Meg Corcoran is a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geology at UC who is excited to share her excitement for public engagement with science this year with the UC Center for Public Engagement with Science (PEWS) community. Her research focuses on using the stable isotope biogeochemistry to understand how climate change will affect the hydrological cycle. This research combines her interests in both chemistry and geology and has taken her to Greenland to study local ecosystems.

Meg performing fieldwork in Greenland for her Masters.

Meg started getting involved with science education when she was an undergraduate student, an interest that continued throughout her masters program at University of Buffalo (UB). She worked in a high school chemistry and environmental science classroom through the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP) between UB and local schools. Meg worked closely with the teacher to develop labs and hands on activities and with the students to help them understand scientific concepts.

The summer before starting her Ph.D., Meg worked at Penn Dixie Fossil and Nature Preserve in Hamburg, NY. Her interest in public engagement with science grew from working as a science educator at this park. She gave guided tours of the park to community members, explaining what fossils were there and why they ended up there. She also worked as a summer camp educator at the fossil park, creating and working with students on activities for students such as making fossil diagrams, building rockets and going on nature walks.

Meg volunteering at a local farmer’s market in Minneapolis, MN, teaching the community about sediment cores and what scientists can learn from them.

Since moving to Cincinnati, Meg continues to teach science to community members and students through volunteer work. Meg has worked with the UC Department of Geology to establish geology related classroom presentations for local schools. She also was a student the PEWS Public Engagement with Science course in Spring 2020. As part of this class, Meg worked with other students and the Cincinnati Nature Center to design a poster contest for K-12 students to encourage them to plant native. Currently, Meg is serving on the Public Engagement Committee for the joint North-Central Southeastern Geological Society of America section meeting that is being held at the beginning of April in Cincinnati. As part of this meeting, local high school students will have the chance to chat with geology departments at local universities, in addition to individuals that have careers in the geosciences. She is excited to communicate science in her new role as the PEWS Social Media and Web Coordinator. After graduation, Meg plans to continue to share her experiences in science with a career focused on science communications.