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Make Scientific Research Accessible for Students: Plant Species and Pollinator Conservation

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Identifying Priority Plant Species for Neotropical Pollinator Conservation

Presented by Dr. Valerie Peters, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University; and Amy O’Neal, Director of Education and Professional Learning, JASON Learning
Hosted by Haley Nelson, JASON Learning Live Events Host

Co-hosted by and JASON Learning

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In this edWebinar, Dr. Peters discusses her research on priority plant species for the conservation of pollinating insects, including bees—the most effective pollinator group. Viewers will learn how to build connections between micro and macro levels of ecosystem interactions using Neotropical mountain ecosystems as their “laboratory.” Viewers will explore how specific traits of plant species may benefit pollinator biodiversity, and how deforestation, changing precipitation patterns, and rising temperatures are threatening many bee species in the Neotropics.

Dr. Peters’ research is regularly supported by the efforts of citizen scientists, including volunteers from the local area and international programs such as Earthwatch, as well as Student & Teacher “Argonauts” from JASON Learning, a K-12 STEM education program. Dr. Peters shares her thoughts on how teachers can translate scientific research on the impacts of climate change into classroom-accessible language that students can digest and act upon. She was joined by JASON curriculum expert Amy O’Neal who shares classroom-ready climate change resources and lessons.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to elementary through high school teachers and school leaders. Teachers may view the recorded presentation with their class, but only educators are permitted to log in. .


Valerie PetersAbout the Presenters

Dr. Valerie Peters is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University, where she teaches biostatistics, community ecology, and ecology courses. She is a community ecologist with over 20 years of experience working in the New World tropics. She received her Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia. Dr. Peters’ dissertation work focused on how to best manage coffee plantation for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Her postdoctoral research focused on understanding how local landscape factors influence ecosystem service providers and biodiversity in grassland habitats of the Midwest.


Amy ONealAmy O’Neal serves as Director of Education and Professional Learning at JASON Learning. She has been a science educator since 1995, working in a variety of informal and formal settings including Mystic Aquarium, Project Oceanology, East Hampton and East Lyme CT public schools, and aboard Dr. Ballard’s E/V Nautilus. Her work at JASON Learning focuses primarily on professional development, program design and implementation, and Next Generation Science Standards pedagogy. Amy serves on the Board of the CT Science Teachers Association (CSTA), the Southeastern New England Marine Educators Association (SENEME) as Past-President, and the CT Green Leaf Schools Steering Committee. She holds an M.A. in science education and a B.A. in biology with a marine science minor.


Haley Chamberlain NelsonAbout the Host

Haley Chamberlain Nelson is a science host on television and online. Her most recent credits include Smithsonian Channel’s hit series Bug Bites, 4 years hosting JASON Live Events, and 6 Seasons of Science Channel’s What on Earth? Haley has been a writer, producer, and host with Untamed Science for over 10 years, making science content viewed by over half the classrooms in the US and over 100,000 views per month online. Nelson co-wrote the award-winning documentary Decoding the Driftless, currently gaining acclaim on the festival circuit with last month’s “Best Picture” and “Best Cinematography” in the Los Angeles International Film Festival. Having grown up wishing to be an Argonaut herself, it is an honor to continue hosting with JASON Learning.


Join the Preserving the Planet community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

JASONJASON is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard. JASON provides curriculum and learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for K-12 students, and high-quality professional development for teachers. JASON has been used successfully in a wide variety of formal and informal education environments.


Thursday, March 19, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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