Vlogger, Ecologist & Science Educator
Sammy was born smack dab in the middle of America (Indiana, to be exact), and yet by the age of 3, she was telling everyone she knew that she would become a marine biologist one day (actually, first it was mermaid, then oceanographer, but we can forgive a lack of specialist knowledge at the age of 3, right?). After moving to San Diego, CA (where there is actually an ocean nearby) in the early 1990s, everything was going perfectly – until math classes began. Sammy almost gave up her dreams of being a mer-scientist when faced with the idea of endless math classes (she really, REALLY, struggled with math), but finally found out that math can have a POINT (yay!) when she started studying math and science in college. For “reasons”, grade school math and science focused on straight memorization, whereas in college, they finally broke out the good stuff – applied math and science (aka “Math problems that relate to problems that students are interested in”). Sammy discovered that she is happiest and most engaged while solving problems that help people. Her PhD research focused on understanding the factors that determine whether coral reefs can recover after disturbances. Sammy is passionate about communicating science, and combines her love of problem solving, marine biology, and teaching as a university lecturer, undergraduate research coordinator, and science education advocate.