I grew up in Huntsville, AL and now live in Minneapolis, MN. My motivation to found Galactic Polymath Education Studio (GP) was born from years of frustration as a graduate student and postdoctoral scholar trying to make academic knowledge available to the public. I tried a lot of outreach formats—I wrote fieldwork blogs, started and ran the Lincoln, Nebraska chapter of Nerd Nite for over a year, gave guest lectures at public science outreach events, and founded the No Coast SciComm conference at the University of Nebraska. Though I personally had a lot of fun and gained a lot from these experiences, it became clear that I was mostly connecting with folks who were already pretty science-engaged.
Galactic Polymath is an effort to break out of the bubble and to build long-term capacity to mobilize knowledge that is increasingly trapped and commodified in pay-walled academic journals that the broader public can’t access or understand. GP is built around the idea that:
I want to live in a world where critical thinking and curiosity are as essential as breathing. I love creative writing, cooking, and making people laugh.
Also supremely lucky to be married to the incredible biologist, data scientist, and all-around wit: Emily J. Hudson, PhD.
PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 2014
University of Colorado at Boulder
BA in Ecology & Evolution + Spanish Linguistics, 2006
Here I talk about a couple strategies I developed to weave graphs into any lesson and make those graphs interesting to students by turning them into enigmas. The article links out to several Galactic Polymath lessons where I used these techniques.
I wrote this piece with Lauryn Benedict, PhD to draw attention to our 2020 study describing female barn swallow song for the first time, and the Grade 5-12 lesson we created from it.
I wrote this piece to advocate for why we should encourage students to use and improve Wikipedia–an unmatched, free resource for growing curiosity, media literacy, and offering opportunities for student agency. Wikipedia is an amazing public resource (like water) that we take for granted until we can’t get it for free. We should be using it more, not less, in the classroom (read the article before you come at me 😁)
galacticpolymath.com: Check out our main site to find the latest free lessons based on current research.
galacticEdTools: an R package to support K-16 education and scicomm. Functions for a variety of things, including making evolutionary trees very easily.
Standard X: a compilation of the leading academic standards in the US in 4 subjects—math, ELA, science, and social studies. Can you believe they’ve never been combined into a single spreadsheet before?!