Four Scientists Honored at White House

Four scientists, who lead citizen science groups funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), were honored in a White House ceremony this morning.

The four NSF-funded Champions of Change, along with eight other Citizen Scientist Champions of Change, were recognized for their exemplary leadership in involving the broader, non-expert community in research on science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

Today's Champion of Change event is one of a series of weekly Champions of Change events held at the White House to spotlight ordinary Americans who are doing extraordinary work in their communities to help the United States win the future.

Here are the four NSF-funded Champions of Change:

  • Sandra Henderson, the co-founder and director of Project BudBurst, which records the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting in plants throughout the United States. Project BudBurst produces data that is helping to improve understanding of plant responses to changing climates.
  • Julia K. Parrish, founder and executive director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST). COASST organizes coastal residents to monitor beach-cast seabird carcasses at over 350 sites in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Resulting data advances the science of coastal ecology and contributes to natural resources management.
  • Lee Ann Rodriguez, manager of development of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. Rodriguez is currently training hundreds of Hispanic residents of Puerto Rico to lead citizen groups that will study the impacts of urbanization on the biodiversity and cultural resources of the Manati River watershed in Puerto Rico.
  • Karen Oberhauser, founder and director of the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, where project volunteers have collected data on monarch butterflies from Mexico to Canada. The data are being used to help explain geographical and temporal variations in North America's monarch populations.  

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