If you’ve ever met Cabrillo National Monument scientist Samantha Wynns, then you know that she is a super geek for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). She’s so into STEM, in fact, that she’s been nationally recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Read on to hear how Sam’s AAAS year-long Ambassadorship is supporting scientists, students, and the mission of the National Park Service.
There are very few things that I love more than science. From medicine that makes me feel better when I’m sick, to all of the technology that creates and streams my favorite show right into my living room, science is the answer. Want all of human knowledge in your pocket and at your fingertips? Thank you, internet and cellphones – brought to you by science. Love to travel to other countries within hours? Thank you, jetliners and jet fuel – brought to you by science. Is one of your loved ones in remission from cancer? Thank you, chemotherapy and radiotherapy – brought to you, you guessed it, by science. STEM fields are an essential part of our daily modern lives yet there are many people who have traditionally been (and still are) excluded from the conversation. Imagine how much closer we would be to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, or to colonizing Mars, or to solving climate change if we had embraced underrepresented groups in the scientific community. This is why organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Lyda Hill Philanthropies are spending a considerable amount of time and effort to increase diversity in STEM fields by creating initiatives such as IF/THEN®.