Biology Graduate Student Receives Prestigious International Grant to Fund Science Engagement Activities in Eastern Iowa

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Kate Carter, Director of Community Science Education at the National Center for Science Education
June 3, 2020 - 12:00am

Briante Najev, a PhD student in the Integrated Biology Graduate Program, received a British Ecological Society (BES) Outreach grant for her science engagement work in Eastern Iowa. The announcement, written by Kate Carter from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), is posted below (a link to the article is also provided below). Najev is a member of Maurine Neiman's lab in the Department of Biology and is a 2019 NCSE Outreach Fellow supported by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.

Briante Najev, a 2019 National Center for Science Education Graduate Student Outreach Fellow supported by the Roy J. Carver Foundation, has been awarded a British Ecological Society (BES) Outreach Fund grant. The BES funds outreach initiatives worldwide that promote equitable access to science education. Najev will use this award to share the NCSE activity EcoStax with populations across rural Eastern Iowa, particularly Muscatine and Davenport. In this activity, people of all science backgrounds build an ecosystem, then try to keep it stable under the duress of climate change, helping to make climate issues local and personal.

Najev’s passion for climate education stems from her own Ph.D. work at the University of Iowa, where she studies snail ecology with Maurine Neiman, professor of biology. “I am honored to receive this grant to do meaningful work,” says Najev, “and I hope to engage with communities of Iowa through informal teaching.” Through the NCSE Fellowship, she is able to hone her science outreach skills while also developing acumen in informal science research. As part of the grant, she will conduct research on how different opening activity speeches lead to different total times of engagement. As a result, Najev’s work through the BES Outreach Fund will not only increase science affinity in Eastern Iowa but also inform best practices for outreach practitioners across the world.

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