As a first-generation student from a rural community, I am motivated to make science tangible for everyone. I hope to inspire people to trust science and search-out peer-reviewed articles because of problems like misconstrued information in the media. My research is controversial because of its ties to climate change, but I am excited because this challenges me to communicate my work so that everyone understands its importance. This also allows me to destigmatize scientists as being pretentious and out-of-touch. I am also excited about communicating my work with the public because it allows me to motivate our youth to pursue careers in STEM fields. So far I have formally worked on my science communication skills with experts at the Natural History Museum of Utah and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (see below), and I have informally practiced science communication at events in and around the Salt Lake area.
Natural History Museum of Utah
In 2018 I completed a fellowship at the Natural History Museum of Utah in which I worked with my peers and instructors to learn the fundamentals of science communication. We completed workshops, one-on-one meetings, developed public outreach events, and gave public talks.
National Museum of Natural History
Over the summer of 2019 I was a fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. While I was there I was grateful to work with a science outreach coordinator and designed two demonstrations: one in the middle of the museum and the other a participant-lead demonstration in the museum’s outreach center called Q?rius. In the picture above, undergraduate student Helen Sears and I are teaching visitors about magnetotactic bacteria and magnetofossils.
Made in Madison (page 7)
Please feel free
to reach out!
Courtney Wagner, Ph.D.
Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow
Smithsonian Institution, NMNH