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Meet the Inaugural Cohort of LSEN Liaisons

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LSEN Liaison Greer Arthur.

Dr. Greer Arthur serves as Research Director for the North Carolina Collaboratory, which was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2016 and is headquartered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Here, she works with the Collaboratory team and strategic partners in public and private sectors to fulfill the organization’s mission of transforming academic research into practical information for use by State and local governments and the communities they serve.  

Greer joined the Collaboratory in 2022. Throughout her career, she has been committed to advancing research with the potential for tangible, real-world benefits through a variety of communication and program management roles both within and outside academia. Originally from the UK, Greer has an academic background in molecular biology and immunology, with a bachelor’s degree from Sheffield Hallam University and a doctoral degree from the University of Leicester.  

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LSEN Liaison Faith Bowman.

Faith M. Bowman is a doctoral candidate in the Summers-Holland Lab in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah. As a trainee in the Summers-Holland Lab, Faith investigates the transcription factor FOXN3 and its role in Heart Failure and Diabetes.

As a proud Indigenous scholar from the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation in Wisconsin, Faith is committed to increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging by serving as a bridge between BIPOC communities and the scientific research community.  Faith believes “that to bridge these worlds, exchanging ideas across institutional and cultural boundaries is critical and can be strengthened through collaboration, community building, and scientific literacy.”

Her commitment to the Utah community exemplifies her passion for community engagement in STEM. Faith has served as the president of the Utah SACNAS Chapter (2021 Chapter of the Year); as a mentor for the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), Cienetific Latino, and the Native American Internship (NARI) Program. Her commitment extends beyond local BIPOC youth interested in STEM to include National BIPOC youth and first-generation college students from minority backgrounds as she served as the Inaugural Youth Council Member for the National Council of Urban Indian Health, an organization devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally-competent health services for Native Americans living in urban settings.  Given her strong community engagement background, Faith is confident she can gain skills as a Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN) delegate to effectively help mobilize scientists to engage with their communities effectively to influence policy grounded in science.

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LSEN Liaison Natasha DeLeón-Rodríguez.

Dr. Natasha DeLeón-Rodríguez is an Assistant Professor at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus and Principal Investigator of the Microbial Ecology Lab she founded in the Spring of 2021. Her research studies natural ecosystems such as the atmosphere (rain, Saharan dust, air), and marine environments (such as biobays), among others. She teaches courses in the Microbiology Program at the bachelor's and master’s levels and is very committed to training minorities in microbial ecology.

Before her faculty position, she was a very successful STEM and Innovation Consultant, serving institutions and museums. She also worked as an Education Program Supervisor at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, evaluating different programs in the Community Mobilization Division with an impact on thousands of students Island-wide.

Natasha obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez (2008) and completed a PhD at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (2015), where she studied microbes in the atmosphere and their role in cloud formation. A field she is now pursuing as a PI.

Natasha is very committed to Community outreach activities. She has been an active member of the Board of directors in organizations such as AAAS Caribbean Division (2019-) and Casa Pueblo (2017-).

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LSEN Liaison Kate Dickerson.

Kate Dickerson is the Executive Director of the Maine Discovery Museum (MDM). MDM is critical in helping Mainers learn, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). With three floors of interactive exhibits and robust STEM programming within and outside the museum, MDM uses both paths introduce Mainers to the value and importance of discovery and exploration.

Prior to heading up MDM, Dickerson was the Founder and Director of the Maine Science Festival (MSF), the first and only science festival held north of Cambridge, MA. The MSF launched in 2015 and has grown into a five-day celebration of Maine science, held in Bangor, Maine, every March, with events and activities for all-ages. With the MSF, Dickerson built a hugely collaborative partnership of diverse organizations and companies throughout the state, culminating in an annual celebration of Maine science, technology, engineering, and innovation and other science events throughout the year.

Dickerson is also the Founder, Host, and Executive Producer of the Maine Science Podcast. Each episode is a conversation with a Mainer who is working in science, engineering, technology, and innovation, and deep-dive into who they are and what they do.

Prior to founding the Maine Science Festival, Dickerson worked in the energy and environmental field for more than 20 years. She has worked for industry, nonprofits, and educational institutions, and has expertise in the areas of environmental policy, pollution prevention, and environmental cleanup, with positions in Providence, Rhode Island; Seattle, WA; and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine focusing on policy work.

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LSEN Liaison Brooke Eastman.

Dr. Brooke Eastman is a science policy research fellow for the Bridge Initiative for Science & Technology Policy, Leadership, and Communications at West Virginia University. She is also continuing research in forest ecology and carbon management. Brooke applies her scientific expertise to important policy topics in the state of West Virginia, as well as leads Bridge’s science communication and outreach efforts. Her role at the Bridge Initiative spans a wide breadth of research synthesis, stakeholder engagement, and science communication. She is passionate about using science to inform policy, and to involve the community in research and decision-making processes that will equitably improve the health of the people and environment of West Virginia. More broadly, Brooke seeks to work at the intersections of science, community engagement, and policy to find equitable solutions to global change.

Brooke received her Ph.D. in Biology at West Virginia University, and a B.A. in Spanish and a B.S. in environmental science from Xavier University. Outside of work, Brooke spends a lot of time outdoors with her husband, toddler and dog, exploring the endless beauty of the Central Appalachian Mountains. She is also passionate about local food and cooking using seasonal ingredients. Brooke loves to travel to see new places and get to know new people, and she prefers to travel by bicycle because of the lower environmental impact and perfect pace to soak it all in!

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LSEN Liaison Douglas Rao.

Dr. Yuhan “Douglas” Rao is a research scientist with North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on leveraging data science and diverse environmental data to monitor global and regional surface temperature changes and their impact on ecosystems and society. His recent research focuses on using data science to fill the temperature data gaps caused by the uneven distribution of historical observation networks. While excited about the potential of data science for addressing social issues, he is interested in understanding how to ensure data science is used in environmental research ethically and responsibly.

Dr. Rao is actively engaged in national and international communities, including Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS). He currently serves as a steering committee member for the Future Earth Project – Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System.

Beyond his own research, he is passionate about open science, environmental justice, and community engagement. He developed his interest in community engagement through scientific communication and outreach activities during his time at University of Maryland. He continues to develop his own skills for community engagement and collaborate with partners including scientists from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information on climate and environmental conservation related topics.

Dr. Rao received his doctoral degree in Geographical Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2019. Before that, he received both his bachelor’s degree in statistics and master’s degree in cartography and remote sensing from Beijing Normal University.

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, he is excited to work with AAAS Local Science Engagement Network to develop a local network in the western North Carolina and surrounding areas and develop sustained public engagement activities on topics related to climate and environmental conservation.