email@example.comCleveland Metroparks Zoo
My Research Interests:
Conservation Research and Education
Rebecca is an informal science educator and plant scientist. She enjoys working with people and connecting them with Nature. As a Biomimicry Fellow educator, she gets to see people inspired by Nature quite frequently. Rebecca believes that as people realize the 'value' of Nature, both intrinsic and instrumental, they will strive to become better environmental stewards and care for the planet and all its wonder.
This program is part of a collaboration with Miami University of Ohio, Project Dragonfly, and AZA-accredited zoo affiliates, which provides unique learning experiences to foster a sense of community and environmental stewardship in students seeking a Master's degree in Biology or Teaching Biological Sciences. Specifically, I facilitate and co-facilitate the following learning experiences: Biomimicry/Ecophysiology; Foundations of Inquiry; Master Plan in Action; Practical Applications; Project Design and Assessment; Environmental Stewardship; and various Book Discussion topics.
In 2015, when I started my doctoral work at The University of Akron, I began helping our field station manager facilitate field trips with local public school students (Akron Public Schools), grades 2-12. Some of the topics introduced to the students include: muskrat den architecture, wetlands and aquatic ecology, art, observation, and design, and biomimicry overview. I thoroughly enjoy these experiences with children previously limited in Nature interactions, the laughter and smiles I see on their faces make me smile, inside and out!
I have presented at various locations for Great Lakes Biomimicry including as a presenter for Great Lakes Biomimicry's classes, marketing events, and board meetings.
In 2017, I began working with a non-profit organization, Art House, which brings unique art education opportunities to local, inner-city public school students. Each school year, I work with Art House personnel and school groups from Cleveland Metropolitan School District (grades 2-12) on grounds at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Past themes include: Environmental Stewardship and Conservation, resulting in beautiful tiled mosaics desgined by 2nd and 5th grade students; Biomimicry and Conservation, resulting in unrivaled creative, innovative designs developed by 12th grade students; and Biomimicry and Conservation, resulting in an educational, nature-inspired Paper Art prototypes and animation.
I contribute to various engagements which seek to inspire females to STEM careers. To date, I have attended WIS Days at Cleveland Museum of Natural History and North Chagrin Reservation. I also speak with female high school students at Akron Public Schools, as well as facilitate various Career Days throughout Canton, Akron, and Cleveland, as requested.
Featured keynote speaker at the spring quarterly meeting for Carroll County (Ohio) Garden Club. This ~45 minute presentation demonstrated to an audience who already loves plants, even more wonderful features plants embody for innovative inspiration. Using a variety of plants species from all over the world, I lead an interactive session to spur the audience in creative thinking about fascinating plants: String of Pearls, Purple Passion Plant, Venus Flytrap, Pitcher Plant, Barrel Cactus, and more.
In 2017, Cleveland Museum of Natural History held an informal guest experience (Think'N Drink with the Extinct) themed Biomimicry. I facilitated a table on Plant Biomimicry, engaging guests 21 and over in the creative genius of Nature.
I co-facilitated this learning experience in 2017. To a group of students attended a STEM-related summer camp, we led them in Biomimicry learning exercises. ~1.5 hours.
As part of a TEDX Salon held at The University of Akron, on the topic of Biomimicry, I facilitated one of the BreakOut Session tables: Plant Biomimicry. Using various plant species, I engaged guests in 20-minute interactions, sparking both curiosity and creativity.
As a first-year Biomimicry Fellow at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, I was asked to present the evening keynote for the first annual Biomimicry Summit (currently called Biocene) through NASA Glenn and Great Lakes Biomimicry. After a day of listening to awe-inspiring presentations by a diverse group of experts, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Great Lakes Biomimicry, NASA Glenn and Ohio Aerospace Institute welcomed guests to experience natural models up-close! Ambassador Animals such as 3-Banded Armadillo, Eastern Box Turtle, and Children's Python accompanied me as I encouraged attendees to interact with us.