Mel very pregnant in a blue dress and face mark talking to museum patrons about Ice Age WI fossils
Mel bent over a microscope outside with adult patron at an outreach event
Top view of Mel beginning a museum tour with 40+ elementary students


Regardless of the age and experience of the audience, my teaching philosophy is centered around observation and personal memory. A deeper understanding and connection can be achieved through a sense of place, to which the earth sciences are particularly well-suited. I aim to have my students connect class learning objectives to their everyday lives through observation and discussion. I want to be able to holistically support my students in their studies by building openness into our interactions and learning more about who they are outside the classroom and sharing about myself.

Science in the Stacks.pptx

Science out in the world

The Science in the Stacks project developed by Brooke Norsted at the UW Geology Museum was my first big experience not only presenting to public audiences but also participating in the planning, execution, and evaluation of a large-scale outreach endeavor. I seek similar projects that aim to bring STEM topics into public spaces. By meeting the people of Wisconsin where they live, we can share our science and do our part to uphold the Wisconsin Idea to serve our state! 

Selected presentations: 

(Topic, audience)

Dinosaurs, general audience, 1st-5th grade classrooms

Wyoming paleontology fieldwork, general audience, 1st-5th grade classrooms

WI fossils, general audience, 2nd-12th grade, undergraduates

WI rocks and minerals, general audience, 2nd-12th grade, undergraduates

WI glacial geology, 2nd-8th grade

Ice Age mammals, 2nd-5th grade

Volcanoes and magma, 6th-8th grade

Geologic time, 1st-12th grade

How glaciers flow, 6th-8th grade

Astrobiology, 4th-12th grade, general audience

Mars, 2nd-5th grade

Paleoclimate, 6th-12th, undergraduates

Arctic Geology, 6th-12th, undergraduates

Arctic Fieldwork, 1st-12th, undergraduates

Exposure age chronologies from Svalbard, adults

Exposure age chronologies from Greenland, adults 

4+ yrs of WI Science Festival, Saturday Science, and Darwin Day at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery