I am passionate about outreach and science communication and am a strong believer that sharing the research that we do as faculty members is a critical part of our responsibilities. I have a long history of developing and conducting Earth and space-focused Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities and program development. For over 20 years, I have shared my research and the wonders of science in general at schools, museums, and other public venues across Canada, and around the world. I also regularly share this passion and insights on Earth and planetary sciences with print, radio, and television media, both locally and nationally. I am also one of the most active faculty members at Western on Twitter, which I consider an excellent medium for science communication.
Since my appointment at Western in 2007, I spearheaded the public education and outreach activities of the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) and its successor, the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration, until 2021. During this time, the CPSX and Institute outreach programs grew to become the most active and successful outreach programs on campus. We pioneered the development of inquiry-based activities that they take into the classrooms in schools across the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board. We also developed the Space Explorers Program, which offers space-themed PD Days, March Break, and Summer Camps (8 weeks) for children in Grades 4 to 6.
Below are some of the major outreach initiatives that I currently coordinate: