C*Sci2022 Symposia Speaker Bios

Speakers listed alphabetically by last name.

Amani Abuelenain

Undergraduate Researcher, Environmental Health Research-to-Action (EHRA)

Amani Abuelenain is an Arab American woman pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Services at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. She joined EHRA during the summer of 2021 as a student researcher to assist with their summer youth academy and research low-cost air sensors to help build a community science air-monitoring program. Her work with EHRA has expanded to include determining how to incorporate water pollution into the academy curriculum and research on Arab American woman in environmental justice work. Amani has interned at Trinity Health with their Community Health and Well-Being Department. She has transcribed interviews with young adult cancer patients for research under another UM Dearborn Professor. Amani is the Vice President of Public Health Society on the UM-Dearborn campus and has helped in promoting events that showcase to students how public health is applicable to all career sectors. Amani hopes to use her degree and experiences to help her navigate how to promote  health equity in a public health career.

Julia Byrd

Citizen Science Program Manager, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Julia Byrd has served as the Citizen Science Program Manager for the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) since 2019. She oversees the Council’s citizen science efforts – helping connect fishermen, scientists, and other stakeholders to develop and support projects that address SAFMC research priorities. Previously she served as a SEDAR Coordinator for the Council coordinating fish stock assessments in the South Atlantic region and as a biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources where she worked on a variety of fishery management issues. She received her Bachelor’s from Wake Forest University and Master’s in environmental science and policy from the College of Charleston. Julia is based out of Charleston, SC where she enjoys spending time outside and on the water with her husband and dog, Bodie.

André Chagwedera

Founder/CEO, Fleming Protocol

André Chagwedera is the founder/CEO of Fleming Protocol, which is an open-source collaborative where patients & medical innovators create impactful medical products. The Fleming Protocol data economy empowers patient communities to share and earn from their data, whilst maintaining control and privacy through cryptography. Fleming Protocol’s decentralized structure facilitates the power of communities to discover devices and therapies whilst distributing profits to them.

Tamara Clegg

Associate Professor, University of Maryland iSchool

Tamara Clegg is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, where she co-directs the Youth eXperience (YX) Lab. She received her Ph.d. from Georgia Tech’s College of Computing and her B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. Tamara’s work focuses on designing technology (e.g., social media, mobile apps, e-textiles, community displays) to support life-relevant learning where learners, particularly those from underrepresented groups in science, engage in STEM in the context of achieving personally relevant goals. She seeks to understand ways such learning environments and technologies support STEM disposition development. Tamara’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Studies, and Google.

Angela Eaton

Data Dialogues

Angela Eaton (she/her) is an open data and environmental equity champion currently advising nonprofits and all levels of government on how best to include and work with data produced by community scientists. As part of this work, she hosts the Data Dialogues Podcast where environmental leaders discuss the ways in which they have been successful with community science. 

Angela has supported communities engaging in environmental, air quality, and radiation monitoring at Safecast and most recently at Open Environmental Data Project. She has worked in sustainable systems design in urban water infrastructure and greenhouse gas reduction with non profits, utilities, and has worked both with cities and as part of city government. Angela was a contributing author to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation’s publication Innovations in Urban Water Infrastructure and participated as a Civil Society Working Group reviewer during the United Nations Habitat III process in which the current United Nations sustainable development goals were established.

Simone English

Ph.D. Candidate, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University School of the Environment

Simone English is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) School of the Environment, with a concentration in Environmental Science, Policy and Risk Management. Prior to the Ph.D. program, Simone completed a Master in Architecture (M.Arch) degree at FAMU School of
Architecture and Engineering Technology (SAET). Her main interests include community resilience, environmental and climate justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups, climate impacts and mitigation, environmental protection, affordable housing, resilient and appropriate architecture/ infrastructure. Her goal is to become an expert in the improvement of resilient communities, particularly for marginalized and vulnerable groups, as well as for displaced victims of natural and man-made disasters, while promoting equity, environmental education, advocacy, awareness and resilient built environments. As a mentee and student-mentor with the HBCU Climate Change Consortium, she has the great privilege of working alongside esteemed community members and organizations, HBCU faculty and students, and other environmental experts conducting collaborative scientific research in Gulf Coast communities, including Africa Town, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana, Gulfport, Mississippi, and Houston, Texas. Simone is also a Train-the-Trainer member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) CARAT (Community Action and Response Against Toxics) Teams. Currently, she is learning and sharing in the role as a co-Student Advisor in the development of the Citizen Science Association’s (CSA) HBCU Students Fellowship.

Isabel Francisco

Project Success Lead, COVID-19 Research Database, Datavant

Isa Francisco was the first Program Manager of the New York City Virus Hunters, a community research initiative and science education collaboration led by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with the nonprofit BioBus. She joins C*Science 2022 with a background in research, public health, and veterinary medicine. Through the NYC Virus Hunters, she coordinated a cross-institution virus surveillance project in NYC’s wild bird population and mentored high school students of underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds in STEM. Prior to NYC, Isa also worked on the Policy and Practice Team at the nonprofit Health Resources in Action, gaining experience in asthma and tobacco prevention with a focus on racial and health equity. Isa graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 and went on to receive her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Tufts University, originally planning to be a large animal veterinarian. She currently works for Datavant on their COVID-19 Research Database.

James Harrington

Computer Scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

James Harrington is a computer scientist with the Computer Information Science and Technology Office (CISTO) Research Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He also supports Goddard’s Office of STEM Engagement. His primary responsibilities include data science/machine learning research outreach, as well as systemic STEM reform for professional learning and student achievement in STEM.

Todd Harwell

Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Community and Citizen Science, University of California, Davis

Dr. Todd A. Harwell (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Center for Community and Citizen Science at the University of California, Davis. In this position, he is leading a project examining the role of community and citizen science in the implementation of marine protected area (MPA) systems in California and Oregon. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Oregon State University where his research explored how community and citizen science programs contribute to the science identity development and community cultivation of participants with a focus on the experiences of LGBTQ2SIA+ participants. Todd has participated in the Science Communication Fellowship with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and was a Community Leadership Project Fellow with the Q Center, the Pacific Northwest’s largest LGBTQ2SIA+ resource center, in which he organized “Out in STEM-PDX,” a queer in STEM storytelling and panel event. Todd is currently a Community Science Fellow with the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Thriving Earth Exchange and was recently invited to participate in AGU’s Voices for Science program, which trains cohorts of scientists to address the critical need for communicating the value and impact of Earth and space science to key decision-makers, journalists, and public audiences. He has a background in marine science, environmental education, and teaching middle school through University-level science courses, and also served three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the coastal desert of Perú. Todd currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his husband and their feline son, Keshito.

Chris Jadallah

PhD Candidate, University of California, Davis

Chris Jadallah is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and PhD candidate in Science and Agricultural Education at the University of California, Davis. As an educational researcher with a background in conservation biology, Chris leverages ethnographic and participatory methods to study how community-based approaches to conservation science provide a forum for collaborative learning between scientists, land managers, and broader publics. Specifically, he brings an interdisciplinary and equity-oriented lens to his work to examine how power asymmetries between these groups mediate who learns, what is learned, and how learning occurs as they co-create shared knowledge through engagement in shared practices, with implications for the conservation and stewardship of diverse social-ecological systems. Through his research, Chris ultimately seeks to disrupt conventional hierarchies that privilege dominant forms of expertise in conservation science so as to better honor multiple ways of knowing in service of healthy, just, and resilient futures. 

Graise D. Lee Jenni

Partner, Resolve Conservation

Graise D. Lee Jenni is the descendant of war refugees, artists and scholars. A mother, a small business owner, someone with invisible disabilities, and a collector of stories, Graise’s true passion is to gather people together. As someone who has changed schools, homes, states or countries almost yearly since the 3th grade, Graise is driven to build community and connection. With a BA in communication studies and after a stint in the nonprofit world, Graise gained experience working with diverse clients in nonprofit, philanthropy and the public and private sectors, gathering fresh insights, nurturing ideas and new conversations among unlikely partners, designing and implementing campaigns to change minds, promote policy change, strengthen organizations and mobilize people to action at a public relations agency. Graise eventually decided to go back to school to get a Post-Bac, MS and PhD in the conservation sciences, with research focused on qualitative methodologies as a way to understand identity, mitigate conflict and engage communities. Graise co-founded Resolve Conservation in 2018 to focus on bringing justice based systemic change to conservation and environmental organizations. Graise is currently a commissioner on the IUCN Education and Communication Commission and a co-founder of Asian American Women in Conservation (AAWiC) Network.

Elizabeth Jones

Project Coordinator for Cretaceous Creatures, Paleontology Research Lab at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences & Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University

Dr. Elizabeth Jones is a Historian of Science who specializes in the history of paleontology and genetics. Currently, she works in the Paleontology Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum and Natural Sciences as the Coordinator for Cretaceous Creatures, a citizen science project that engages 8th grade science teachers and students across the state in making their own microfossil discoveries. Prior to this, Dr. Jones served as the Coordinator for a National Science Foundation research project (“Establishing Norms of Data Ethics in Citizen Science”) with Dr. Caren Cooper (PI at NCSU) and Dr. Lisa Rasmussen (Co-PI at UNCC) and in collaboration with the Citizen Science Association. She has a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from University College London, a MA in History in Philosophy of Science from Florida State University, and a BA in History and BA in Philosophy from North Carolina State University.  She is also the author of Ancient DNA: The Making of a Celebrity Science, published by Yale University Press in 2022.

Franklin Joyce

Lead Creator, Rebel Science

For more than a decade, Franklin Joyce and his team at Electricbaby have built engaging software for notable non-profits. Recognizing that organizations and their partner networks have large audiences of supporters (or beneficiaries) that would be ideal citizen scientists, they built Rebel Science. Rebel Science is a platform for organizations to leverage their spheres of influence to collect data that furthers their mission.

Franklin Joyce is a technologist experienced working internationally as scientist, artist and activist. He has received notable grants and funding from Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, Art Matters, Siggraph and the International Academy of Arts & Sciences. Franklin also leads Public House, a startup making notable progress improving the online tools for affordable housing.

Stella Kafka

Executive Director, American Meteorological Society

Prior to being name the new Executive Director of the American Meteorological Society (as of 2022), Stella Kafka served as the executive director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), a non- profit worldwide scientific and educational organization of amateur and professional astronomers.

Kafka obtained her B.S. degree in physics at the University of Athens, Greece, and a master’s and Ph.D. in astronomy, with a double minor in physics and geophysical sciences from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. There she received the Hollis and Grete Johnson Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Research. After completing her Ph.D., Stella held a series of prestigious postdoctoral positions and fellowships, first at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, where she received the National Optical Astronomy Observatory Excellence Award, then at IPAC/Caltech, and finally as a NASA Astrobiology Institute Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. She also serves as a Co-Chair of CSA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group.

Stella enjoys interacting with people of every age and background and has honed her communication skills through mentoring students, classroom teaching, and lectures to professional and public audiences. And then, like all good communicators, she knows when to stop and listen.

David Lang

Executive Director, Experiment Foundation

David Lang is an entrepreneur and writer. He is the Executive Director of the Experiment Foundation and the host of the Science Better podcast. Prior to that, he co-founded Sofar Ocean Technologies, OpenROV, as well as Open Explorer, which was acquired by National Geographic. He is the author of Zero to Maker. His work has been covered by the New York Times, WIRED, and Outside Magazine. He is Senior TED Fellow and his TED talks on ocean technology and conservation have received millions of views.

Hannah Love

Co-Founder, Divergent Science LLC

Dr. Hannah Love is a team scientist and professional facilitator. She works full-time doing team science consulting and science facilitation with Divergent Science LLC. Hannah has a MS in students affairs in higher education, a MA in sociology, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Colorado State University. Her primary research interest is investigating the processes teams use to create new knowledge. Her background includes work in higher education administration, student affairs in higher education, water conflict facilitation, and non-profit fundraising. Hannah has been facilitating since 2010 in higher education, water conflicts, and science facilitation. Since 2015 she has been using her skills in higher education to design team science trainings, retreats, and workshops for scientific teams.

Austin Mast

Professor, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University

Austin Mast earned his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000 and completed a post-doc at the University of Zurich’s Institute for Systematic Botany before joining Florida State University’s Department of Biological Science in 2003.  His research involves topics within the broadly defined area of biodiversity study. He is particularly interested in (1) the interplay of ecology and evolution that determines the form and function of plant life on Earth, (2) the use of biodiversity research specimens and digital information about them to bring that interplay into sharper focus, and (3) public engagement in the research to further science, STEM literacy, and other goals.  Austin serves as Director of FSU’s Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium, Director of FSU’s Institute for Digital Information and Scientific Communication, and Director of iDigBio’s Digitization, Workforce Development, and Citizen Science Domain.  He co-teaches a twice annual strategic planning course for biodiversity collections and serves as Board Chair of the Worldwide Engagement for Digitizing Biocollections (WeDigBio) Project.

Martin Mendoza

Director of Health Equity for the All of Us Research Program

Martin Mendoza, Ph.D., serves as the Director of Health Equity for the All of Us Research Program. In this role, he provides leadership and high-level expertise to improve inclusion and equity in precision medicine and address health equity issues for the program.

Before joining All of Us, Martin served as Director of the Division of Policy and Data at the Office of Minority Health in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, charged with developing health policies and initiatives to eliminate health disparities and advance health equity. Previously, he led extramural research for minority health in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is a recognized expert in clinical trial diversity and while at FDA testified before Congress in support of diverse clinical research inclusion. Martin is also the primary author of the pivotal FDA guidance document Collection of Race and Ethnicity Data in Clinical Trials.

Prior to FDA, Martin served in the Division of Clinical Research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He conducted his primary research training in the National Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Oncology Branch and served at the National Human Genome Research Institute, where he helped to map chromosome 7 as part of the Human Genome Project.

Martin is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and received his Ph.D. in cancer biology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Miguel Ordeñana

Senior Manager, Community Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Miguel Ordeñana is an environmental educator and wildlife biologist. He works at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County as a Senior Manager in the Community Science office. As a community science senior manager, Miguel promotes and creates community science projects, and recruits and trains participants. Miguel utilizes his mammal research background by conducting urban mammal research in L.A. and leads NHMLAC’s Southern California Squirrel Survey and Backyard Bat Survey. Miguel serves as an advisor on a jaguar project in southwestern Nicaragua that he initiated in 2012 as well as a Board Member for the Friends of Griffith Park and National Wildlife Federation. Miguel is dedicated towards making science and access to nature more equitable with a goal of increasing the representation and retention of underrepresented communities within the environmental field. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California, and a M.S. in Ecology from the University of California Davis.

Maia Payne

Masters of Science student in Environmental Sciences/Geospatial Sciences, Tennessee State University

Maia M. Payne is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Geospatial Sciences at Tennessee State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Her many research interests include climate change, environmental justice, food security, and geospatial analyses for risk assessment and mitigation. Maia enjoys having a multidisciplinary approach to her research endeavors. She is currently working on a trans-boundary research project which focuses on the use of black-eyed peas for food and nutritional security while utilizing geospatial techniques. Maia is a research assistant working in both biotechnology and GIS labs. She also serves as an HBCU student advisor with the Citizen Science Association in the development of a new Community Science Fellowship Program for students at HBCUs.

Kathryn Semmens

Science Director, Nurture Nature Center

Kathryn Semmens is the Science Director of the Nurture Nature Center located in Easton, Pennsylvania. Kathryn’s interests focus on the nexus of science, art, and community. Kathryn helps advance Nurture Nature Center’s science, education, community, and outreach efforts on scientific and environmental issues generally, with a special emphasis on floods, social science research about risk communication, climate change and resiliency, community science, and the integration of science and art.  She leads NNC’s climate action efforts including facilitating local cities’ development and implementation of climate action plans, greenhouse gas inventories, and vulnerability assessments. She is the Art and Science track lead for the American Geophysical Union’s Science and Society Section and serves as an Editor for AGU’s Community Science journal.  Kathryn is also an AGU Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellow and worked with the City of Takoma Park on stormwater modeling under climate projections. She completed a Ph.D. in environmental and earth sciences from Lehigh University, a master’s degree in marine policy from the University of Delaware, a bachelor of science in environmental studies from Ursinus College and worked as a postdoctoral associate at the USDA Agricultural Research Service. 

Karen Soacha

Researcher, Institute of Marine Sciences – CSIC

Karen Soacha is a researcher of the Codesigned Citizen Observatories Services for the European Open Science Cloud (Cos4Cloud) project of the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona. Currently, she is pursuing the Doctor of Information and Knowledge Society of the Open University of Catalonia, her research focuses on knowledge management in citizen observatories. She is interested in the connection between knowledge management, citizen science, governance, and nature. She’s been working with environmental organizations for over 15 years, the last years focused on the management of data and information networks, especially with biodiversity open data in Colombia. She is part of the management group of the Iberoamerican Network for Participatory Science (RICAP).

Elena Sparrow

Research Professor and Education Outreach Director, The International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dr. Elena B. Sparrow is a Research Professor and Education Outreach Director at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and an expert in teaching and learning, pedagogy and education, professional development, and soil microbiology. She is also the founder and director of the Alaska GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) program. GLOBE is an international science and education program as well as a citizen/community science program that provides students and the public worldwide the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and/or conduct their own investigations as well as contribute to our understanding of the Earth system and the global environment.  She has led a program braiding Indigenous knowledge and GLOBE in teacher professional development that has become an exemplary practice for teaching and doing science in rural Alaska (Gordon, Stephens, and Sparrow 2005). She is co-lead on two other citizen science projects, Winterberry and Community Eyes on River Ice. She leads a  NASA Science Activation project Arctic and Earth SIGNs (STEM Integration of GLOBE and NASA) that explores the impacts and feedbacks of a warming Arctic. The project engages educators, youth leaders, youth, and community members in weaving multiple knowledge systems, STEM learning and teaching, observing climate change impacts from: Elders, satellites, and on-the-ground observations using GLOBE, and, in addressing a community climate change issue. She appreciates and honors the collaborative work with the Association of Interior Native Educators, Native Elders, other scientists, educators and community members.

Sarah Strauss

Professor, Integrative & Global Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Over her academic and professional career, Sarah Strauss has pursued work including biomedical research, comparative religion, and medical anthropology. She obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health to learn more about health-related aspects of human interaction with the environment, and later a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. Her dissertation focused on aspects of culture change through transnational flows of ideas, products, and practices related to yoga in India and around the world. One of Dr. Strauss’s ongoing research goals is to understand how different cultures define what it means to be healthy and to live a “good life.” Strauss has further developed her interests towards a focus on climate change and sustainability issues, expanding her study of perception and behavior related to understandings of environmental hazards and risks. She has co-authored numerous books, including Cultures of Energy (2013), has been a Fulbright Fellow, served on the American Anthropolgical Association’s Task Force on Global Climate Change, and served as an interdisciplinary fellow in environmental humanities at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. She joined the Global School at WPI in 2019, where she has begun a new project on climate change and the built environment with colleagues in civil engineering, business, and political science, and is working to develop academic degree programs on climate change.

Jalonne White-Newsome

CEO/Founder, Empowering A Green Environment and Economy, LLC, headquartered in Southeastern Michigan

A life-long learner and advocate, Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome founded Empowering a Green Environment and Economy, LLC, a strategic consulting firm, with the mission of transforming communities through the development of people-centered solutions.  She serves a diverse set of clients with forward-thinking and intersectional approaches to tackle issues such as climate change, public health, environmental injustice, and advancing racial equity.  Jalonne’s has multi-sector experience having worked in environmental philanthropy, state government, non-profit, grassroots, academia and private industry.  Most notably, she created and implemented the transformational Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) Initiative at the Kresge Foundation as a Senior Program Officer; she was the first Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s federal policy office in Washington, DC;  and, her doctoral research illuminated the impact of climate change & extreme heat on the low-income, elderly in Detroit, and is still referenced to drive public health interventions.  A native of Detroit, Jalonne earned a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Southern Methodist University, a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University, and her certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.  She also was the first Post-doctoral Kendall Fellow in Climate Change and Health for the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Jalonne serves on multiple national and local academic, non-profit and for-profit Boards, a writer, and sought after speaker nationally and internationally.  She has been recognized by Grist magazine, Michigan League of Conservation Voters and the Environmental Protection Agency for her work in the environmental justice, advocacy and health fields.  She was recently recognized as one of Crain’s Detroit Business Most Notable Leaders in Sustainability for 2022.  Dr. Jalonne is also an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the proud mom of Arielle and Jeannelyn.