2024-2025 Fellows

Christian in snow wearing a fluffy hooded jacket

Christian Andresen | Researcher Fellow
University of Wisconsin Madison | Madison, Wisconsin

Christian’s research focuses on earth system science applied to land-atmosphere carbon dynamics under the effects of climate change. This includes changes in surface hydrology, vegetation and geomorphology under climate change, interactions with biogeochemical processes and how these relationships influence higher-level environmental patterns and processes.

Kevin in front of a red plane

Kevin Arrigo | Researcher Fellow
Department of Earth System Science | Stanford, California

Kevin is a biological oceanographer who studies the microbial ecology of polar ecosystems to better understand their role in marine food webs, nutrient cycling, and productivity. His research focuses on photosynthetic organisms living in the sea ice and the ocean and how they are able to thrive in such extreme polar conditions. He is particularly interested in how climate-induced changes in polar environments are changing biological productivity and how this might impact marine ecosystems.

Heather Beasley outdoors

Heather Beasley | Educator Fellow
Miners Alley Performing Arts Center | Golden, Colorado

Heather Beasley is a writer, director, dramaturg, and teaching artist with a Ph.D. in theatre. She works as the Director of Education at Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden, CO, and the program director of BETC’s Writers Group. She teaches in the Professional Creative Writing and Arts and Cultural Leadership programs at the University of Denver. She is excited about creating an interdisciplinary STEAM collaboration that includes environmental education, playwriting, and performance.

close up of Madeline in nature

Madeline Blount | Artist Fellow
Brooklyn, NY

Madeline Avram Blount works as a technologist, researcher, and an artist. She explores creative interventions through work in code, digital media, performance, and social practice. Recent projects include co-founding a housing justice app, coding music from ant colony simulations in Panama, developing curricula for teaching ethics in scalable computation, and studying intersections between artistic improvisation and complexity science. An avid birder originally from Oregon, Madeline now brings her binoculars with her on the subway in Brooklyn, New York.

Lynn in front of green foliage

Lynn Brennan | Educator Fellow
The Putney School | Putney, Vermont

Lynn is a high school math teacher on a mission to make math more engaging by incorporating all the science that she can into her curricula. She believes math should be taught with warmth and humor, which has led her to various antics such as inventing a reality show to explain trigonometric integration and tasking students with modeling the path of a math textbook (hypothetically) being thrown into the campus pond. Lynn enjoys many forms of outdoor recreation with her husband and two kiddos and many forms of fiber arts, including sewing her own outdoor gear.

Seth in front of a gray background

Seth Campbell | Researcher Fellow
University of Maine | Orono, Maine

Seth is an Associate Professor focused on understanding the impacts of climate change on glaciers, ice sheets, permafrost, and ecosystems across Earth. He is also Co-Director for the Juneau Icefield Research Program, a thriving education and research non-profit that is focused on training the next generation of Polar scientists. Seth is particularly passionate about inspiring others to explore the incredible wild places and science of our planet and beyond.

Erika in snow

Erika DuRoss | Educator Fellow
Evergreen High School | Evergreen, CO

With 20 years of professional expertise in education and 8 years in ecology and wildlife conservation, Erika merges science with daily life, mentoring students through curiosity and collaboration. She’s often found exploring the mountains, deserts, and waterways, enjoying activities like rafting, backpacking, hiking, climbing, canyoneering, and skiing with her family. Erika enjoys creating art and values the similarities the process shares with science in terms of creativity, analysis, observation, and the need for patience and adaptability in execution.

T.J. in front of a gray background

T.J. Fudge | Researcher Fellow
University of Washington | Seattle, WA

T.J. is a research scientist focused on interpretations of past climate from ice sheets. He uses ice core records spanning seasons to glacial cycles. His current projects include selecting sites to drill ice cores in Antarctica, imaging and interpreting ice core stratigraphy with electricity, and modeling how ice floes and deforms.

Holli outdoors

Holli Grant | Educator Fellow
Lake Worth ISD | Lake Worth, Texas

Holli currently teaches Biology, AP Biology, and an adjunct Geoscience Course “Earth, Wind, and Fire” through the University of Texas in Austin. She also serves as the Science Team Lead and contributes to the Curriculum Writing committee on her campus. Committed to fostering a lifelong love for learning, she pioneers engaging materials and initiatives, including the campus’s first science club. Under her guidance, students have initiated a recycling program, volunteered to teach science at elementary schools, and installed hydroponics systems to support the culinary program. Holli’s multifaceted approach extends beyond the classroom, empowering students to explore, question, and embrace diverse ideas.

Keegan holding purple flowers

Keegan Heron | Educator Fellow
Riverside HS, Durham Public Schools | Durham, North Carolina

Keegan teaches Biology, Earth Science, and occasionally Chemistry in Durham Public Schools. He tries to incorporate as many hands-on activities as possible with his students, in an effort to get them engaged with the natural world around them. He has also taught middle school science in Quito, Ecuador, Headstart Preschool in Montana, and Environmental Education in Portland, Oregon. When not teaching, he loves to play music and spend time outdoors with his friends and family.

Mary Heskel outdoors

Mary Heskel | Researcher Fellow
Macalester College | Saint Paul, MN

Mary is a plant ecologist who examines how carbon moves through ecosystems, and how this is changing with rapid warming in the Arctic. While working with her students, she aims to connect ecology to environmental justice and climate change. She has worked in Arctic Alaska and will be traveling to Arctic Norway this summer for the first time!

Macall in front of snow

Macall Hock | Researcher Fellow
San Diego State University | San Diego, CA

Macall is focusing her doctoral work on examining the effects of a warming Arctic ecosystem on stream carbon cycling in northern Alaska. Her project aims to quantify carbon transport across the tundra from drainage streams and determine how various landscape types and permafrost states might influence or control carbon fluxes. In her career, she hopes to work bridging Arctic research with Arctic conservation.

Fatima on a bridge outdoors

Fatima Kamal | Educator Fellow
Pacific Science Center | Seattle, WA

Fatima enjoys weaving science and storytelling together to create interactive lessons that bring diverse topics like astronomy and wetland ecology to life. Working as an informal educator in science museums, she uses technology and hands-on activities to empower learners of all ages to explore and understand the world of STEAM. In her current role leading virtual and onsite programming at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA, she works to foster a sense of wonder, awareness, and stewardship and hopes that her passion for science communication inspires others to dive deeper into the topics sparking their curiosity.

Eric outdoors wearing a backpack

Eric Klein | Researcher Fellow
University of Alaska Anchorage | Anchorage, AK

Eric is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His hydroclimate research explores how water moves through the Earth and leaves different signals (some physical, others biological or chemical) that allow us to understand its distribution and impacts across multiple time periods, landscapes, and phase changes. He uses field instrumentation and stable water isotope ratios to understand the movement and relationship between modern hydroclimate variables, such as precipitation, glacier melt, and stream discharge. Much of Eric’s current research is in high northern latitude and Arctic environments.

Michael in a classroom

Mike Koskey | Researcher Fellow
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, Indigenous Studies Graduate Programs | Fairbanks, Alaska

Mike is a cultural researcher and teacher (anthropologist) who has worked with Indigenous people and their communities over the past 35 years, first in Belize, then in Saudi Arabia, later in Siberia, and now in Alaska. Mike’s research focuses on oral history, traditional knowledge, ethnohistory, culture change, decolonization, Indigenous food sovereignty and security, resource use and allocation, and Indigenous cosmology/mythology. Foremost, Mike is committed to the co-production of knowledge with locals, recognizing that informal knowledge is often overlooked.

Yoko in front of mountains

Yoko Kugo | Researcher Fellow
Center for Cross-Cultural Studies | University of Alaska Fairbanks

Yoko is a cultural anthropologist/ethnographer. Her research interests include oral history, Indigenous/traditional/local knowledge, ethnogeography, and Alaska Native languages, cultures, food lifeways, and history. Besides teaching and conducting research, Yoko enjoys learning about other cultures through languages, cooking locally harvested food, berry picking, walking, boat and four-wheeler rides, and basketry weaving.

Laura in front of a white wall

Laura Larocca | Researcher Fellow
Arizona State University | Tempe, Arizona

Laura is a climate scientist interested in past (Holocene) and contemporary climate change and its impact on Earth systems, with a particular emphasis on the Arctic cryosphere. Her work employs a variety of approaches including the use of sediment and other natural archives; historical and remotely sensed observational records; and geospatial tools and modeling to better understand how glaciers have, and will change in response to climate changes. She is also interested in climate science education and communication of polar research to broad audiences.

Amy in the snow in front of research equipment

Amy Lowitz | Researcher Fellow
University of Arizona | Tucson, AZ

Dr. Amy Lowitz is a scientist in the Astronomy Department at the University of Arizona. She works on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a global array of radio telescopes that work together to image and study supermassive black holes. Amy designs new hardware and systems to make EHT observing more efficient. She also oversees EHT observing at three of the EHT telescope sites: the South Pole Telescope, the Submillimeter Telescope, and the Kitt Peak 12m Telescope.

Kris in front of trees

Kris Liu | Educator Fellow
The Organization for Physics at Two-Year Colleges (OPTYCs), American Association of Physics Teachers | College Park, MD

During her doctoral work in experimental condensed matter physics, Kris caught the teaching bug. Much of her career has been spent teaching introductory college-level physics at a two-year college, where she engaged students in a studio classroom. She now is the Director at The Organization of Physics at Two-Year Colleges and spends most of her time running professional development for two-year college and high school physics teachers. She is actively working to reinvigorate physics curriculum and hopes to use polar science as a way to do this.

Merlin pretending to lick containers

Merlin Mah | Researcher Fellow
University of Minnesota | Minneapolis, MN

Merlin is an incurable tinkerer who hasn’t yet met a research topic he disliked, which means he’s in a happy place as a postdoctoral researcher in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His cryosphere work centers on designing and building new instruments—in collaboration with glaciologists, geologists, biologists, atmospheric scientists, and others—to better retrieve, measure, and analyze glacier ice and the paleoclimate indicators it holds. These devices have of late begun to incorporate high-power infrared lasers, giving Merlin hope that he will soon be promoted to Mad Scientist.

Monica in front of a white brick wall

Monica Maynard | Educator Fellow
Montebello Unified School District | Montebello, CA

Monica is Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) overseeing the Science Programs for Montebello Unified School District. She leads a team of educators in developing and implementing Environmental Literacy content as it relates to climate change aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs). She also currently teaches the Natural Disasters course at Cal State Los Angeles.

Amanda in a classroom

Amanda McBride | Educator Fellow
Linus Pauling Middle School | Corvallis, OR

Amanda’s career in STEM began with outdoor education in the mountains of Big Bear, CA and on the beaches of Catalina Island. Her experiences took her south to Costa Rica where she taught middle school science. Amanda has since co-designed the middle school STEM curriculum for the Corvallis School District and continues to teach it today. She actively encourages her students to try new things and expand their scope by integrating real-world teachings into her lessons. Amanda lives with her family in Corvallis, OR where she is a board member of the Ten Rivers Food Web as well as an active member of her community.

Meghan in front of bright purple flowers

Meghan Nealon | Educator Fellow
GrowingGreat | Los Angeles, CA

Meghan is the STEM Program Director for garden and nutrition education nonprofit where she develops and leads middle and high school programs. In her outdoor classroom, students are empowered to explore the intersection of horticulture, environmental justice and food justice through hands-on STEM activities. Outside the classroom, Meghan is a representative with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s “Farm to School” Working Group and Co-Leads the School Garden Support Organization (SGSO)’s Middle/High School Peer Learning Community. She is passionate about promoting educational equity and Citizen Science opportunities for youth leaders.

Steven Neshyba in front of a gray background

Steven Neshyba | Educator Fellow
University of Puget Sound | Tacoma, WA

As a teacher, Steven is interested in the potential of active learning as enhanced by modern bona fide computational tools — like electronic structure software (e.g. Spartan) that allow one to probe molecular properties, or the use of reanalysis software (e.g. Earth.nullschool.net) that allow one to visualize synoptic weather systems. As a researcher, a lot of his work focuses on ice in the climate system: from its molecular properties, to growing cirrus-like ice crystals in a scanning electron microscope, to modeling that growth with partial differential equations, and to how clouds and snow interact with sunlight. He is further interested in how those interactions are shifting in response to a changing climate.

Laurie in front of a tiled wall

Laurie Orth | Educator Fellow
Jessye Norman School of the Arts | Augusta, GA

Music and STEAM educator Laurie Orth is passionate about creating a pathway for young people into STEAM through music and space exploration. She has worked with the Lift Off Institute for STEM educators at UT Austin’ s Center for Space Research and NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Laurie published her first book, Rocket Recorder: Volume One, an innovative music workbook for recorder students that introduces space exploration and rockets. Laurie is excited to continue to grow her STEAM outreach through the Polar STEAM program.

Joe outside

Joe Perry | Educator Fellow
Palmyra - Macedon High School | Palmyra, NY

Joseph teaches Regents and dual credit courses in Earth and Space Sciences at Palmyra Macedon High School in upstate New York. He is also an educational specialist for test development and serves as a regional mentor teacher. He strongly believes in integrating outdoor field experiences with his learners and works to create an inclusive environment for all students regardless of their ability. He brings experience in curriculum design and collaboration from past fellowships that will serve him well during his Polar STEAM collaboration.

Close up of Jeannette's face wearing glasses

Jeanette Pirlo | Educator Fellow
CSU Stanislaus | Turlock, CA

Jeanette is an Assistant Professor of Evolutionary Biology teaching undergraduate and graduate courses including General Vertebrate Zoology, Evolution, Biogeography, and Scientific Writing, Communications, & Broader Impacts at CSU Stanislaus. She is a vertebrate paleontologist interested in reconstructing ecosystems using geochemistry, while also investigating the development of science identity in individuals from historically excluded identities through mindful mentoring. Jeanette plans to incorporate the lessons learned through Polar STEAM in the classroom, using real-world examples to encourage students to pursue research in mitigating climate change.

Filippo in front of cliffside stairs

Filippo Posta | Educator Fellow
Phoenix College | Phoenix, AZ

Filippo is an Applied Mathematician who strives to create connections for his students between Mathematics and their ambitions. Filippo facilitates learning by taking advantage of Open Educational Resources (OER) and technology so that students have a modern and accessible scaffold to build their learning. He often develops data-driven assignments that incorporate student passion and ideas. He has established a student research group in Mathematical Modeling and Analytics where he encourages students to present at national conferences and publish in undergraduate journals.

Kiley in front of a cliffside

Kiley Preheim | Educator Fellow
Chisholm Middle School (USD 373) | Newton, Kansas

Kiley is a 7th grade science teacher in south-central Kansas. She is the co-head coach of Newton Science Olympiad, an organization of 30 students from diverse backgrounds involved in high-level competitions that span the scientific disciplines. She is also involved in curriculum design and implementation within her school district and is a strong proponent of open-source, phenomenon-based science education and resources. In her free time, Kiley enjoys making art, exploring cemeteries, and spending time with her husband and Siberian Husky.

Bhavna tossing a green apple in front of a chalkboard

Bhavna Rawal | Educator Fellow
Lonestar Community College-CyFair | Houston, TX

Bhavna Rawal brings 17 years of unwavering commitment to the field of education, currently holding the position of a seasoned Chemistry Instructor and professor at Lonestar Community College, CyFair. Beyond the classroom, her dedication to STEM education is evident through her leadership in running STEM and Aspiring Engineers clubs, collaborative work on NASA experiments in Zero Gravity, and participation in oceanic chemistry research on a NOAA research vessel. Bhavana remains steadfast in her commitment to shaping 21st-century students through project-based learning and fostering personal connections in their educational journey.

Waverly in front of water

Waverly Ray | Educator Fellow
San Diego Mesa College | San Diego, California

Waverly teaches physical, cultural, urban, and world regional geography courses at San Diego Mesa College. As the faculty advisor to the student environmental sustainability and conservation club, she oversees the campus vegetable garden and supports climate and food justice projects. Since 2017, she has coordinated the My California GIS Mapping Showcase and Competition for 4th-12th grade students on behalf of the California Geographic Alliance. She currently serves as an advisory board member representing California community colleges for the California Global Education Project.

Ignatius with goggles on his head

Ignatius Rigor | Researcher Fellow
University of Washington | Seattle, WA

Ignatius is a climatologist at the Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, and an affiliate associate professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Rigor studies sea ice, and how it interacts with the atmosphere and ocean. His primary tools for research are observations from drifting buoys and satellites.

Becky in front of a white background

Becky Robinson | Researcher Fellow
University of Rhode Island | Narragansett, RI

Rebecca Robinson is a paleoceanographer who studies how carbon and nitrogen move through the earth system. Of particular interest is how stable isotope proxies record the history of nitrogen cycling in the ocean. Proxy records of nitrogen drawdown in the Southern Ocean are an important piece of evidence for the roles of ocean biology and circulation in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide across ice ages

Aleksey Sheshukov outdoors

Aleksey Sheshukov | Researcher Fellow
Kansas State University | Manhattan, Kansas

Aleksey is a hydrologist with interests in sustainable water resources under changing climate in the cold regions. He collects micrometeorological data at several Arctic sites and models the dynamics of unfrozen water and temperature in frozen grounds. He collaborates with geoscientists, biologists, and anthropologists to better understand the impacts of the warming Arctic on hydrological, biological, and social systems.

Kate wearing a fluffy hooded jacket

Kate Stafford | Researcher Fellow
Oregon State Marine Mammal Institute | Newport OR

Kate is a bioacoustician and oceanographer who uses passive acoustic monitoring to study underwater soundscapes around the globe. Her recent work has focused on listening to climate change in the Arctic by detecting changes in the biodiversity of the region using acoustics. She has worked with artists and musicians to share some of the sounds she has recorded with people around the world.

Peter Ungar outside

Peter Ungar | Researcher Fellow
University of Arkansas | Fayetteville, AR

Peter Ungar is an evolutionary biologist, ecologist, and director of the UA Environmental Dynamics Program. His research focuses on the impacts of climate change on ecosystems over deep time and today. This work touches on a variety of fields, from human evolution to Arctic ecology.

Matt in front of green hills

Matt Wattendorf | Educator Fellow
Anchorage STrEaM Academy | Anchorage, AK

Matthew teaches 6th grade integrated science at the STrEaM Academy in Anchorage, AK. The school focuses on outdoor experiential project-based learning to help the most diverse learners in Anchorage engage in field science. Previously, he has taught in public high schools in the Rocky Mountains and internationally in the Cayman Islands. To Matt, good science isn’t complete without awe, challenge, and play. Beyond the classroom, Matt enjoys exploring Alaska, preferably on skis or a bike.

Elizabeth in front of trees

Elizabeth Webb | Researcher Fellow
University of Oregon | Eugene, OR

Elizabeth uses satellite images to study how climate change is impacting the Arctic landscape. She is particularly interested in feedbacks between climate change and the land surface, for example how more frequent and intense fires could release more carbon to the atmosphere or how climate-driven changes in tree cover could affect albedo. She is currently working on a project investigating long-term trends in Arctic lake area.

Julia with snow goggles on her head

Julia York | Researcher Fellow
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | Urbana, Illinois

Julia is a postdoctoral fellow studying the adaptation of polar organisms to climate change by investigating the mechanisms of temperature detection in polar fishes. Her work combines evolutionary analyses, experimental physiology, field collections, and functional characterization of candidate genes using electrophysiology to understand how both Antarctic and Arctic fishes sense temperature.