Blog Post

Board Candidates for 2024 Member Vote

Members of the AAPS Board play a crucial role in shaping the future of this Association. As a working board responsible for the governance and oversight of a growing nonprofit organization, the makeup of the Board is essential to its success. The Governance Committee has sought candidates with expertise in one or more of the following areas deemed priority for AAPS this year:

  • Revenue and development planning; especially recruiting and retaining major donors and conference/event sponsors, and strategic revenue generation
  • Justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion; especially organizational structures for equity
  • Governance and policy development
  • Nonprofit operations and management; especially human resources and organizational business planning
  • Organizational growth: especially building strategic partnerships, and recruiting/retaining members

For a detailed overview of the roles of Board Members, find a list of AAPS Board Member Responsibilities here. To review current Board Members, all are listed here. We are grateful to Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta who has completed a three-year term and is rotating off of the Board, as well as to the balance of the Board for ongoing service.

The Board is in a growth phase, and five spaces are currently open for new candidates. Two additional spaces are available for re-election of two seated candidates. Should all be (re)elected, one space will remain open to which a member may be appointed off-cycle. With a commitment to building a diverse and inclusive Board, the Governance Committee welcomes nominations of additional candidates for Board service or other volunteer leadership roles with AAPS.

All members in good standing of AAPS will receive a ballot by mail for voting to take place beginning June 12th. The voting period stays open for two weeks. Issues with receiving or using a ballot? Check for emails from info -at-, or reach out to that address with questions. Questions about nominations or candidates? Email nominations -at-

Seeking election:

James Bell

James Bell, Ed.M., is a Senior Advisor with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and was the Project Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) from 2010 to 2023. Prior to that Jamie served in a variety of leadership roles in the informal STEM education field, including in youth programs and museum exhibit development at the Exploratorium, teacher professional development at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and as a science center exhibit consultant at TERC. Mr. Bell also spent 3 years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia developing a Center of Learning department for Petrosains: The Discovery Center. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Universities and is a 2021 Fellow in education at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a 2022 ASTC Fellow, a 2024 Fulbright Specialist, and a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication. Jamie’s specialties are program development, applications of learning theory, and science museum exhibit facilitation.

Sheldon Greaves

A science enthusiast since childhood, Dr. Sheldon Greaves was an early member of the Society for Amateur Scientists where he was the editor of their online newsletter and later a member of the Board of Directors. He was a founder and CEO of Tinker’s Guild, which in 1999 published Scientific American’s The Amateur Scientist, the Complete 20 th Century Collection on CD-ROM, a self-contained searchable archive of that famous column with additional supplementary material. In 2010 he founded the Citizen Scientists League, an educational nonprofit organization which he led as Executive Director until 2013. Sheldon is also a founder, former Chief Academic Officer and faculty member of Henley-Putnam University, the first university designed exclusively to offer degree programs to members of the intelligence community. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors for Ocean Sanctuaries, where he developed some of the first citizen science educational and certification programs. Sheldon holds a Ph.D. in ancient Near Eastern Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

Kal Mannis

Kalman Mannis has served as the Senior Director of Rural Engagement and Outreach for the Arizona Science Center since 2016. He joined ASC upon funding of his NSF research project, Rural Activation and Innovation Network (RAIN) which looked at rural, remote, and Tribal STEM efficacy and identity. In addition to support from NSF, Kalman has received additional program support from NASA, NOAA, and private foundations to implement STEM education and research. Kalman’s education career began in 2004 with time spent as a Middle School STEM teacher and Technology Director, High School Science Department and Lead Teacher, regional STEM Specialist, and developer of the first regional science fair in N.E. Arizona (non-tribal).  In addition to his day job, Kalman serves as the Vice-Chair of the Cochise Regional Council of Arizona First Things First (early childhood), Board Member of the White Mountain Nature Center, and Friends of the Verde River. Since 1987 Kalman and his family created and owned, Sacred Grove Apothecary. In his formal education, Kalman graduated from Miami Coral Park (Miami, FL), received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Molecular Biology at Vanderbilt University (TN), and MAEd from the University of Phoenix (AZ). 

Natasha Udu-gama

Dr. Natasha Udu-gama serves as Director, Community Science Advancement and Sustainability. In this role, she will nurture a growing team to support the increasing interest in community science around the world. Natasha has been with the team since 2014 and has contributed her over 10 years of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, community engagement and partnership experience to the development of Thriving Earth’s community science approach. She supports the development of a robust, impactful community science approach that has, to date, enabled hundreds of communities of all types, community scientists and community science fellows to co-create tools and solutions that address community priorities related to AGU’s core expertise.  In the last couple of years, she has focused on building out Thriving Earth’s support to communities, securing strong, mutually beneficial partnerships and assisting the global community in adapting Thriving Earth’s community science approach. Her PhD in Environment and Geography specializing in multi-sector partnerships for effective and sustainable community-owned early warning systems is from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. She also holds an MSc. In Disaster Management from Cranfield University (Defence Academy, Shrivenham, UK) and a BA in International Development Studies from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She also makes time to whip up different cuisines in her kitchen, enjoy the local music scene with her husband and go on long bike rides in the DC area. Ultimately, Natasha enjoys being an avid seeker of consciousness.

Hannah Webber

Hannah Webber is the Marine Ecology director at Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. Webber started at Schoodic working on Scientist-Teacher-Student partnerships, one of which has become the long-running participatory science initiative, the Dragonfly Mercury Project. Webber has co-developed and led training workshops on strengthening participatory science, and is part of a team running “Project ASCO” a participatory science effort to measure seaweed biomass along the coast of Maine. Webber has a PhD in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine.

Up for re-election:

Austin Mast

(seeking re-election for two years to complete a full six years on the Board)

Austin Mast is a Professor at Florida State University and serves as Director of FSU’s Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium.  His scholarly activities focus on the intersection of biodiversity science, biodiversity informatics, and participatory sciences with the goals of making new discoveries while simultaneously increasing science literacy and diversifying the science workforce.  He is a co-founder of the Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) Event, in addition to serving in leadership roles for iDigBio (NSF’s National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections Program), the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the Society of Herbarium Curators, and other organizations.  He co-teaches an annual class for biodiversity research collection leadership on the topic of strategic planning.  He received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2000 and worked as a postdoc at the University of Zurich until 2003, when he joined the faculty at FSU.

Ted Smith

(seeking re-election for a three year term to complete a full six years on the Board)

Ted Smith is an associate professor of environmental medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and within that School also serves as Director of the Envirome Institute’s Center for Healthy Air, Water and Soil. His research program is focused on how human health depends upon components of the natural environment. Ted’s formal training is in experimental psychology and measurement, with professional experience spanning the academic, civic, and private sectors. He has specifically focused on delivering new models and methods for health research. Many of his projects have included robust engagement between academic institutions and local government, and they often involve applications of new technologies with significant community engagement. Ted previously served as chief innovation officer for the City of Louisville, where he created AIRLouisville, the largest real-time asthma surveillance research. Ted has a MS and PhD in experimental psychology from Miami University, and completed his post-doctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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