I became part of the Microbestiary in the Fall of 2018 to help run what was, at the time, a largely web-based platform. Over the last five years, the Microbesitary has expanded from primarily the website to include school visits and curriculum design, art gallery exhibitions, a children’s book, supporting an art post-baccalaureate, and even participating in an art/science residency on a sailing ship in the arctic.
Most recently, we have been working in collaboration with the University of Wyoming Art Museum(UWAM) to implement the Microbestiary Artist Residency, which will take place Spring of 2023. Three artists have been selected to come to the University and explore the world of microbiology, learning from the core facilities on campus, including the Integrated Microscopy Core, Genome Technologies Lab, Soil Microbiology Lab, and other graduate students and faculty involved in the EPSCoR Track-1 Micro Grant. They will also have the opportunity to interact with Univeristy of Wyoming Art Faculty, Laramie High School art students, and the broader public through a proposal talk and a public workshop. The goal of this residency is for the artists to make the charasmatic, unseen world of microbes visible, and to bridge art and science to increase public engagement. The residency will culminate in a semester long exhibition in the Pat Guthrie Special Exhibitions Teaching Gallery at UWAM.
Community Outreach Program for STEAM Engagement (COPSE)
In 2019, I co-founded a graduate student led outreach group, the Community Outreach Program for STEAM Engagement (COPSE), dedicated to bringing transdisciplinary work to schools around the state. Since then, we have worked with educators throughout the state, hosting a statewide conference to connect educators, outreachers, and resources at the University of Wyoming, and started a community outreach event night, Odd Bedfellows. Through Odd Bedfellows, experts, from seemingly disparate fields, are invited to come together and discuss outrageous connections between their fields of study, backgrounds, and interests. The event is open to the community, and our speakers range from the owner of the local bike shop to professors at the University.