Middle School Presenters
2017 Girls in Ocean Science Conference


Dr. Barbara Taylor
Marine Mammal Genetics Program Leader
NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the world, with fewer than 100 individuals remaining in the wild. Dr. Barbara Taylor is a leader in the research and conservation of this unique species. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree from the Evergreen State College in Washington, she continued her education at UCSD and received her PhD. Her passions lay in making a difference for species at risk and discovering new things on her many field adventures. She recently received the Edwards T. LaRoe III Memorial Award for her work in understanding and rallying international support for the vaquita. Learn more about Dr. Taylor and her recent award at: https://swfsc.noaa.gov/news.aspx?ParentMenuId=147&id=22013

Jennifer Palmer
Founder, Women for Wildlife

Women for Wildlife is an organization that provides a platform for women who are passionate about wildlife and conservation to come together to support, empower, and unite women across the world. Women across all and any disciplines unite to create a voice for wildlife conservation. Jennifer Palmer is the passionate founder of this organization. She provides a place for women across the world to have their voices heard and share their passion for wildlife conservation. Jennifer Palmer’s passion is empowering women through connections to wildlife and conservation. She encourages women to be creative and share their passion in whatever way speaks to them. Learn more about Women for Wildlife at: http://www.womenforwildlife.com/

Amber Jackson and Emily Callahan
Co-founders of Blue Latitudes

Have you ever wondered what happens to off-shore oil platforms after humans are done using them? Amber and Emily have a new idea for the use of these abandoned skeletons. These structures, thought to be devoid of purpose, are actually teeming with life. They have become recognized as valuable reefs known as one of the most productive habitats globally. Amber and Emily have spent years studying these reefs and believe that re-purposing these structures as artificial reefs may help to combat the increasing loss of natural reefs. They hope that by educating the public about this issue and continuing to research and re-purpose these oil rigs that they will successfully encourage oil companies to repurpose these structures. Learn more about Blue Latitudes at: http://www.rig2reefexploration.org/

Dr. Laura White
Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University

Have you ever wondered what treasure lie in the depths of the ocean in shipwrecks? So too did Laura White. That is why she pursued a career in nautical archaeology. Dr. White explores and records marine shipwrecks and the cargo found within. She currently teaches, develops curriculum, and coordinates various aspects of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. She is passionate about investigating, understanding, and preserving the significance of the contents of sunken ships. Check out Dr. White’s laboratory at: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/

Jayme Timberlake
Habitat Restoration Specialist, Dudek Environmental

Jayme Timberlake learned from an early age to follow her passions and they would lead her to a successful life. She did just that and is now a habitat restoration specialist for Dudek Environmental. She is responsible for the creation of restoration plans for coastal, upland, wetland, and riparian restoration projects. As the scientists become ever more concerned about rising sea waters and ocean acidification, Jayme finds that habitat restoration is a critical link in mitigating these issues. In our own backyard, the San Juan Creek watershed is riddled with environmental issues that Jayme believes could be solved through habitat restoration near the mouth of the creek. Learn more about Jayme’s work at: http://www.dudek.com/services/natural-resources-management/wetlands-restoration/

Dr. Nyssa Silbiger & Piper Wallingford
Post-doctoral Researcher, Marine Ecology, UC Irvine

Have you ever explored the crevices of a California tidepool? The organisms that dwell within are unique in a way that few understand. Dr. Nyssa Silbiger, however, is someone who does. That’s why she has spent the last four months in a bus travelling up the Pacific coast to study the intertidal communities and how climate change is affecting the organisms that call this environment home. As the climate continues to change and affects the chemistry of the ocean, it is scientists like Nyssa who will help us to understand what impacts this will have on our marine organisms. Will they survive the dramatic fluctuations? Will they be able to adapt quickly enough to subsist in a world of ocean acidification? That is what Dr. Silbiger is attempting to discover. To learn more about her research, go to: http://www.thebiologybus.com/

Laura Belani
Bowers Museum, Collections Manager

Science can take many forms and looking into past cultures can reveal much about the scientific practices throughout history. Laura Belani specializes in museum science as the collections manager at the Bowers Museum. Laura works to better understand cultures of the past, and how science can evolve through the ages. Learn more about Laura’s work in science, art and culture at: https://www.bowers.org/

Microsoft, Computer Science

We are thrilled to announce that our final presenter will be a computer scientist from Microsoft. You can look forward to taking part in an awesome computer coding activity with this scientist. Stay tuned, we will be revealing our Microsoft scientist in January!