Speakers & Presenters


Heather Goldstone

Heather Goldstone
WGBH Science Editor and Host, Living Lab

Dr. Heather Goldstone is science editor for WCAI and WGBH Radio, and host of Living Lab. She holds a Ph.D. in ocean science from M.I.T. and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and spent a decade as an active researcher before leaving the lab to become a writer. Her reporting about scientific and environmental issues on Cape Cod has appeared in venues ranging from NPR and PBS to Commercial Fishery News. Goldstone currently spearheads Living Lab Radio, an exploration of the human stories within science.

Special Guest

Dr. John P. HoldrenDr. John P. Holdren 
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Dr. Holdren was Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as professor in Harvard’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Director of the independent, nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center. Previously he was on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, where he co-founded in 1973 and co-led until 1996 the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources. During the Clinton administration Dr. Holdren served as a member of PCAST through both terms and in that capacity chaired studies requested by President Clinton on preventing theft of nuclear materials, disposition of surplus weapon plutonium, the prospects of fusion energy, U.S. energy R&D strategy, and international cooperation on energy-technology innovation. Dr. Holdren holds advanced degrees in aerospace engineering and theoretical plasma physics from MIT and Stanford. His awards include a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship, the John Heinz Prize in Public Policy, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the Volvo Environment Prize.

Keynote Speakers and Panelists

Brian ReiserDr. Brian Reiser, Keynote 
Professor of Learning Sciences, Northwestern University

Dr. Reiser’s research examines how to make the scientific practices of
argumentation, explanation, and modeling meaningful and effective for classroom teachers and students. As a member of the National Research Council’s Board on Science Education, he has served on the NRC committees authoring the reports A Framework for K-12 Science Education (which guided the development of the Next Generation
Science Standards
), Developing Assessments for the Next Generation
Science Standards
, and Guide to Implementing the Next Generation
Science Standards
. Dr. Reiser has also worked with Achieve on tools to help states implement NGSS. Dr. Reiser is currently collaborating with several state initiatives to design and provide professional development for K-12 teachers to support them in realizing the reforms in NGSS in their classrooms. Dr. Reiser earned his Ph.D. in cognitive science from Yale University.

Jennifer CutraroJennifer Cutraro
Editorial Project Director, WGBH

As an Editorial Project Director at WGBH in Boston, Jenny produces parent and educator resources for the Emmy-nominated PBS KIDS ecosystem science program Plum Landing and for PBS
. She also leads teacher professional development workshops on integrating digital resources into informal and outdoor learning settings and participates in science events with partner organizations such as the
Cambridge Science Festival. Jenny also is an active member of the National Association of
Science Writers and directed their internship program at the AAAS annual meeting for 10 years and is currently a member of the COPUS (Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science)
Advisory Council.

Before coming to WGBH, Jenny wrote about science, education, and creativity for outlets
including The Boston Globe, Scholastic Science World, and Science News for Students, and
contributes occasional lesson plans to the New York Times Learning Network. She also taught at the New England Aquarium and several other informal science centers. Jenny has a B.A. in
biology from Carleton College in Minnesota, and a M.S. in biology from Purdue University. When she’s not talking about finding science in the outdoors to anyone who will listen to her, you’ll find her kayaking with her family, cheering for the Green Bay Packers, and looking for slimy things under logs.

Frank NiepoldFrank Niepold
Communication and Education co-chair at US Global Change Research Program, NOAA Climate Education Coordinator

As the Climate Education Coordinator at NOAA’s Climate Program
in Silver Spring Maryland, Frank develops and implements NOAA’s Climate goal education and outreach efforts that specifically relate to NOAA’s Climate goal and literacy objective. Additionally, Frank is the managing lead of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) document,
Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science
. NOAA, NSF, NASA, AAAS Project 2061, CIRES, American Meteorological Society, and various members from both the science and
education community worked to define climate literacy in the United States. He received a MSEd in Earth Space Science Education (2006) from John’s Hopkins University with areas of
concentration in Earth Observing Systems, Scientist/Teacher/Student Collaboration and Earth Systems science education focused on climate.

Michael MaziarzMichael Maziarz
Principal of the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, Hartford Public High School

Michael Maziarz has focused the last 10 plus years of educational work to the transformation of low performing urban schools in
Hartford, CT. He was a teacher at Hartford Public High School, and later the Dean of Students at two academies. He is currently entering his fourth year as the Principal of the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology. Under his leadership, the school has been nationally recognized for its student-centered project-based learning work, has received the United States Department of Education Green Ribbon Award, the CT Green Leaf Award, the Construction Institute Special Industry Award for student-lead projects, acknowledged the past two year’s by the President and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association for its exemplar work in preparing students for the future workforce, and has hosted annual Regional Robotics Competitions for their success as one of the leading programs in the region.

Ryan WyattRyan Wyatt, Keynote 
Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization,
California Academy of Sciences

Ryan Wyatt assumed his role as Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization at the California Academy of Sciences in 2007. Since the Academy reopened in 2008, more than 10 million people have visited the institution. Ryan wrote and directed the Academy’s four award-winning fulldome features, Fragile Planet (2008), Life: A Cosmic Story (2010), Earthquake: Evidence of a
Restless Planet
(2012), and Habitat Earth (2015).

Ryan serves at the vice-chair for the Gordon Research Conference on Visualization in Science and Education, developing the program for a biannual conference with a diverse audience of
attendees. He also helped develop the Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project, and he works with the American Astronomical Society on the Planning Task Force for OpenWWT, open-source
generalized visualization software that supports astronomical data as well as a variety of other content. Ryan is one of the Founding Directors of IMERSA (Immersive Media Entertainment,
Research, Science & Arts), which celebrates and promotes immersive digital experiences for
education and entertainment in planetariums, schools, museums, and attractions.

Juliette Rooney-Varga

Juliette Rooney-Varga
Director, UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative
Associate Professor of Environmental Biology, UMass Lowell

Juliette N. Rooney-Varga is Director of the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative and Associate Professor of Environmental Biology. Her microbial ecology research has spanned diverse topics related to carbon cycling, climate change, and energy. She is currently leading the NASA-funded Climate Education in an Age of Media (CAM) Project that puts the tools of media-making into the hands of students, in order to engage them with climate change science and empower them to add their own voices to the societal discourse about this issue. She is also working closely with Climate Interactive, developing cutting edge decision-support simulations for climate and energy policy. With support from the National
Science Foundation, Rooney-Varga’s group and Climate Interactive are bringing decision-
support simulations into immersive role-playing exercises that enable students, citizens, and decision-makers to come to their own insights, grounded in current scientific understanding, about the impacts of national and regional climate and energy policies.

Angélica Allende Brisk

Angélica Allende Brisk, M.Ed.
Creative Design & Media Journalism Instructor, Rindge School of Technical Arts at the Cambridge Rindge & Latin School

Ms. Brisk has been teaching Media Journalism and Creative Design at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School courses since 2010. Before teaching she was an award-winning producer/director and editor based in Boston, Massachusetts. Ms. Brisk began her career as a minority fellow at PBS’s flagship station WGBH. Since then she has produced and edited for several local and national PBS series at WGBH and prominent companies including Blackside Productions, Geovision, and RiverRun Media. Ms. Brisk continues to make her own films, but focuses most of her time on teaching and developing curriculum through the powerful process of media production. Ms. Brisk was the co-creator of the Climate Education in an Age of Media curriculum with Juliette Rooney-Varga and used the world climate simulations with her students as part of the NASA-funded project. She has a BA from Boston University University Professor’s Program and a MEd Harvard Graduate School of Education Arts in Education program.

Jason Wu

Jason Wu
Doctoral Student at Teachers College, Columbia University

Jason Wu is doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia
University, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Science Education. He is
working on the Polar Learning and Responding (PoLAR) Climate Change Education Partnership, a multiyear project supported by the National Science Foundation. His current research, recent published in Nature Climate Change, focuses on the use of games in climate change education. He is also involved in research improving the science education of minority students, especially English language learners.

Dr. Lin Chambers

Dr. Lin Chambers
Lead for Education and Communication, Science Directorate, NASA Langley Research Center

Dr. Chambers is a physical scientist in the Science Directorate at the NASA Langley Research Center. She received her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1991. Dr.
Chambers is a member of the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Science Team. Her research focused on assessing the effect of uneven cloud cover on satellite remote sensing, as well as on better understanding the radiative properties of Tropical cloud systems. Dr. Chambers is director of the outreach
component of the CERES effort, the Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line (S’COOL) Project. She is also the Contrail Scientist for the GLOBE program, for which she is a certified master trainer. She leads the MY NASA DATA project to make real NASA Earth-observing data accessible to the K-12 and citizen science communities. She previously served as the Project Scientist for the NASA Innovations in Climate Education project.

Matt LappeMatt Lappé, 
Executive Director, Alliance for Climate Education

Matt joined ACE in 2008 to develop the science credibility of ACE’s programming. Before taking the role of Executive Director, he served as ACE’s Director of Education, developing ACE’s multimedia
education resources, overseeing the science training of staff, and convening ACE’s Science Advisory Board, consisting of some of the top experts in the climate field. He also headed evaluation efforts to measure ACE’s impact and managed the ACE Teacher Engagement program to help bring the best climate science into the classroom.

After receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University’s Earth Systems program, he studied paleoclimate and environmental hydrology throughout Patagonia, Vietnam, and
Cambodia. Upon his return to California, he taught at a small charter high school, heading their science and social studies departments. Before joining ACE, Matt worked as a Policy Analyst for the Tomales Bay Institute, where he worked on federal climate policy, and was a presenter for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Matt recently completed an Executive MBA program at the
University of Colorado, Boulder. In collaboration with Stanford, Yale, and George Mason
Universities, Matt’s most recent paper was published in the journal, Climatic Change.

Melinda LillyMelinda Lilly, 
Program Manager, Alliance for Climate Education

Melinda is originally from Spring Lake, NC and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management with a concentration in Financial Services at Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte, NC. Her public speaking and student leadership experience has helped her in her professional quest to “bridge the gap” between where people are and where they want to go. Passionate about social and environmental justice as well as
leadership development, she decided to look for a job that would allow her to work with high school students. Luckily, she found ACE in 2012 and has been educating and supporting NC youth who are engaged in the fight against climate change ever since.

Melinda recently presented ACE’s award-winning climate science assembly from the White House and will be the face and voice of a new online multimedia climate education experience that will reach millions of students across the country.

Lynne CherryLynne Cherry, 
Author, Illustrator, Founder of Young Voices on Climate Change, and Producer/Director of Young Voices for the Planet films

Lynne is the founder of the non-profit organization, Young Voices on Climate Change and the producer/director of the empowering and inspiring Young Voices for the Planet films that champion youth
solutions to the climate crisis, dispelling people’s fear and
encouraging everyone to take action. The Young Voices for the Planet films are proving to be a very important tool in the teaching of Climate Change science through a positive approach, and they are used for climate change educational outreach by countless organizations including
National Geographic, the UN Foundation, Will Steger Foundation, the American Museum of
Natural History and the USFS online climate curriculum CLIMATE CHANGE LIVE.

Lynne received her BA from Tyler School of Art and a Masters in History at Yale University. She had artist-in-residencies at Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution and Cornell
University and science-writing fellowships from the Marine Biological Lab and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is Winner of a Metcalf Fellowship and the Brandwein Prize.

Thaisi Da SilvaThaisi Da Silva, 
Director of Student Reporting Labs, PBS NewsHour

Thaisi Da Silva is the Director of the PBS NewsHour Student
Reporting Labs program, a national initiative that connects middle and high school students with public media stations to produce
original news reports. As director, she oversee the work of teachers, students and mentors across the country as they implement a media literacy curriculum and discover important stories in their communities. During her time at the NewsHour, Da Silva has held many different roles including program coordinator, assistant
editor and helped oversee mobile polling efforts during the national American Graduate Teacher Town Halls.

Special Performance

Credit: LaMont Hamilton

Credit: LaMont Hamilton

Climbing PoeTree 

Over the last 11 years, innovative educators and performers Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman have been at the forefront of social and environmental justice movements by harnessing their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal
transformation. Their award-winning performance is composed of dual-voice spoken word poetry, hip hop, and multimedia theatre that dissolves apathy with hope, exposes injustice, and helps heal our inner trauma so that we may begin to cope with the issues facing our communities.

Climbing PoeTree’s work appears in high school and university curricula. In that last year alone, they were selected to present and keynote at the New Story Summit, Scotland; Bioneers
National Conference
, California; and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, MA to name a few. They have lead hundreds of workshops in institutions from Yale University to Rikers Island Prison. They are currently developing a multimedia curriculum derived from their celebrated production, Hurricane Season, that employs art and culture to help learners analyze systems of oppression and resistance, and builds critical consciousness and imagination
essential for fundamental social change.


2 thoughts on “Speakers & Presenters

  1. Pingback: WGBH Forum on Digital Media for STEM Learning: Climate Change, Nov. 9 | NewtonSTEM

  2. Pingback: WGBH Online Forum on Climate Education, Nov. 9 | NewtonSTEM

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