Diversity from field to classroom and museum

How we treat each other fundamentally matters. This core principle of interrelatedness is why we need to dismantle structural inequalities, which create implicit biases that disproportionately impede the scientific training pipeline for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQ scholars. Recognizing my normative position as a white-passing, heterosexual male has been a key motivation to engage in outreach and mentorship with students from diverse backgrounds in the field, classroom, and museum collections. As a faculty member, my group has promoted opportunities through ASU's Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Biocollections Scholar Program, which provides biodiversity career experiences to underrepresented students, and the JEDI Inclusive Teaching Program, which focuses on increasing the accessibility of material in the foundational Evolution course that I teach. Prior to coming to ASU, my mentorship experiences in Chicago Public Schools, at the Field Museum, and in the communities surrounding McMaster and Yale involved outreach and mentoring to K-12 students to provide supportive models for scientific careers.

Trappers unite at Apache Box for JEDI sampling in May 2021 (right to left): Savage, Faith, Luiza, Laura, and Nate.

JEDI Scholars at Haigler Canyon in June 2021 (right to left): Savage, Mary, Faith, and Marcus.

Domestic Fieldwork

Arizona (2021)

Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts, USA (2011)

New Mexico, Arizona, California: Field leader for the University of Chicago’s one-month Desert Ecology Field School; mentorship and training of undergraduates on field projects.

Great Basin Desert, USA (2003-2006)

Nevada, Oregon, and California: Projects on phylogeography and population genetics of kangaroo mice; behavioral ecology of desert rodents.

Domestic K-12 Outreach

2017-18. Science Fair judge at Worthington Hooker Middle School (New Haven).

2014-15. Weekly tutor, Empowerment Squared program for Liberian immigrants (Hamilton, Canada).

2013-14. Weekly tutor, Reading Buddies and Homework Help programs, Hamilton Public Library.

2012-15. My research on digital touch-screen, Field Museum’s DNA Discovery Center exhibit (Chicago).

2012-13. Led “Talk to the Scientist Hour” programs, Field Museum’s Pritzker Laboratory (Chicago).

2012. Presented on comparative vertebrate anatomy to 8-12th graders, Project Exploration’s Junior Paleontologists summer course (Chicago).

2012. Discussed science careers with 7th grade class, Young Women’s Leadership School (Chicago).

2011. Presented on mammal biology to 8-12th graders, Project Exploration’s All Girls Expedition summer course (Chicago).

2010-12. Presented mammal specimens to 7-8th graders, Project Exploration’s Sisters4Science (Chicago).

2010. Weekly tutoring in 8th grade geometry, Canter Middle School (Chicago).

International Fieldwork

Cuba (2017)

La Habana and Artemisia Province: Scouting and permit discussions with Cuban biologists and collaborators.

Colombia (2016)

Surveying small mammals in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Argentina (2009; 2011; 2014; 2015)

Provinces of Mendoza and San Juan: Project on the genomics of tetraploidy in octodontid rodents. Patagonia trekking.

Dominican Republic (2015)

Provinces of La Vega, Sánchez Ramirez, Monte Plata, El Seibo, and La Altagracia: Project on biodiversity patterns of endemic bats and small mammals (hutias, solenodon) and ecotourism sustainability.

Costa Rica (2009-2010)

Field stations at La Selva, Monteverde, Palo Verde, and Las Cruces: Participant in an NSF-sponsored (Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute) graduate course through the Organization for Tropical Studies.

Solenodon paradoxus caught by hand in the Dominican Republic in Feb 2015 (by the tail, in this case). This image was on the cover of the August 2017 issue of Journal of Mammalogy.