Science Talk - Executive Board
Executive Chair/Organization Committee Chair
Dr. Allison Coffin is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Washington State University Vancouver, where she studies acoustic communication and hearing loss. She has more than 10 years of experience teaching communication workshops to a variety of scientific and professional audiences and was the Audience Choice winner at the 2014 U.S. FameLab Finals, a science communication competition hosted by NASA and National Geographic. Dr. Coffin runs the science communication website communicatalyst.com and is a long-time member of Toastmasters International. She is a conference co-chair.
Amelia Veneziano is a Masters in Public Affairs student at Washington State University at Vancouver. Amelia has an undergraduate degree in communication from Washington State University in Pullman. Amelia has worked as a journalist, in public relations and marketing, and as a technical editor. She is also the Assessment and Accreditation Intern in the Public Affairs Program at WSUV. Amelia is researching the intersection of science, public opinion, and public policy, with an eye on how the changing media landscape has affected the discourse.
Website Committee Chair
Steven Sobieszczyk is an earth scientist at the federal science agency, adjunct professor at Portland State University, and public speaking blogger/podcaster. He is heavily involved in science communication, video production, media relations, and public engagement, especially with Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. Steve had a former gig as media lead and spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management in California. In his day job he studies landslides and sediment transport. At night he doodles on napkins for his kids.
Program Committee Co-Chair
Amanda Thomas owns and operates Via Productions and is a purveyor of fine science entertainment. Her latest endeavor, Science on Tap, is essentially a science lecture with beer that happens once a month in both Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA. She plans to continue running educational events for adults until there are no more speakers or the heat death of the universe…whichever comes first.
Sponsorship Committee Chair
Kirsten Sanford, Ph.D., is owner of Broader Impacts Productions. Dr. "Kiki" is a freelance science presenter and reporter who loves media. She studied molecular, cellular, and integrative physiology and has over 10 years experience producing and hosting radio and television programming with companies such as PLoSOne, WNBC, and The Science Channel/Discovery Communications. She currently hosts the "This Week in Science" podcast.
Program Committee Co-Chair
Lewis Taylor directs communications for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Oregon. A former newspaper reporter, Lewis worked as a senior writer and editor at a regional public relations firm before joining the UO’s Central Communications team. Trained at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, he empowers scientists and scholars to communicate complex topics in clear, vivid and engaging ways in order to reach the public, the media, elected officials and others outside their areas of expertise.
Communication Committee Co-Chair
Meghan Kearney is a Public Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, leading communication and outreach efforts for the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC). The NPLCC focuses on conservation efforts in a changing climate and Meghan utilizes her communication and mass media background to distill scientific information and communicate it in ways that are best understood by diverse audiences.
Marketing Committee Chair
John Meyer is the Associate Director of Science Communication at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. He has been an advocate for science throughout his career, which includes time as a marine ecologist, natural resource policy advisor at the national, regional, and local levels, and communications professional within numerous university settings. John brings his expertise in these arenas to connect science with societal needs, helping create pathways for researchers to have an even greater impact through their work.
Janine Castro, Ph.D., R.G., is a geomorphologist for both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service in Portland, Ore., where she facilitates communication between and amongst scientists, engineers, policymakers, and the public. She is a founding member of River Restoration Northwest, a non-profit that seeks to improve communication between restoration and science practitioners, and is the Technical Director of the Portland State University River Restoration Professional Certificate Program. Janine regularly teaches public speaking workshops and maintains a Science Communication page on the Fish and Wildlife Service webpage. Janine is a conference co-chair.