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Conference Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Shaundra (Shani) Daily
We Got Next 

Expanding Opportunities for Science Participation
Saturday, 5:00 PM

Fellows Speaker: Dr. Beau Lotto
Science Education as a Route to Learning Adaptability

Sunday, 5:00 PM


Dr. Shaundra B. Daily is an Associate Professor of Practice at Duke University.

"In addition to holding the key to solving many of our most pressing challenges, it is no secret that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics touch nearly every facet of modern life. As a result, society can no longer afford for these fields to be disciplines for a chosen few. It is imperative that we are able to be inclusive of a broad range of students. Recent evolution of science standards provides an opportunity to not only capture many different students’ interest in these fields, but also situate necessary foundational knowledge within the lives of youth and their communities." 
For the past fifteen years, Dr. Daily has been part of a number of efforts to broaden participation in these fields. In these experiences, she has observed that expanding pathways through non-traditional contexts such as dance, emotion, and community involvement can increase opportunities for capturing student interests. For this talk, she will share projects that changed her perception of and engagement with STEM fields as well as opportunities she has created or been a part of to extend student interests.
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Dr. Beau Lotto is a globally renowned neuroscientist whose studies in human perception have taken him well beyond the scientific domain and into the fields of education, the arts and business.

"Success in most science educational systems is measured by the ability to memorize ‘facts’. This is because education is in the service of society and businesses, which emphasizes efficiency over creativity. As a result, we focus on answers not questions through a competitive – not collaborative – environment. But science is not defined by its methodology. At the heart of good science is a way of being that celebrates questions, not answers. Which is why to succeed in nature requires being adaptable to change (to innovate). A necessary corollary of this view is that we need to teach not what to see, but how to look? Using the neuroscience of perception, we will explore this new way of thinking about science as a ‘way of being’. Born out of our research on perception, we will discuss a framework for a learning that is based on openness to uncertainty that influences not just the way schools educate, but even the very architecture and design of schools."  (...Read More)



Invited Speaker: Dr. Heidi Krestser
Cats, Bats, Birds and Words:
Integrating Science to Manage Wildlife in New York State’s Backyard
Saturday 1:45 P.M. - 2:45 P.M. (C-19)

Invited Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Garlick
Creating Classrooms That Instill Wonder About Science, Society and Each Other
Sunday, 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. (F-19)


Dr. Heidi Kretser is the Deputy Director, Conservation and Communities for the Wildlife Conservation Society and serves as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Cornell University Center for Conservation Social Science

"Conservation and wildlife management face challenges that require interdisciplinary thinking, team work, and clear communication. In the public-private mosaic of New York State’s Adirondack Park, humans and wildlife have to coexist. Whether it is an intermittent visitor like a mountain lion, cave-hibernating bats on the brink of extinction, or neo-tropical migrant birds in forested backyards, understanding how people think about and interact with wildlife can help managers make decisions important for species survival. Examples of research on these topics demonstrate how integrating science into management actions involves knowing what questions to ask, how to ask the questions, how to communicate the findings and who needs to know. How might we better prepare students to master the skills of scientific inquiry but also be prepared for communicating science? Conservation practitioners can offer insight on how projects emerge and how research design and outcomes can influence decision-makers and result in real-world impacts." 
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Dr. Jonathan Garlick is a professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and Tufts School of Medicine, School of Engineering and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

"Every day, our students encounter questions about the natural world and depend on an understanding of science to make personal and collective choices. To address this human need, Civic Science informs how science practice and knowledge can serve as tools of empowerment for both STEM and civic learning. This presentation will discuss new, evidence-based Civic Science teaching approaches that cultivate student understanding that science-based information can instruct civic knowledge and action. Participants will learn novel methods and pedagogies to teach cross-cutting concepts that connect engineering, technology, and applications of science to contemporary issues in our society and lives. By teaching students that science is accessible, personal, relevant and indispensable for productive civic lives; we can inspire a sense of wonder in our students not only in STEM sciences, but in each other, as well."  Dr. Garlick instills some wonder in this fun rap he does to teach about stem cells: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDxarY8P3g    (...Read More)

Invited Speaker: Dr. Lee Murray
Climate Change and Air Quality
Sunday, 1:45 P.M. - 2:45 P.M. (G-19)

Invited Speaker: Dr. Omer Gokcumen
Genomics Ghosts of Our Ancestors
Monday 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. ((J-19)

Dr. Lee Murray has a position as an Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester

"Atmospheric chemistry has changed dramatically since the Preindustrial Era due to human activity. In turn, climate change has influenced atmospheric composition through perturbations of natural processes, leading to complex feedback across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Key questions remain as to how climate change will influence future air quality, and how addressing future air quality concerns may amplify or mitigate further climate change. Here, I present research exploring this interface between air quality chemistry and climate in the past, present and future. The first project explores how lightning flashes strongly influence atmospheric composition and climate, and in turn may be influenced by air quality and climate change. The second topic introduces a pilot greenhouse-gas monitoring network and modeling framework for methane, the most abundant chemically-reactive greenhouse gas, which is presently being developed to aid New York State in assessing and meeting its greenhouse-gas reduction goals." (...Read More)



Dr. Omer Gokcumen is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University at Buffalo. The research in his laboratory focuses on the evolutionary impact of gene duplications and deletions on human and primate genomes.

"Recent advances in genomic technologies allowed us to take glimpses into our ancestors from hundreds of thousands of years ago. To our surprise, we discovered that all of us share genetic pieces from our evolutionary cousins (e.g., Neanderthals) who lived with our ancestors’ side-by-side before dying out. These pieces may hold clues to modern human variation and shed light on the amazingly diverse world of our ancestors."  (...Read More)

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