West coast here we come! The 500WS pod world tour, with our Meet the Pod blog series, is bringing us to Corvallis, Oregon this month!
Corvallis sits on the land of the Kalapuya People, descendants of whom are now members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. It is the westernmost city in the contiguous 48 states with a population larger than 50,000 and has only 12.4 days annually when the temperature is over 90°, which is cooler than most places in Oregon.
Quick Facts about 500 Women Scientists Corvallis:
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Member Count: 128
STEMM Fields represented:
- Engineering Design
- Materials Science
- Science Communication
- System Dynamics
Find their social media handles, website and resources on LinkTree: http://linktr.ee/500WSCorvallis
Q & A
What is your favorite pod event to date?
One of our favorite pod activities is hosting a resource booth at local events including at Farmer’s Markets, concerts, Earth Day celebrations, and more. Through in-person interactions at public venues, we share information about 500 Women Scientists’ mission, our pod projects, and ways to live more sustainably. We are also partnering with local groups to distribute resources that help reduce waste, while saving time and money, including guides for food storage, recycling, water-efficient landscaping, and making green cleaning products. We enjoy hosting science activities at our booth, such as extracting DNA from strawberries, solar-powered toy car demo, and biological surveys. Interacting with the public is especially fun when we see excitement and enthusiasm in people of all ages and backgrounds!
What can other pods connect with the Corvallis pod about?
A primary initiative of our pod is to provide a platform for women and gender minorities in STEMM fields to share their work and research with the community. Our goal is to enhance the visibility of diverse scientists, fields of expertise, and methods of discovery. So, we started hosting Tap Talks (monthly presentations at 7:00 pm Pacific Time on the first Tuesday). We joined forces with a local brewery to provide in-person and virtual talks that highlight the work of local scientists at different career stages. Our pod website has more information and we posted some of the recorded talks on YouTube. If other pods were interested in organizing community-oriented seminars, we can share our experiences, format, and strategies for behind-the-scenes coordination and advertisement.
Another of our pod initiatives is focused on environmental education. We are working on connecting local scientists with teachers in the classroom. We are also using nature-centered activities to teach students how to document, evaluate, and communicate scientific research. Together with local groups and teachers, we developed Eco Survey (an online form that enables crowdsourcing of observations of climate and wildlife). The resulting public database will provide classrooms, watershed councils, environmental groups, marginalized communities, and others with the information they need to determine how our environment is changing and what to do about it. We are interested in expanding the outdoor science program to include other languages and locations, so we would love to connect with other pods that are interested in promoting scientific literacy.
Have you formed any local connections with schools, universities, or grassroots STEMM organizations?
We often partner with Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, a local organization that elevates STEM and career technical education in our region. One of our collaborations was a virtual Tag Campaign for #STEMLikeAWoman, a celebration of Women’s History Month 2021 aiming to bring awareness to the gender gap in STEM careers. Participants tagged inspiring STEM women in their lives and then tagged someone to spread the word! Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub has amazing initiatives that we help to promote and advertise whenever possible.
Our pod also works in close collaboration with other local groups and businesses including the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, Corvallis Climate Action Alliance, Block 15 Brewing Company, Corvallis Environmental Center, Corvallis Parks & Recreation, First Alternative Natural Food Co-op, and many more.
Feeling inspired? Want to join a pod? Learn more here. [Interview with Susan Salafsky- Corvallis Pod Event Coordinator; Edits by Kara Bocher, Pods Coordinator & Anushka Gole, Director of Communications at 500 Women Scientists]