Meet Emily Simpson, who is serving as the Outreach and Social Media Coordinator for the UC Center for Public Engagement with Science this academic year. 

Emily Simpson, surrounded by historic casts of a dinosaur being restored for display

Emily is a Ph.D student in the geology department.  She is focusing on vertebrate paleontology and stable isotope ecology, and will be studying the impact of a global cooling on a mammal community in Egypt that is about 34 million years old. Emily fell in love with paleoecology because of its interdisciplinary nature, and because she enjoys using the stories of how past plants and animals interacted to teach others about science. 

Emily grew up near Raleigh, North Carolina. She started getting involved in science education and outreach almost 15 years ago at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences as a volunteer during special events and in the paleontology lab, as well as with the North Carolina Fossil Club. Since that time, she has also worked at Ashfall Fossil Beds. Before coming here, she did a master’s at East Tennessee State University in geology, where she researched the impact of mammoths and other Pleistocene megafauna on the Appalachian balds ecosystems in Saltville, Virginia.  While there, she helped plan outreach events at Gray Fossil Site and worked with teachers as a science educator at a local elementary school.  Telling the stories of sites that she has worked at to children and families gives her the opportunity to teach science to others in approachable ways. 

In her spare time she enjoys continuing to teach others science through volunteer work at museums and schools, exploring nature, and doing a variety of crafts. She looks forward to continuing to communicate science to others through this platform as well! Emily hopes to eventually be a curator at a natural science museum, where she can continue both paleontology research and science communication as well as spearhead programs to continue helping local students explore science. 

Thanks to the Taft Center for making this possible by selecting the Center for Public Engagement with Science as a Taft Research Group this year!