biology as well as a Masters degree in Marine Ecology at San Diego State University. The following year I applied for and was accepted as an IGERT fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UCSD. During my tenure at SIO I was fortunate to be selected as a participant for the nation’s first dual PhD/MBA program in marine science. After completing my PhD qualifying exam I enrolled in the Rady School of Management/UCSD, which I successfully graduated in 2010 with an MBA degree in Management and Marketing. I am currently an oceanography officer in the United States Navy Reserves and completing my final 2 years of dissertation research at SIO; emphasizing on coastal artisanal fisheries and aquaculture located throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
Student, Physical Oceanography (2009)
Coastal beaches provide recreation and commercial enterprise, and are home to a variety of species. Terrestrial runoff containing fecal indicator bacteria and human viruses often drains onto the shoreline making the water unsafe for humans. However, the mechanisms that spread polluted water along the shoreline are poorly understood. My work focuses on the physical processes that spread pollution in the region of breaking waves near the shoreline, where mixing and spreading rates are much larger than the region further seaward. Through the GK12 program I will share my love of the coastal ocean and help students make the connection between their water use, the local watershed, and their impact on local beaches.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2010)
Some of the smallest and oldest organisms on the planet figured out a way to naturally produce jet fuel and I am trying to harness their innovations to fuel our future. I am involved in researching hydrocarbons in Cyanobacteria and in particular I am trying to investigate the incredible enzymes they use to convert fatty acids into hydrocarbons. I was led to this research first through a love for the ocean and a passion for environmental sustainability. I studied biology at UC Davis and came to Scripps soon after where I started a PhD in Marine Biology. Through my research on biofuels I have come to appreciate the immense variety of chemicals that nature naturally produces and I have come to appreciate that these compounds are useful to a wide variety of biotechnological applications beyond fuels like pharmaceuticals, biodegradable plastics and textiles. I aim to combine my background in biology, chemistry, bioenergy to enrich my students understanding of the world around them and give them a deeper appreciation for the challenges that their generation will face regarding climate change and energy. I'm excited to work with students from a variety of background and interest levels and expect that that the challenge of communication to a high school audience will improve my ability to communicate science to the broader public.
Student, Physical Oceanography (2009)
I’m a physical oceanographer studying smaller scales motions (1-100 km in size) in the upper ocean. This includes a range of processes, such as internal waves that mix the ocean vertically and seasonal changes in small-scale temperature and salinity fields. Smaller scale processes impact the mean circulation and properties of the ocean, although students are frequently taught only of the larger scales. I would like students to understand the diversity of processes that occur in the ocean and in earth science in general.
Student, Paleomagnetism (2011)
My research at Scripps focuses on paleomagnetism, the study of the Earth’s ancient magnetic field, which is a discipline within geology. When lava flows cool, the magnetic minerals in the lava “trap” the direction and intensity of the magnetic field. So each lava flow is a snapshot in time of how the magnetic field was behaving. The magnetic field is essentially a dipole, where the strength of the field is twice as strong at the poles as it is at the equator. This was believed to be true until samples from Antarctica showed that the strength of the field there was no different than at the equator, basically saying that the Earth is not a true dipole! My research goal is to collect samples from high northern latitudes to help answer the question of whether or not the magnetic field is a dipole. I love being a geologist because I get to travel to cool places like Iceland and Norway and because there are always more fun problems to solve!
Student, Geochemistry (2012)
I am a graduate student in the Geosciences division with an interest in geochemistry and the origins of the solar system. My current research projects focus on elemental abundances and isotopic ratios of highly siderophile and moderately volatile elements. The samples that I am studying consist of lunar rocks (mare basalts and pyroclastic glasses) and eucrites (meteorites though to originate from the asteroid, Vesta); these are analyzed using analytical chemistry techniques and mass spectrometer measurements. I am participating in the GK-12 program because it provides me with an opportunity to share my scientific interests and research findings with high school students and their teachers. In this way, I hope to both complement the classroom curriculum and inspire younger students to consider careers in science and math, because the possibilities in these fields are endless!
Student, Biological Oceanography (2009)
Long term ecological processes are present in all ecosystems, yet these processes and their variability are hard to quantify given the time scales over which their effects can be detected. Long term changes in ocean temperature with global warming, and frequency of forcing events are bound to profoundly affect the ocean ecosystem in ways that we don’t quite understand. Abundances of many organisms, ranging from planktonic crustaceans to marine birds are known to fluctuate in and out of phase with major climate forcing events, driven by mechanisms that are yet to be unraveled. Because changes in the lower trophic levels trickle up the web and determine the fate of the populations depending on them, I focus my research on planktonic trophic interactions, specifically in the California Current Ecosystem. My goal is to quantify the carbon flow from the lower auto- and heterotrophic members of the microplankton community to the dominant organisms of the mesozooplankton community, within this highly spatial and temporally variable ecosystem. Planktonic organisms are the base of the whole marine ecosystem, yet due to their small size and inability to compete with the charisma of larger animals, many times they remain unknown. I’m excited to share my knowledge and enthusiasm about these organisms and the relevant processes in the GK-12 program. I want high schools students to gain a better and deeper understanding of the importance of marine ecosystems in earth processes, as well as the potential upcoming shifts caused by with global change.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2011)
Though I’m from Boston and still think the Atlantic Ocean smells better, I’ve come to love living in CA and getting to study the Pacific. I first decided I was going to be a marine biologist at the age of 6 after a 2nd grade curriculum segment on whales. I now study whale population structure and conduct research that can hopefully be used by wildlife managers to improve decision making. The best parts of being an oceanography student are the time at sea, the travel, the opportunity to ask lots of questions and the chance to do something every day that I love. The teachers, advisors and mentors I have had along the way have made all the difference in my career path. I have thoroughly enjoyed the teaching experience I have had so far and am passionate about becoming a better teacher myself.
Student, Marine Biology (2009)
The first time I saw a hawksbill sea turtle lay its eggs on the beach of the tiny Island of Mona, in the Caribbean Sea, I knew that was it… I finished my studies on reef fish ecology and went on to work in Indonesia as a marine conservationist, focusing on sea turtles. These years in the field have taught me that the single most important contribution to marine science and conservation is education. Only through a sustained effort of teaching the young about the beauties of the ocean can we achieve the level of appreciation and respect necessary to preserve it. At SIO, where I pursue my career in marine biology, I investigate how ocean surface currents off the Island of New Guinea disperse tiny baby leatherback sea turtles. It is a real challenge and my hope is to be able to convey the mysteries of these amazing creatures as well as the processes that affect them (such as climate change, el Nino and tidal and large scale currents) to my GK-12 classroom. Then, maybe, my young students will comprehend how much everything on this planet – from violent physical phenomena such as volcanic eruptions to minute chemical reactions in the deep sea to wandering leatherbacks – is intimately interrelated.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2009)
My graduate research is in marine debris - where does all the plastic dumped into the ocean go, and what effect does it have on the ecosystem? I'm organizing an expedition to the North Pacific Gyre (sometimes called the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch") in August 2009. We're going to try to accurately measure the distribution of the tiny bits of plastic floating out in the middle of the ocean and get a sense of how they might be affecting the animals at the base of the food chain. Through the GK12 program, I hope to use my research to introduce students to all kinds of scientific delights, such as the scientific process, the natural world, and human environmental impacts. In my spare time I write a science blog, hike and dive.
Student, Geology and Geophysics (2011)
The seafloors of Earth’s oceans contain the largest geologic feature of our planet: the Mid Ocean Ridges. Obscured by more than a mile of water, the mid ocean ridges are the spreading centers where new ocean floor is created. Many important processes are involved in the formation of new oceanic crust, such as the rifting apart of existing crust and the injection of magma. Variations in these processes create distinct types of oceanic crust. My research involves using sound waves to remotely study the subsurface structure of the seafloor at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the back-arc spreading center of the Lau Basin. The sound waves create “images” of the rock types beneath the seafloor, which are then used to learn about the geologic processes that formed the crust there. Learning about the differences in crustal type gives scientists a more complete understanding of the variations at divergent plate boundaries and plate tectonic processes as a whole. My goal for the GK12 program is to teach students about the formation processes and structure of oceanic crust so that they can better understand the how mid ocean ridges work to create new crust and how they fit into the overall theory of plate tectonics.
Student, Coastal Oceanography (2009)
By examining sediment dispersal systems from terrestrial sources to oceanic sinks, I get an intriguing perspective into how Earth processes work over geologic time. I study seacliff erosion in southern California to determine how material liberated from the cliffs contributes sediment to the adjacent beaches. Additionally, I am investigating how sediment is deposited on the continental shelf off Papua New Guinea. These two disparate study sites allow me to better understand the dynamic role of climate, oceanic currents, tectonics, and geomorphology in shaping our planet. As a part of the GK-12 program, I hope foster excitement and natural curiosity about the Earth among the next generation of students.
Student, Fisheries (2013)
Growing up in rural Michigan, I developed a true love for the environment and aquatic ecosystems. Following my childhood dream to become a marine biologist, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and am now a graduate student at SIO studying biological oceanography. As both an undergraduate and graduate student, I have sought to examine how both natural and anthropogenic factors influence fish community structure. My current PhD research encompasses many pertinent topics in science today – including climate change, population dynamics, and fisheries science. Specifically, I am reconstructing pre-historic fish populations using fossil otoliths (fish ear bones) collected from the Santa Barbara Basin sediments, a record that spans 2000 years. In my spare time, I compete at a high level in triathlons. I am excited to be a part of the Scripps GK-12 program, as it will allow me to help students understand how natural and humans factors influence marine ecosystems. I hope to show High School students to how fun and excited science research can be.
Student, Geochemistry (2011)
Igneous rocks are formed by magma, molten rock, cooling and crystallizing. The melts originate in the mantle and traverse upwards toward the surface passing through the rocks that make up the crust of the earth. As the magma rises, it interacts with the surrounding rock and incorporates aspects of that rock into itself, modifying the original composition. Upon reaching the surface, it cools, crystallizing to form rock. Analyzing the chemistry of these rocks, in particular the trace elements and radiogenic isotope ratios, I can distinguish the composition of the magma from whatever affected it upon its ascent. Like a detective, I can determine where igneous rocks come from. I am interested in using this to learn more about the processes that affect the sources of magma, especially in locations of particular plate tectonic activity, such as the opening of new ocean basins. Participating in the GK-12 program, I hope to instill in students a respect for the earth and greater appreciation for all the processes which shape the world we live on.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2012)
Eric Keen Here at Scripps I study the population dynamics and coastal ecology of large whales. I grew up in Florida, and nearly every day of my youth I encountered a dolphin, manatee, alligator, or shark. I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up around such an “intact” ecosystem, one where a kid still had to watch out for large, wild beasts. Sadly, fewer and fewer children nowadays have access to those experiences. This troubling fact places all the more importance on natural history education in public schools. Using whales as a common thread, my goal this year is to get my students excited about the patterns and processes in the biosphere and how humans fit in. More broadly, I hope to convey a few lessons: That one need not circumnavigate the globe to observe amazing natural wonders, but instead look in their own backyard – especially in a place like San Diego; that the scientific life is not only a great career option, it also offers an exciting and fulfilling perspective; lastly, that wonder and imagination are at the core of the scientific method, regardless of whether you are studying the largest whales, the most miniscule plankton, the bewildering diversity of ocean life, or the ancient march of deep geologic time. Someday, I’d like to make a career out of teaching. The GK-12 program is an excellent opportunity for me to get experience in the classroom, be mentored by veteran teachers, and be reminded of my own motivations for scientific research.
Student, Paleoclimatology (2011)
My graduate research focuses on reconstructing and understanding warm climates in Earth's past. As a paleoclimatologist, I hope to use a better understanding of the past to inform projections of the likely rate, severity, and impacts of modern climate change. My project focuses on a series of warming events that occurred about 50 million years ago as a result of the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide to the oceans and atmosphere over thousands of years. While these events caused major global warming (as much as 5-7 degrees Celsius), they happened over much longer periods of time compared to the warming today. Still, these events help us understand how the Earth responds to rapid greenhouse gas forcing, including the impact of feedbacks or tipping points in Earth's climate. With a background in policy (I earned my undergraduate degree at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service), I am interested in using my understanding of the science of climate change to better inform plans to mitigate and/or adapt to its consequences. A big part of that task is communication, so I am excited for the opportunity the GK12 program will give me to practice explaining my science to a wide audience.
Student, Geosciences (2009)
What happens when you transition from ripping a continent apart to creating new seafloor? How do changes in sedimentation and climate influence this process? The aim of my research is to answer these geologic questions, specifically considering the Gulf of California. The Gulf, separating mainland Mexico from Baja California, is one of the few places on the planet where scientists can actively study the birth and formation of an ocean basin. The Gulf connects the southern end of the San Andreas Fault to the northern end of the East Pacific Rise and has been widening for the past 15 million years. Gulf waters conceal some of the most interesting geology in the world. Igneous intrusions called sills are intruding into sediments supplied by the Colorado River as well as other rivers in Mexico. As these sills intrude, they heat and cook the surrounding sediment, expelling super-hot fluid towards the seafloor and forming hydrothermal vents. Changes in climate can have a major influence on the type and quantity of sediment deposited into the Gulf. The style of sedimentation influences the depth at which sills intrude and the structure of the spreading center. To gain insight into these processes, I use sound waves to image structures below the seafloor. This method, combined with sampling the seafloor via submersibles, enables me to make important geologic observations and discoveries in the Gulf of California!
Student, Marine Biology (2013)
Growing up in the Northwest fostered a deep love of both nature and the ocean in me from a very young age. I have always seen the natural world as a place filled with mystery and possibilities, pursuing these ideas lead me to my interest in science and marine biology. After receiving my degree from Western Washington University I came to Scripps Oceanography and started my PhD in Marine Biology. My research focuses on diatoms; a phytoplankton known for its intricately patterned silica cell walls. I use genetic manipulation techniques to explore the genetics and mechanisms behind how diatoms form these silica cell walls. I hope to use the GK-12 program to make science a more accessible, exciting subject for my students as well as inspire them to become more curious about the natural world around them.
Student, Plate Tectonics (2012)
In my research, I use acoustic, geophysical tools to study tectonic and sedimentary processes beneath lakes and the ocean. I have used these tools primarily to study faulting offshore San Diego, in San Diego Bay, and in Lake Tahoe Basin, California. Offshore faults are generally less well understood than their onshore counterparts because they are located under many meters of water. However, these faults still may pose an earthquake hazard if they are located near population centers. I seek to map offshore faults, assess the earthquake activity on those faults, and learn about the processes of tectonic deformation. The best part of being a geologist is getting to go outside and investigate how our planet works.
Student, Paleomagnetism (2013)
Most people are aware that Earth has a magnetic field, with a north and south pole, that can be used for navigation, but people sometimes forget that the magnetic field is also important because it's holding in our atmosphere and shielding us from harmful radiation. The magnetic field is also CHANGING (the north pole isn't always the north pole!) and this process is not well understood. The best way for us to understand how and why the field is changing is to study how it has changed in the past, and this is what I do with my research. I examine how the Earth's magnetic field has changed over the past 10,000 years by making magnetic measurements on seafloor sediments. This information can then be used to model how the field has changed through history, and maybe even make predictions about how it will continue to change! I love studying Earth science because 1) it's FUN and 2) it gives me a greater understanding of the world I live in. In the coming year my goal will be to help students gain a new level of appreciation for their environment, and hopefully encourage them to ask "why?" and question everything.
Student, Geophysics (2013)
Tectonic plates move slowly at an average speed of about 3 centimeters per year -- that’s about the same speed at which your fingernails grow. This motion is accommodated by faults at the boundaries between tectonic plates, like the San Andreas Fault in California. Sometimes faults move will slowly and steadily at the speed of the tectonic plates. But if the fault becomes locked, look out! The motion from the tectonic plates gets stored in the fault rocks, like a stretched spring. When the force on the fault grows large enough to overcome the friction of the rocks on the fault, the fault will snap forward at a speed of about 3 meters per second (jogging speed), which is 1,000,000,000 times faster than the tectonic plate speed! This creates seismic waves that spread out like ripples in a pond, and when they reach you, the shaking you feel is an earthquake. In my research, I make miniature earthquakes in a rock friction laboratory! I put rock samples under great temperatures and pressures to mimic the conditions on a fault deep within the earth where earthquakes nucleate. I’m interested in figuring out what conditions (such as temperature, rock type and sliding speed) are favorable to frictional instability, a key factor causing earthquakes. This research is interesting to me because the earthquake cycle can be studied from tiny to massive length and time scales, and what we learn can be applied to faults all over the earth. The results of my research will hopefully give us a better understanding of how earthquakes work, and allow us to better mitigate their hazards. My goal for the GK12 program is to get students excited about earthquakes with hands-on activities. In the process, we will learn about plate tectonics, the earthquake cycle, and how to build an earthquake-resistant marshmallow house!
Student, Physical Oceanography (2011)
Brianne is studying ocean acoustics as a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Interpreting signals in the ocean environment requires an understanding of the background noise. Brianne is studying the statistical properties of the ambient noise to get a better picture of the signal. Before she realized her love of the ocean, she studied mathematics at Boston College where she was a four-year athlete on the Division I Varsity Rowing team and earned Big East All-Academic honors. During her undergraduate career, she volunteered as a tutor for the Allston-Brighton YMCA. Utilizing her mathematics degree, she spent three years working as an actuary in pension consulting before she found her calling by the sea. She has worked for Revolution Prep as an ACT and SAT instructor. In addition to her academic endeavors, Brianne keeps in shape by training for half marathons and triathlons.
Student, Marine Biology (2010)
Benjamin Neal came to Scripps from a background of regional marine research for state and federal bodies on the east coast, following five years as a commercial fisherman. He has thus seen the effects of man on marine ecosystem abundance and diversity from both sides, and now works for ecosystem-wide preservation and marine conservation. His dissertation research interests currently revolve around optical sensing of coral reef ecosystems - working to develop novel methods for rapid, accurate, non-invasive monitoring of live coral and algal cover in these threatened locales. These sensors utilize both visual light as well as the inherent fluorescence of coral proteins, to obtain a more complete picture of the organisms on coral reefs, primarily hoping to monitor the abundance of the smallest coral recruits and juveniles. And speaking of babies, he is married to another Scripps graduate and they recently had their first child, named Sonora, after a Scripps class trip to the Sonora desert.
Student, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (2013)
I have spent all of my adult life working in and around the ocean in a lot of different capacities. My first job out of college was researching sustainable seafood for consumer education materials at a marine conservation non-profit in New York. I then moved to Hawaii where I worked as a SCUBA instructor, a small boat captain (I received a 50 ton captain’s license), and a research technician at a fish farm. I moved to San Diego a few years ago to get my masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation here at SIO. Effective communication of science was an important focus of this degree program, and something for which I continuously strive. The GK-12 fellowship is a great way for me to practice communicating my science to a non-scientific audience. For my PhD research, I study mesopelagic (living at 200-1000m in the open ocean) fishes, and how they are impacted by anthropogenic climate change effects, in particular the observed decline in oceanic oxygen content at the depths where these animals spend most of their time.
Student, Applied Ocean Sciences (2012)
As a student in the Jaffe Lab for Underwater Imaging, I am working to develop novel instruments to study phytoplankton and marine microbes in their natural habitat. It is a unique technological challenge, one that requires an understanding of both physics and biology. I find that interdisciplinary approach to science fascinating and am excited to bring it into the classroom. Communicating the intrinsic connections across traditional subject boundaries will test my ability to talk about science in an comprehensible way. I believe honing that skill over the next year will be both rewarding and invaluable. Moreover, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to impart my love of science to the students I will be working with. Hopefully, I will be able to get students thinking about how big a part science plays in their daily lives.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2013)
Since being stung by a jellyfish as young girl, Heather has wanted to study marine biology. She received her undergraduate degrees in Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences from University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also participated in numerous research opportunities, which introduced her to ocean acidification. Her current research examines the impact of ocean acidification on coral reefs. She has always been committed to complementing her research career with public education, including volunteering for outreach groups and teaching zoo camps. She is excited to spread awareness about ocean acidification through the GK12 Program!
Student, Geodynamics (2012)
My area of scientific interest and primary focus of my graduate research is in geodynamics. Geodynamics is the study of dynamical processes that effect the Earth. What is know about the Earth can be divided into two categories. At the surface there is a rich set of data regarding the past processes of the Earth. At present time we have data on the current state of the Earth's deep interior. However we lack data on the Earth below the surface at times in the past. A key goal of geodynamics the construction of dynamic models of the Earth at times past and present. This is accomplished through the use of fundamental principles of physics, building models and using data as constraints. It is this reliance on fundamental physical principles, interpretation and assimilation of scientific data, and the requirements of modeling systems that make geodynamics and geodynamical results an excellent venue for illustrating scientific concepts taught in our elementary and secondary schools. Geodynamics touches upon a great number of topics from biology, chemistry and physics to mathematics and computer science. That the Earth and its processes are a primary concern of geodynamics means that results and predictions are ubiquitous and provoke the student to further investigation as they engage with the world around them. As a Scripps Classroom Connection fellow it is my ardent hope to bring the richness of this area of scientific study to the classroom, inspire students and illustrate the connection between schools subjects and the everyday experiences of the students.
Student, Climate Science (2012)
While there are a lot of things we know fairly well about the Earth's climate system, one of the persistent question marks is the different mechanisms by which aerosol pollution affects clouds, and that is fascinating! I'm working with data from ground instrumentation as well as from autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs-- basically tiny airplanes) and from satellites to study how pollution affects clouds and their micro- and macrophysical properties. Climate change science in general is based in concepts that everyone should have a basic grasp of. This scientific knowledge is particularly important for younger generations, who will have the task (and opportunity!) to solve the many issues stemming from humans' use of fossil fuels. As an undergrad I majored in physics (with a second major in Spanish literature), and I'm looking forward to using the GK12 program to help high school physics students realize what took me until the latter half of my undergrad to realize: physics is everywhere, and has some pretty interesting and exciting (and yes, sometimes challenging) applications!
Student, Marine Biology (2010, 2011)
Besides being cute little buggers, diatoms are also responsible for an estimated 43% of ocean primary productivity. Uncommonly among phytoplankton genera, diatoms make a skeleton (called a "frustule") out of the mineral opal. This combination of great abundance and unusual physiology makes understanding how diatoms use nutrients of particular importance, since they have the numbers to greatly influence the cycling of nutrients in the ocean. I am specifically focused on trace metals (Zn, Cd, Cu, Ni, Al, and Fe) and how they are incorporated and partitioned between diatom frustules and organic matter. Lying at the intersection of biology, chemistry, and geology, the highly interdisciplinary nature of my project helps me draw parallels between these different disciplines for students. My hope is that by bridging the divide between the neatly packaged boxes of high school science, students will also begin to build bridges between the science and their daily lives. As I am planning on working in the environmental policy realm upon graduation, I also hope that teaching these topics to students will help me become a better science communicator for policymakers, many of whom last had a science course in high school.
Student, Marine Chemistry (2010)
My graduate research is focused on trace metal cycling at the biology - chemistry interface. Iron is a biologically important trace metal that is required for essentially all organisms. In the ocean iron is scarce and can be a limiting nutrient to microorganisms. Iron is used in many essential biological processes such as nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis, DNA biosynthesis and electron transfer proteins. Changes in the iron concentration can affect an organism’s ability to perform these processes which may have an impact on the global biogeochemical cycles. I am interested in looking at what forms of iron are available and how iron is transported inside of the cell in Cyanobacteria and bacteria. Through participation in the GK12 program I hope to introduce students to chemistry or chemical processes in the world around them.
Student, Geophysics (2013)
With over 38 million people, California is the most populous state in the US. As “Earthquake Country”, it’s important to understand the hazards posed to Southern California by the faults and earthquakes that exist in the region. We have faults both onshore (such as the San Andreas Fault!) and offshore, and my research uses seismic data to image these faults, so we can better understand their structure and their interaction. This information will help others who make predictions of ground motions we would expect from an earthquake. I was drawn to this field of work because I love understanding how the various parts of our surroundings interact and change through time; nature is so dynamic, and the way we study it is interdisciplinary. For the upcoming year, I’m looking forward to sharing my excitement about the natural world with students, as well as connecting the basic physical principles and ideas to their broader significance.
Student, Physical Oceanography (2013)
The coastal environment is the most dynamic, most biologically active and most heavily exploited part of the ocean. It is also susceptible to natural and human caused disasters, especially as more people move into coastal watersheds. I am interested in studying the physical processes that mix and transport pollution, nutrients, oxygen, heat, sediment and other suspended particulates between the surfzone and the shelf. In better understanding these dynamics, I hope to contribute to our ability to model and positively influence important coastal processes that affect this delicate resource. My passion for earth science really stems from two inspirational teachers I had as a high school and college student. They taught me how fun it is to ask questions I can't answer, and what a powerful tool science can be to investigate them. Through the GK-12 program, I hope to show students how amazing earth is, and learn to inspire students to love science.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2011)
I have wanted to study the ocean since I was in elementary school, inspired by my frequent trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and central California beaches growing up. Now I am working on my PhD in biological oceanography here at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. My research focuses on phytoplankton in the Pacific and the different rates and processes that affect the structure of their communities. These important organisms are at the bottom of the food web, providing a basis of energy for other forms of life. The types of phytoplankton present and their abundances have implications for other organisms, either directly or indirectly. This in-depth knowledge of biological oceanography is only a portion of the skills I want to gain in graduate school. Without the ability to convey this information to general audiences, its area of influence will be limited and its impact hampered. That is why I am excited to be a part of the GK12 program. I am eager to learn how to convey oceanographic information to a broad audience because it is this sharing of information with a general public that inspired me to do what I do today.
Student, Geochemistry (2011)
Because of my interest in the natural world, I have worked in various programs studying geology, ecology, and chemistry over the last five years. Based on these experiences, I have decided to pursue a PhD in oceanography, with a focus in geochemistry. In my first year at Scripps my studies have focused on stable isotopes of nobel gases, using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography to look at global tectonic processes. My studies are based in a firm understanding of atoms, molecules, and basic principles of matter, and I use these tools to study complex processes including Whole-Earth Carbon cycling and volatile degassing. I hope to introduce my work to students by providing a firm background in these fundamentals, including atomic and molecular principles. I aim to expose them to the world of scientific research by showing how I use these fundamentals every day in my laboratory. In addition, I hope to share my love of discovery and the natural world, and to present science as a profession that is available to anyone with a strong sense of curiosity and adventure.
Student, Biological Oceanography (2010)
I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for some amazing teachers along the way that helped me become passionate about science. I wanted to pass this on when I joined GK12, and instill excitement about science in other young students. It's especially important to me to show young women students that being a successful woman in the scientific community is possible! Connecting the public in general with the scientific community is important to me, and my PhD research stemmed from this idea as well. I study lipid metabolism in diatoms, with the goal of finding a way to make these algae produce more lipids, which can be used to make biodiesel. The broader impacts of my research have inspired me to try and communicate my science to as many audiences as possible. After my PhD I hope to continue communicating science by working in either the ocean or energy policy sector.
Student, Applied Ocean Sciences (2012)
My research at Scripps involves using active underwater acoustics to learn about the shape of surface waves. Of particular interest is monitoring the time evolution of wave steepness just before and after wave breaking. Much of my current research combines digital signal processing techniques with data inversion methods to estimate parameters associated with wave shape. In better understanding the small scale structure of surface waves, I hope to extend my research to areas of climate science and physical oceanography such as air-sea gas exchange and nonlinear wave-wave interactions. I have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Brown University and teaching experience at the middle school level. In high school I was very motivated and inspired by some amazing teachers. I hope that by sharing my science interests with current high school students that I will in turn motivate them to become better learners and scientists.
Student, Marine Ecology (2013)
My research interests focus on the development of quantitative methods for studying population dynamics and ecology. I am also interested in the intersection of fisheries modeling, policy, and economics. I have a Master’s degree in Statistics from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and a Master’s degree in Fisheries Sciences from Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. Since coming to Scripps Institution of Oceanography I have also become a member of the Center for the Advancement of Population Assessment Methodology (CAPAM). Starting in July 2013, I began working on a white seabass assessment with Juan Valero of CAPAM. At PSU I taught statistics to undergraduates, and I am excited to continue to get the opportunity to teach through the GK-12 program. I hope to show the next generation of students that science, particularly marine science, is a thrilling field and that by developing a solid foundation in statistics and mathematics they can explore practically any question they desire.
Student, Geomagnetism (2010)
What is hidden below Earth’s surface? This question drives my research, and led me to pursue a PhD at Scripps studying the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic field is generated deep within the Earth, in the fluid outer iron core. It is a dynamic process, and we study its patterns of changes to learn about the Earth’s core. I love to promote community in science, and believe that science is more fun and more productive when we share what we learn. You don’t have to be a professional scientist to experience the joy and beauty of discovering something new. I enjoy working with GK-12 and other outreach programs to teach not only the particulars of my science, but also the joy of discovery.
Teacher, Lincoln High School (2011, 2013)
Danny's teaching career began in 2007 at Lincoln High School, teaching 9th grade Earth Science. Danny, who is originally from the Pacific Ocean island of Guam, earned his B.A. from Columbia College Chicago, where he majored in marketing communications. After graduating, Danny went on to work as a marketing professional with some of Chicago's most successful organizations. After a 10-year career in business, Danny relocated from Chicago to San Diego, where he began his teaching career by earning a credential to teach history, and a masters degree in cross-cultural education. Being the first person in his family to attend college, Danny chose Lincoln High School in large part because many of its students share the distinction of being first-time college goers. With all history teaching positions at Lincoln filled, Danny was presented with an opportunity to teach Earth Science. Danny jumped on the opportunity to teach at his first-choice school, and from that time has been filling much of his days off with science-themed professional developments. One of Danny's favorite science quotes (by Henri Poincare) is "Science is built on facts the way a house is built of bricks; but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks is a house."
Teacher, Mission Bay High School (2009, 2010, 2011)
Jon has been teaching high school science for 11 years, including biology, marine science and biotechnology. He currently teaches international baccalaureate biology at Mission Bay High School in San Diego where the course looks at the field of biology from a global point of view. Jon worked for a biotechnology company before teaching and has brought some aspects of real world science into the classroom. “Having students work with current raw data that a researcher brings in will make science much more meaningful." Students will have ownership with these hands-on projects that will get them excited in the field of science. We will be collecting our own data around the creek surrounding our school and analyze the human impact on that area. Like Mark Twain once wrote, “If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.”
Teacher, Lincoln High School (2012, 2013)
Alison has been in the field of high school education for 15 years, teaching chemistry for 10 years and administrating for 5 years. She has lived in numerous places throughout the United States, experiencing her K-12 education in the states of Illinois and New York. She received a BA in Chemistry and minor in music from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She began her teaching career in San Jose, CA and then relocated after 3 years to Metro Detroit, MI. During her 7-year stay there, she continued teaching and moved into administration for a few years while earning her MA in Education-Administration/Supervision. She has been in San Diego for 4 years now, teaching Chemistry at Lincoln High School. She is really excited to participate again in the Scripps GK-12 program. Having the opportunity to host a graduate fellow in her classroom will give her students first-hand exposure to science outside of the classroom and will give the graduate student an opportunity to communicate their science to a high school audience.
Teacher, Wangenheim Middle School (2012, 2013)
My name is Dan Grendziak and I am originally from Upper Michigan. I first moved to San Diego 28 years ago. I enjoy spending time with my family, golf, hockey and working on house projects. I have been a middle school teacher in San Diego Unified School District for 18 years, 10 at Horace Mann Middle School and 8 at Wangenheim Middle School. Prior to teaching I served 10 years active duty in the United States Navy and 11 years in the United States Navy Reserves, retiring in 2003. I believe teaching is a craft that continually needs to be refined. As a middle school science teacher, I feel very fortunate of the opportunities I’ve had to help me refine my craft. I have been using technology in my classroom for the past 8 years, first being involved in ESETT, Enhancing Science Education Through Technology. I then had the opportunity to work on my teaching. This was done using MSSELI, Middle School Science Education Leadership Initiative. In this teacher program, we worked in groups to design, teach, observe, script, and examine results of our lessons we designed. Our goal was to identify learning gaps in our teaching. Now I have this opportunity to enhance my teaching by having experts come into my room and share their knowledge and experiences.
Teacher, San Diego High School (2009, 2011)
Steve has come full circle in his career and has recently returned to his true passion for teaching biology and marine science on the high school level. He has a B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Science Education and a Credential in School Supervision and Administration. After teaching science and managing two NSF grants in New York City for over 15 years he left to start a company to produce educational software. The IBM Biology Series was sold to schools worldwide for over ten years. As an author and consultant to IBM Steve traveled the globe and was eventually recruited to work in various high tech executive positions in San Diego including Managing Director of the Von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism at the UCSD School of Engineering. “I am delighted to be part of the G-K12 program. The connection that has been established between the university and my school has greatly enriched my marine science curriculum with wonderful “hands-on” activities. Having a graduate student as a role model for my students has been invaluable.”
Teacher, University City High School (2012)
As a native southern Californian, Susan is familiar with and has a natural love for the beach and coastal habitats. She grew up in Ventura and earned her BA in physics at UCSD. Her experience as an engineer in the years following college, lend a real world approach to her teaching. Susan is enjoying her career as a high school teacher, and loves sharing science and teaching experiences with her students as well as her own four children. She has been teaching for 11 years in San Diego Unified School District, in both the Math and Science departments. Currently, she teaches physics at two levels, and Earth Science. The GK12 program has infused some excitement into her curriculum and new opportunities into her classroom through the expertise that the graduate student provides. This allows the high school students to get closer to science in a rare way that will open their minds to science.
Teacher, University City High School (2009, 2010, 2013)
Tara studied environmental science and botany in college and has a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She has been teaching science in the San Diego Unified School district for 9 years and is currently teaching Earth Science and Advanced Placement Environmental Science at University City High School for grades 9, 11 and 12. She is the advisor for University City High School’s Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots club. Tara is excited about how this program pairs teachers with graduate fellows who are able to develop new aspects for students to understand the various scientific processes. “I believe that giving students an opportunity to work with upcoming scientists allows students to experience people who are passionate and fascinated about science and science processes. Students will become more actively engaged in a science class when they see how the concepts in Earth Science apply to work performed by scientists.”
Teacher, Kearny High Complex: School of Science Connections & Technology (2013)
Growing up in a New York suburb perched on Long Island Sound allowed my eight siblings and I to enjoy water filled summers rich with seaside adventures. Nature, nature shows, and sports were a staple of our family life. I continued the tradition with my five children from their earliest years to their current young adult's status. Fourteen years ago we “came west” and now revel in the magnificence of the Pacific Ocean. I am passionate about teaching and feel amazingly fortunate to have a career that allows me the opportunity to positively impact students’ lives. For more than twenty years I have been shaping science curriculum, school initiatives, and community outreach. On each coast I have taught an array of sciences and math, always striving to educate the whole student, grooming each child for both academic and personal success. My undergraduate years at Fordham University in New York City sparked my desire to especially impact urban public education. Implementing the small school initiative at Kearny SCT has flamed that commitment and fostered partnerships with amazing professional communities. I currently teach AP Biology, Biotechnology, Advanced and General Biology. I am thrilled to be a part of the Scripps Classroom Connection, confident that this partnership will infuse a unique real world bridge between my students and the exciting cutting edge research at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Here’s to the thrill of opening windows to the mind and heart, seeding possibilities that ripple outward …
Teacher, University City High School (2011)
As a native San Diegan, I have a natural love and affinity for the ocean. Throughout my life I have been able to explore different aspects and relationships of many ecosystems around the western US and Baja. It brought me to a deep understanding and appreciation for how everything is related to everything else on Earth. I earned my BS from SDSU and MS from National Univ. I taught 7th and 8th grade for 18 (or so) years, and have been at University City High School since 2007 teaching Earth Science and AP Environmental Science. I have always been involved in inquiry and standards-based teaching. I have enjoyed being a leader in science education as department chair, peer coach, master teacher and leading workshops for San Diego City Schools and San Diego Science Educators Association (SEASAND). Two particular areas of interest are bridging research and practice and using technology to enhance student achievement. My “dream-class” would be to teach an integrated global science course to show the science basis of the interconnectedness of how the world really works. Although I love working with students, I think I would also enjoy teaching new teachers how to teach science. I always look forward to learning more about science education to stay current and remain on the cutting edge of my profession.
Teacher, Serra High School (2010)
Denise Litt has been teaching high school science including biology, physics and earth science in San Diego for the past 6 years. She earned her bachelor’s in science degree in Environmental Science and minor in geology from UCSB and has her master's in education in Cross Cultural Education. She worked in the environmental consulting industry as a staff geologist for 6 years prior to becoming a teacher. Denise prides herself on having a fun classroom with high expectations. The thing she is most looking forward to this program bringing to her classroom is real-world applications of science and inspiration for the students to take their curiosity of science beyond high-school. "I know that students are aware of the changes we need to make globally in order to prevent further damage of the planet, my hope is that by showing them what strides are currently being taken, for example at SIO, to find solutions, they will be inspired to be part of the environmental revolution."
Teacher, San Diego High School (2011)
My name is Jason Moore and I have been teaching science for 11 years. I grow up is Hershey, Pennsylvania and attended Kutztown University in Pa. I have a BS in education and a M. ed. from DeSales University also in Pa. I am certified in biology, chemistry and general science. I taught at Kutztown High School for 6 years before moving to San Diego in the summer of 2006. I have been teaching at San Diego High School since moving here. I am primarily a chemistry teacher but I also teach Earth Science as well. I am really looking forward to this year. The people at Scripps are very knowledgeable and passionate about learning how the planet works. It is my goal to learn as much as I can from them so that I can teach students to take an active interest in how the world works.
Teacher, Lincoln High School (2010, 2011, 2013)
I am a mom of two young boys, Owen- age 7 and Orion- age 5. My husband Danny and I have known each other since I was in 8th grade here in San Diego. I graduated from Kearny High School and went on to the University of Oregon. I transferred and finally graduated from San Diego State University with a BS in Geology. My dreams about becoming a volcanologist/veterinarian/teacher has come to fruition because I get to teach and live science every day! I have been teaching for 11 years- with very a wide range of experiences in education. Started off teaching English in South Korea and proceeded to teach elementary school science, middle school science, in an alternative high school setting and now in a traditional high school setting at Lincoln High School. I am currently teaching AP Environmental Science and AP Biology at Lincoln. I love teaching APES (AP Environmental) because learning about and protecting the environment is my new passion. I love it when something that we are learning about sparks an interest in a student and they become more eco-friendly and pass on the learning to others! Young people are the key to our future - I love that I get a chance to be an influence on that future generation!
Teacher, University City High School (2009, 2010)
Maureen is a native San Diegan and has been teaching for 16 years in the San Diego Unified School district. She has a BA in Physical Science, an MS in Educational Technology and most recently has been teaching chemistry and earth science to high school students. “I am excited to be a part of this program so my students can have the opportunity to interact with young, enthusiastic scientists. The chance to work with and be exposed to actual data is something many students do not get. Earth science is extremely important, especially now that we are dealing with climate change and the likelihood of significant earthquake activity in California. I believe that this program may help some students head in a post high-school earth science direction.”
Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School (2011)
Having grown up in San Diego, Steve developed a love of marine and Earth sciences from an early age. Steve earned a B.S. in Biology from Haverford College and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Delaware, where he concentrated in marine sciences at the College of Marine Studies. Steve has taught sixth grade Earth science and mathematics for the past ten years at Roosevelt Middle School in the San Diego Unified School District. In addition to teaching, Steve has coached football, basketball and soccer at Roosevelt through the Prime Time Program. I feel that teaching at the middle school level is both challenging and rewarding. The middle school experience plays an integral role during the formative stages of adolescence. In addition, I have found that middle school students possess a high level of curiosity and enthusiasm for the phenomena of the natural world. In my experience, the key to effective mathematics and science instruction is connecting abstract academic knowledge to concrete real world examples. The GK12 program has provided the students with an invaluable opportunity to see how advances in marine science have been applied to address some of the world's most important issues. Finally, the graduate student has served as a role model for the students to promote their interest in science education and future careers.
Teacher, Wangenheim Middle School (2013)
I graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and health science, and a master’s in secondary curriculum and education. My initial goal in becoming a teacher was to impact individuals by teaching disease prevention. My early experiences working with people of a variety of ages led me to the decision that middle school students were the right match for me; they are at the tender age where decision making starts to become independent, and they have an infectious energy and enthusiasm to learn. Teaching middle school life and Earth science is a journey into learning about the world around us, using evidence to make decisions that will impact our lives and our planet. My students “do” science like scientists, employing inquiry, scientific method, and technology. My classroom is a collaborative community that includes discourse, structure and differentiation to support understanding. I have evolved over the past 17 years as a middle school science teacher, each year making improvements to the strategies and activities I utilize, as well as modifying content based on current science. I have collaborated with SIO to create lessons in Earthguide, an online learning platform based on research, and am excited to continue to bring current research to my students via GK12! I am currently teaching at Wangenheim Middle School with a wonderfully diverse population of learners where I coach Science Olympiad, am a digital teacher leader, and earned the great honor of 2011-2012 Science and Technology Teacher of the Year for San Diego County.
Teacher, Kearny High School (2009)
Maitrayee Sahi has been teaching Earth Science and Physics to ninth graders at Kearny School of International Business for 5 years. This is an urban, inner city school, in San Diego. She has an M.S. degree in Space Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL, and an M.S. degree in Physics from Delhi University, India. Prior to her teaching career she worked for nine years in research in the field of space based astronomy for two space-based observatories, Hubble Space Telescope and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. “I am thrilled to be a part of this program. This partnership will help make science and its impact in our lives real to my students. It will add to the students understanding by bringing in the mechanics of science into the classroom via interactions with graduate student counterpart of this program. Most of all, I hope this will help highlight science as a process that real people engage in and enjoy. Also, that scientists are no more abnormal than the rest of us, hence an option they should consider for themselves too!”
Teacher, Mira Mesa High School (2009)
Mark Snow has his bachelor of science in Geology from San Diego State University. He holds California teaching credentials in geoscience, physics, chemistry, and math (through first year algebra). Before teaching, Mark Snow spent 30 years as a journeyman cabinet maker/ finish carpenter. Mark Snow is now in his 15th year of teaching and his 8th year at Mira Mesa High School, home of the Marauders. He enjoyed the construction industry, and loves teaching.
Teacher, Kearny High School (2009)
Malana Tabak has been teaching physics, earth science and most recently oceanography to high school students since 2001. Although her academic training is in the areas of geology and oceanography, she has worked in a number of fields over the years including respiratory therapy, educational administration, accounting management and as a research assistant on a number of science and non-science projects. She likes teaching because she enjoys interacting with young people and she gets to share her passion for science with them. “It’s all about relationships. If the kids feel connected to you as their teacher, and they see the personal relevance of what they are learning, whether it’s using the scientific method or studying climate, they can do anything.”
Teacher, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (2009, 2010)
I have been teaching middle and high school science for 16 years, the last 12 for San Diego Unified. I currently teach Earth Science and Advanced Physics to ninth graders and AP Physics to students in grades 10-12. I have also taught AP Environmental Science for several years. I have been at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, a 6-12 grade arts magnet school, for the past six years. There is nothing like teaching science at an arts school! I am extremely pleased to have my daughter at school with me as a sixth grader this year. Prior to beginning my teaching career, I was a fire ecology researcher for the US Forest Service and performed hazardous materials assessments and clean-ups as a Registered Environmental Assessor. As a native of San Diego, I appreciate the diverse natural beauty San Diego has to offer and spend many a day tramping through the back country looking for hidden treasures.
Teacher, Mission Bay High School (2011, 2013)
"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be at to arrive where we started ... and know the place for the first time" by T.S. Elliot. I feel like that was written for me. I fell in love with the ocean as a child growing up in Huntington Beach, California. Jacques Cousteau was my idol and I didn't miss one of his T.V. specials. I began SCUBA diving when I was 15 years old and have continued to be amazed by all the ocean has to offer. Even though I have been teaching for over 20 years, I have just in the last five years come back to my passion, that of marine biology and marine science. I want to share this passion with my students at Mission Bay. I am excited to be part of the GK-12 program. This has allowed my students a unique opportunity to experience real science from a real scientist. It also gets them out of the textbook. The graduate students bring a fresh look at science and become excellent role models for my students. I look forward to another outstanding year working in the GK-12 program.