I’m one mean science party planner— and I don’t say that to trivialize what I do. Running large, multifaceted, high-profile, partnered programs requires intense organization and patience. I got my first taste of science event planning while working for AAAS, but at Carnegie Science, I took my work in public programs to a whole new level.
Read below to learn more about a few of my favorite event projects.
Carnegie Institution for Science
Expedition Earth is a quarterly series of events designed to immerse the DC community in the thrill and adventure of scientific discovery through the lens of intrepid explorers, including nature photographers, field scientists, and conservationists. Expedition Earth breaks down the walls of conventional scientific lectures to offer the audience fuller, richer, more-interactive exposure to the lifestyles of adventurous globetrotters and their passion for discovery. Programs include some combination of panels, audience interactions, receptions, and meet and greets.
From initial conception to the series’ debut, I managed all aspect of this project including: marketing & branding (learn more), promotion, partnerships, budgets, and event production and management. The series was a unique and challenging experience because hosting fee-based events was a new endeavor for the Institution, drawing large expectations and requiring a novel execution strategy.
Our first program, "Dialogues with Nature", featured National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting and drew close to 150 paying guest and 100 teachers, students, members of the media, and AAAS Science Policy Fellows. A panel and audience Q&A followed Lanting’s presentation. The panel included the Director of the Smithsonian Center for Conservation and Sustainability, Francisco Dallmeier, and the Science, Health, and Environment Editor at the Washington Post, Lara Helmuth, as moderator. The night ended with and a reception, giving the presenters and audience members the opportunity to connect after the main event.
Carnegie Institution for Science
Capital Science Evenings
Since 1991, the Carnegie Institution for Science has hosted extraordinary researchers from a wide range of scientific disciplines as part of their Capital Science Evening lecture series. These lectures provide a unique opportunity for the DC community to connect with some of the most gifted investigators in science and hear the stories behind their discoveries.
In Fall 2016, I took over the reins of event logistics for the Capital Science Evenings lecture series and other Carnegie Science public programs. I managed all marketing & branding, promotion, partnerships, budgets, and event production and coordination. Although the program had been a staple in the DC science-loving community for 26 years, I added new and unique components to the promotional calendar, marketing strategy, outreach efforts, fundraising initiatives, data collection methods, and event coordination that improved the quality, scale, and success of the series. One new feature that communication staff and I introduced was the production of social media interviews (like the one shown below) that I hosted before every lecture. Learn more about all of the marketing strategies I initiated for Capital Science Evenings here.
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Science Film Showcase
Debuting in my initial year with AAAS, this event consisted of a free screening of a selection of short clips and films during the AAAS Annual Meeting. Between the clips and films, scientists, filmmakers, and producers were on hand to discuss the films and answer questions from the audience. A reception following the main event allowed the audience to mingle with the scientists and producers of the films.
Born in 2013 out of a collaboration between AAAS and the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards, a coworker and I organized the inaugural AAAS Science Film Showcase at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Due to its overwhelming success, there was interest in making the event a yearly staple of the AAAS Annual Meeting. In 2014, I independently organized the 2nd annual Science Film Showcase, this time in conjunction with Imagine Science Films and four other University of Chicago partners. My duties included the full suite of event management responsibilities including: securing the event venue, partnerships, and speakers; soliciting and scheduling programming; arranging catering; creating promotional materials and marketing campaigns; and handling budgets and day-of event coordination. The event was a huge success, filling the house with over 250 people in attendance.