1) Which of your current endeavors are you most passionate about?
Efforts are underway to engage students, teachers, and NCAR scientists and educators at two STEM-focused K-8 schools using Internet2 and interactive video conferencing across a series of programs. We’re also working with the Sand Creek Regional Greenway NextGen project, which links three Denver area communities via an urban trail that extends more than 50 miles. The program exists to provide local at-risk students with an opportunity to get to know and experience nature. NCAR scientists and educators will connect with NextGen students via Internet2 and IVC on an ongoing bases. Students will also draw connections between their work and the research of scientists at NCAR. I’m passionate about both of these efforts, but I’m also excited to see Internet2 K20 opportunities taking root as a means of engagement of learners in upcoming science field campaigns and in other programs to engage students in authentic science experiences. When we talk programming now, Internet2 is consistently part of the discussion.
2) Who inspires you these days?
In August 2012, Internet2 K20 hosted their summer retreat in Boulder and met with NCAR staff during one day of the retreat. Talk about inspiration! Few things are more inspiring than learning and listening to innovative, creative, and knowledgeable individuals speak about programs and projects that combine my greatest passions: engaging and effective education/communication; purposeful and innovative technology and programming; and the power of partnerships and collaborations. When I fear I’m running on a treadmill that’s consistently increasing in speed, I remember how fortunate I am to be learning, to be challenged, and to see a fraction of the possibilities that lie ahead.
3) Imagine a world unconstrained by bandwidth. How would it change what you do and the people you serve?
With a supercomputer at NCAR that reaches speeds over 1000 trillion floating point operations per second, unconstrained bandwidth would certainly be welcomed by researchers at NCAR and at our member universities. Perhaps we'll see high school populations working with weather and climate models, big data, and open source research in an unconstrained bandwidth world. I imagine a renewed focus on science in service to society, with society integral and engaged in the process – thus, mega citizen science opportunities. I see connections, I hear diverse voices and greater dialogue across cultures and across people with varied opinions and points of view. And I see the true possibility of individualized learning and an ever changing smorgasbord of opportunities to connect across schools, towns, states, nations, continents, careers, ages, cultures, beliefs.... when it matters most. Whatever I can imagine, I hope that ""what"" I do in support of education in such a world comes after answering ""why"" it should be done. For me, the ""whys"" provide the vision, while the ""whats"" provide the means to an end.
4) How would you describe what you do?
I'm a bit like a network that continually connects students, teachers, scientists and others to NCAR resources, education, and research. I'm an educator working diligently at my craft to engage students in authentic earth science experiences using 21st Century Skills. I'm a communicator and storyteller committed to increasing science literacy and an understanding of the nature of science through my words, writings, teaching, and multimedia, and I'm a manager committed to building an effective and well functioning team of individuals who do the same.