Biology, Stanford University

Banner image of animal in the field, photo by EAH


The Hadly lab is actively involved in reaching across the divide that sometimes exists between science and the society we serve. All of us strive to communicate the significance of our work in a myriad of ways--from the expected to the unusual. We all are active contributors to traditional journals, professional societies and the classroom; but we also blog and tweet about science and conservation to our virtual global networks; we spend time building capacity in foreign countries and our own backyard; we sponsor and volunteer for science and math fairs; and we attempt novel communication outlets such as art, podcasting, and children's books. Stay tuned to see how we foster this tradition in the lab. - Liz Hadly (@Lizhadly)

melissa kemp

Melissa Kemp: Knowledge is power, and as scientists we have the privilege of not only having access to a large knowledge base, but we are also able to accumulate additional knowledge and recognize what skills and future work are necessary to further advance our collective understanding of natural processes. I firmly believe that scientists have an obligation to disseminate their knowledge and skills to the public. I myself am interested in engaging demographics underrepresented in the sciences--women, ethnic minorities, and individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds. With this mindset, I have dedicated myself to engaging underrepresented groups with science so that they can contribute to our collective understanding of natural processes.

I have participated in mentoring activities both at Stanford and beyond. To date, I have trained three undergraduate students in field and laboratory methods; I have taken two of these students into the field and one will do his honors thesis with me. This summer I will train another undergraduate student in statistical analyses. I hope to continue working with undergraduates while I am here, and any student interested in my research or graduate school opportunities in general should not hesitate to contact me!

Another activity that I've been heavily involved with is the East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT) program. I started volunteering with EPATT during my first year at Stanford. EPATT is a non-profit after school program that brings K-12 students from the East Palo Alto neighborhood to Stanford Campus, where they receive academic tutoring and athletic instruction. My work with EPATT has been one of the most valuable experiences I've had at Stanford, as it allows me to engage with the broader community and impact local youths. For the past three years, I have been fortunate to work with the same student, a bright and determined young woman who was struggling with mathematics when I first met her. Together, we worked to improve her study skills, reading comprehension, and confidence. Today she is an independent, straight-A student who is able to articulate her thoughts, questions, and concerns to those around her. She is now applying to colleges and hopes to major in Environmental Science. I am extremely proud of her and all the students I've encountered at EPATT and I look forward to working with a new student next year when I continue my work with the organization!

melissa kemp melissa kemp

Jeremy Hsu: I have been incredibly fortunate to have had so many positive experiences from a variety of programs and mentors, and feel strongly about passing those opportunities on to others. Throughout college and graduate school, I have participated in a diverse set of outreach activities, ranging from athletic – volunteering as a basketball coach at a summer camp, for example, despite being somewhat vertically challenged! – to scholarly. From tutoring and leading SAT workshops, mentoring students in science and teaching, to directing science outreach programs, I have done my best to encourage a passion for science, research, and academic skills within students. [read more!]

Katie with colleagues in Africa Katie with other Americorp members

Katie Solari: After graduating from UC Berkeley I joined AmericCorps NCCC, a ten month long national service program for 18-24 year olds. During this time I led volunteers in trail building in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, taught children in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, and directed diverse groups of volunteers in the reconstruction of homes all over the New Orleans area. Once completing my time with AmeriCorps I spent the summer teaching English and biology to women in Tanzania. With the two donated microscopes that I brought with me to Africa I was able to show the women countless aspects of their surroundings that they had never seen before, from the organisms in their water that make them sick, to what blood looks like when infected with malaria. While in Tanzania I also co-founded a beading project, "Beads of Hope". Following the model of similar projects, I taught a few of the local women how to make beads by tightly winding cut paper. Since returning home, the women that I taught have taught others and I have worked extensively in the U.S. on advertising and distribution. So far thousands of necklaces have been sold, enabling these women to keep food on their tables, keep their children in school, and help family members afford necessary medications.

Alexis Mychajliw: One of the main reasons I love scientific research is that it gives me an opportunity to engage a wide array of people in myriad places.I am deeply invested in putting research into a societal context and involving the local community wherever I work. For example, while studying conservation with the New York City Audubon Society, I trained volunteer "citizen scientists" to census birds in their local neighborhood parks. In my new home in California, I have begun volunteering with Melissa at the EPATT tutoring program and work with Farm Sanctuary to care for rescued farm animals. 

DrawingsAlexis and Laura with kidsAlexis and Laura with kidsI strongly believe that it is the responsibility of scientists to build capacity in the communities surrounding their field sites, and that conservation should benefit both ecosystems and the people who live near them. To this end, at my field sites in the Dominican Republic, I am working with local Dominican field assistants through The Last Survivors and the Grupo Jaragua. In addition to collecting data for my thesis research, my undergraduate research assistant Laura Cussen and I have been interviewing children and adults in rural communities to determine levels of awareness of the solenodon, and address concerns about the continuing presence of solenodons near agricultural areas. We are seeking ways to link the conservation of the solenodon with benefits to rural livelihoods near the Dominican/Haitian border.

We are also actively engaged in outreach with urban residents in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, by developing paleontological and conservation exhibits with the Museo del Hombre and Museo Nacional de Historia Natural and volunteering with the EcoCamp at Parque Zoologico Nacional. Ultimately, we will produce a radio show and children’s book highlighting the story of the solenodon and the incredible local people working to save them.

Lily's illustration Lily with undergraduates who teach at local middle school

Lily Li: Throughout my life, many people have helped and reached out to me, and I have experienced how empowering it is for people to genuinely believe in me. In turn, I wish to do the same for others. During my undergraduate career, I worked as an Americorps member and established an afterschool literacy program for underserved local communities. I co-instructed an undergraduate class where students designed science lessons and taught them to children at Willard Middle School twice a week. Moreover, I have been visiting my high school English as Second Language and science classes to talk about college and studying science. Since I started working at Stanford, I have also been training lab members in research techniques and mentoring some undergraduate researchers in the Hadly Lab.

In addition to serving local communities, I have been communicating scientific findings through illustrations. Many of my scientific illustrations have been published in professional journals and some were circulated on news blogs around the world. I was also fortunate enough to work at American Museum of Natural History as a visiting artist to learn field standards and to hone my artistic skills. A picture is worth a thousand words. I look forward to sharing more research findings through my artwork.

Seth and Alan at outreach

Seth Judson: This past winter and spring I was fortunate to break out of the Stanford bubble and mentor elementary school students in Redwood City and East Palo Alto as part of Science in Service, a Stanford science education program that collaborates with the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula. Working with young students has made me realize how important early experiences are for developing a passion for learning. During my conversations with students on campus I’ve found that we are often quick to make assumptions about what people know and have experienced in their education. And as we get older and our interests become more focused, I think that we can lose touch with where our ideas come from and how the experiences we have been given have shaped our understanding. We are all dealt a certain hand growing up, and many of us have been blessed with great mentors, parents, and teachers. Every kid deserves this opportunity.

This summer I will be volunteering with a fellow Hadly labber, Alan Proppe, at Camp Kesem, a weeklong summer camp for kids with a parent who has/had cancer. Started by Stanford students, Camp Kesem has an incredibly supportive, familial, and just plain fun culture, and I’m so thankful to share this opportunity with other students and campers.

<back to top>
Hadly Lab, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020
ph. 650.725.2655 | fax. 650.723.6132 | e-mail: hadly@stanford.edu | contact the webmaster