Reaching Beyond Academia

I have been fortunate to initiate, and participate in, excellent outreach projects related to my research. I feel that these opportunities to reach people outside of my field and outside academia are incredibly important. Research should be fun! Seeing the excitement I feel about my work reflected by people outside of academia is a great feeling.


My outreach has included national programs such as the National Science Foundation GK12 Fellowship that strives to connect K-12 students with active scientists. I have also been an active writer on ecology topics for a nationally known journal group, advised a team creating a "first-person salmon" video game, engaged the public directly through crowdfunding initiatives, and presented to K-12 students and fishing clubs. 

Outreach Projects


Crowdfunding outreach effort, “Could teeth and scale chemistry reveal threatened Amazonian mega-fish movements?

Crowdsourcing provides an incredible opportunity to engage directly with the general public. Through social media, video, email, and web you can reach people who are interested in your work. By donating funds, individuals can invest directly in science they care about and follow it from initial funding to the publishing of results. 

  • Reached 101% of funding goal (67 backers, $77 average pledge, raised $5,171)

  • Funded initial sample analysis for Fulbright post-doctoral grant studying sawfish and tarpon research

  • Dual lingual Portuguese/English site drove 3,010 total website visits 


Crowdfunding outreach effort, “Big Fish a Long Way from Home: Using ear bones and teeth to unravel migration in Amazonian fish.

  • Reached 214% of funding goal (163 backers, $35 average pledge, raised $5,664)

  • Wrote four-part blog series (2, 3, 4) on successful scientific crowdfunding

  • Visit the crowdfunding page 

  • Funded travel to Brazil (Feb. 2017) to present results at a national meeting in Brazil, and meet collaborators at universities in Pará and Maranhão states.

2015 – 2017

Editor, PLOS Ecology Community Blog. Public Library of Science (PLOS)

  • Editor and blogger for PLOS Ecology Community blog

  • Interviews with leading ecologists, coverage of national conferences and new publications

2014 – 2015

Salmon Ecology and Biology Advisor, Salmon Sim Video Game Project, Virtual Technology and Design Program, University of Idaho

2010 – 2011

National Science Foundation GK12 Classroom Teaching Fellowship, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho & Garfield-Palouse High School, Palouse, WA

  • Program provided intensive training in teaching, outreach, and interacting with the media

  • Developed and taught entire curriculum for a class, Wildlife Management (grade 11-12)

  • Lead teacher curriculum development for high school Physical Science (grade 9)

Public Presentations

November 11, 2009

“Resolving life history strategies & out-migration timing” Invited Speaker & Scholarship Recipient. Clearwater Flycasters Club, Moscow, Idaho. 

May 18, 2010

“Migration, ear stones, and isotopes:  Reconstructing migration strategies in juvenile salmon” Guest Speaker. 11th Grade Biology Class, Garfield-Palouse High School, Palouse, Washington. 

May 12, 2011

“What I do as a scientist” Guest Speaker. 9th Grade Physical Science Class, Garfield-Palouse High School, Palouse, Washington.

April 14, 2016

“What’s the deal with salmon?” Guest Presentation. 4th and 5th Grade Classes, Garfield-Palouse Elementary School, Palouse, WA.

November 9, 2016

“Goliath Catfish: What the history of Snake River salmon tells us about conservation of the Amazon’s largest predators and the longest freshwater migration on earth” Invited Speaker. Clearwater Flycasters Club, Moscow, ID.

February 2, 2020

"Skype a Scientist: What I do as a fish ecologist” Booth Free School 5th Grade Class, Roxbury, CT.