Education & Outreach

Educational philosophy

I believe that stewardship of our human and non-human community is life-affirming. I strive to know my local community more deeply so that I can become a more effective steward, and I work to help others do the same. In particular, I promote thoughtfulness and respect toward all species. This work is grounded in the ecosystems of New England and Panama, but I hope to cultivate a perspective with global relevance.

Let's Botanize

Fellow graduate student Jacob Suissa and I created the social media-based science communication project Let's Botanize to spread plant appreciation. Through our Instagram (@letsbotanize), we share videos and photos to spark curiosity, share scientific content, and highlight the enormous diversity of the botanical world. While we co-write all of the content, Jacob hosts the videos which I film and edit.

Mamoní Valley Preserve Natural History Project team, 2020(photo: Anna Gili)

Conservation in Panama

I have worked with the Panama-based conservation and education nonprofit Geoversity since participating in its first meeting in 2016. My primary work has been founding and running the Mamoní Valley Preserve Natural History Project, an ongoing research and education initiative documenting biodiversity in their Mamoní Valley Preserve in central Panama. This entirely student-organized initiative provides hands-on fieldwork experiences for early-career biologists from the US and Panama, while conducting detailed biodiversity surveys and producing educational materials for the preserve. We have documented hundreds of species and produced waterproof field guides and reference books sharing what we've learned. I have also been the primary fundraiser for this work, securing a grant from the Harvard University Herbaria, as well as generous private donations from supporters of the preserve to fund these expeditions. I've presented on this work at Geoversity symposia in Panama and the US.

In addition to the Natural History Project, I have served as the naturalist on two of Geoversity's Trans-Continental expeditions. And I am currently developing the ecology curriculum for Geoversity's field-based gap year program.

Native plants at Harvard

Along with fellow graduate students, Cody McCoy, Sam Church, and Jacob Suissa, I applied for and received a grant from the Harvard Office for Sustainability to increase the number of plants native to New England found on Harvard’s campus. We aimed to help develop biodiverse, ecologically rich green spaces on Harvard’s campus, not only to improve the campus’s environmental footprint, but also to increase awareness of the unique flora of New England and the ecological importance of plants in general. In collaboration with campus design and landscape services, we added native plants to four sites on campus, wrote signage to accompany plants at one site, and contributed to Harvard Museums online Earth Day event in 2020.

Graphic created for Harvard Museums online Earth Day, 2020
Harvard Conservation Book Club meeting, 2019

Harvard Conservation Book Club

I co-founded and organized Harvard Conservation Book Club, a forum for undergraduate and graduate students at Harvard to read and discuss conservation-related literature from both academic journals and the popular press. We have engaged with a wide range of topics, from land protection, to environmental equity, to conservation communication strategies. You can find our bibliography here.