“I am looking for the face I had, before the world was made.”
― W.B. Yeats
This portfolio is filled with a variety of tiny treasures and intriguing captured moments of time. From writing and teaching my own classes, gazing up at the starry cosmos above us, to photographing my way through field expeditions, this is my way of sharing my world with those around me.
It is nearly the end of National Teacher’s Month (the month of May), which also concludes so many other fantastic things! Now that after school program sessions have passed, my afternoons and general planning time is more freed up to plan for the summer student docent training program I direct: Franklin’s Guides! This will be my second summer directing this program, with eight returning students, well over a dozen more new students, we have so many exciting Insect themed projects we’ll be working on!
This is the time of year where I find myself with, well, more time! I look forward to continuing snapping all of the budding flora and fauna over the next coming weeks. I’ll also be planning for the 2017 Solar Eclipse Viewing event I’ll be hosting at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium. With Vermont in 51% of totality, we’re bound to have some spectacular sights given all the solar eclipse viewing models we’ll be making over the summer.
January 2017 – May 2017
With the new year, and the Fairbanks Museum theme changing from Ocean Life to Insect Life, I created two new classes based on insect mythology and spiders, respectively. Ancient Insects focuses on four different mythological stories, coinciding with four different insects and their scientific information. The Spider Enigma highlights all of the good aspects spiders bring, as well as creatures of all manifest, especially us, have utilized spider silk in so many ways.
This winter and spring semester after school enrichments will feature Insect Life, and are more oriented towards art projects. From butterflies, to crickets, honey bees, caterpillars, ladybugs and so much more, there is so much to learn and then create with after school.
Designing the astrophotographic panels for the Northeastern Skies Observatory Capturing Starlight exhibit has been one of the greatest projects I’ve gotten to work on. Over a dozen individual students from three different school organizations had astrophotographs chosen to be displayed, from start to finish, it was truly a momentous boost in my career to collaborate with so many wonderful minds to bring this gallery together.
Leaving no door unchecked, and also due in part to having become more comfortable and confident, I’ve taken on more planetarium showtime slots to perform more live shows. I’ve created a new show, All Aboard The ISS!, based on the Expedition Crews within the space station, highlighting the life science conducted on board, as well as showcase videos of views of Earth from the ISS. Taking on more planetarium showtime slots enabled me to lengthen my current live show, Where Stars Are Born, from half an hour to a full hour, giving me more time to talk about constellation mythology and display more videos of nebulas I didn’t have time for previously.
I look forward to continuing to teach, design, travel, educate, facilitate, volunteer, and wear all the hats I wear in general, in the new year. Summer is around the corner, so stay tuned!
May 2016 – December 2016
In May, I began my position as Science Educator at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium after becoming a member of the Lyndon Economic AmeriCorps Program.
At the start of my first term of service, a quarter time term, I taught just a few classes before the spring semester ended based on Vermont’s history and proceeded to direct the Franklin’s Guides program (a student docent training program). As an eight week summer program, we focused on astronomy and natural science tour presentations and art projects, while also getting together on Fridays for fun, summer field trips.
Upon completion of my first term of service, and as the new fall semester started in September, I began my second term of AmeriCorps service, my first full time term.
I continued to teach classes but also wrote and taught my own about Vermont Inventors & Ancestry. Being a part of the Education Department also means venturing out to various beautiful Northeast Kingdom properties with large student groups to explore seasonal changes, habitats, and identify flora and fauna.
With the start of the fall season, I produced and performed my live planetarium show, Where Stars Are Born, based on nebulas, star formations, light years, constellation identification, and northeastern evening sky events.
Providing one hour enrichments to after school programs at their school locations is also part of my term of service, and in doing so I provided the Ocean Life enrichment to three different schools throughout the fall semester. We focused on hands-on art and science projects, ocean themed story telling, and animal themed movement activities. Utilizing taxidermy specimens provided by the Fairbanks Museum, students were able to experience rare, historical ocean artifacts such as scrimshaw on a whale’s tooth and the endangered Hawksbill Turtle in person.
Through all the months I also helped arrange and host events like birthday parties, weddings, training conferences, and Fairbanks Museum special events like the William Eddy Lecture Series. Occasionally I would also substitute in the Balch Nature Preschool. And throughout all of this, it was my pleasure to manage and produce content for the Museum’s front lobby kiosk as well as participate in other design projects, such as the upcoming Northeastern Skies Observatory exhibit: Capturing Starlight.
Lastly, although never finally, I photographed many of my journeys, observations, and interests along the way, better documenting my achievements and the paths I’ve taken through the doors that have opened up to me.
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