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March For Science Atlanta Speakers

 MaKara Rumley, J.D.

MaKara Rumley, J.D.

Science is life or death

BIO:

MaKara J. Rumley, J.D.  is more than an experienced community engagement strategist: she is an important thought leader related to the environment, education, the green economy, and public health.  She has a knack for identifying what makes each stakeholder successful and leading the charge for how everyone can win.  It takes the private and public sector as well as community viewpoints to reach a project’s full benefit potential.

She has produced identifiable results during her work at the Environmental Protection Agency as the Senior Advisor on Community Engagement with the Regional Administrator, as an Environmental Attorney with GreenLaw, and as a consistent lecturer and presenter on cultural competency and community engagement.  She is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College.

Mrs. Rumley has a track record of achievement and has a results oriented drive to meeting milestones.  She is committed to the use of qualitative as well as quantitative measurements to truly evaluate connectivity to target constituents.

WHY I MARCH

I march because I’m committed to the evolution of a healthier world achieved by using sound science, human compassion, and intentionality in policy making.

 Cameron Muskelly

Cameron Muskelly

Science education helps overcome obstacles: the makings of a high school paleontologist

BIO:

I was born a Time Traveler. That is exactly how I see myself. I do not need a time machine to do such a thing. I time travel with the rocks and fossils around me. Each fossil and each rock no matter how big or small has a page in the long chapter of the history of our planet. This chapter can span for millions or even billions of years. Each fossil has a story to tell and it is my job to tell that story.

Everytime I pick up a geological object my mind can wonder freely. It is time that is locked in your hands. As a “Deep Time” traveler you have to have that mindset. I am put back in a time where no one has ever seen before. Everything was different back then. The further you go back into geological time, the stranger things get and the harder it is to picture what the past was like. That is where I come into the picture. 😊

My name is Cameron Muskelly, I am 18 years old, and a senior at Duluth High School. I am an aspiring Historical Geologist and Paleontologist. I am absolutely head over hills passionate about paleontology and geology. I am very protective over it. I am an amateur paleontologist and geologist here in the state of Georgia.

I have tried to carve out a niche and find a place where I could share my passion for paleontology and geology. I am also on the autism spectrum. It is why I am very passionate about all of it. I face many struggles but I have accomplish more than I could have imagined.

WHY I MARCH

 Kim Cobb, PhD

Kim Cobb, PhD

Climate change is critical to future planning

BIO:

Kim Cobb’s research uses corals and cave stalagmites to probe the mechanisms of past, present, and future climate change. She received her B.A. from Yale University in 1996, and her Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in 2002. She spent two years at Caltech in the Department of Geological and Planetary Sciences before joining the faculty at Georgia Tech in 2004. Kim has sailed on multiple oceanographic cruises to the deep tropics and led caving expeditions to the rainforests of Borneo in support of her research. Kim has received numerous awards for her research, most notably a NSF CAREER Award in 2007, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2008. She is an Editor for Geophysical Research Letters, sits on the international CLIVAR Pacific Panel, and serves on the Advisory Council for the AAAS Leshner Institute for Public Engagement. As a mother to four, Kim is a strong advocate for women in science. She is also devoted to the clear and frequent communication of climate change to the public through speaking engagements and social media.

WHY I MARCH

I march because we need science more than ever. I march to remind all Americans that when we turn our backs on science, and its core findings, all Americans suffer. I march for my children, who one day will ask me “What did you do when they tried to bury the facts of climate change?” I march for all of those scientists who fight so hard to be part of a club that is still dominated by white, heterosexual men. I march because I believe that when we throw our collective weight behind facts, and call out injustice wherever we see it, there is no limit to what we can achieve. I march for hope.

 Dr. Alison Bernstein

Dr. Alison Bernstein

Facts Not Fear

BIO:

Alison Bernstein is a neuroscientist studying Parkinson’s disease, epigenetics and neurotoxicology. While she was a postdoc at Emory, she started blogging as Mommy PhD to counter the misinformation and fear targeted at parents with science based information. She is featured in the upcoming Science Moms documentary that will give a voice to science-minded moms – the women who are too often drowned out by messages of misinformation and fear. Outside of work, Alison is a mom of two (ages 8 and 3). She loves to cook, play tennis, do crafts, read bad scifi novels and sleep late (which rarely happens since kids).

WHY I MARCH

I’m marching because I’m a mom. As a parent, I want to know that the information I seek out to help me make parenting decisions is based on evidence and facts. I want to know that my fears about my children’s’ health and well-being are not being manipulated.

I’m marching because I’m a consumer. As a consumer, I want to be empowered to make informed decisions. I don’t want my fears and emotions manipulated by fact-light marketing campaigns. I want our regulatory agencies to be well funded and free to make evidence based decisions to keep us safe.

I’m marching because I’m a voter. As a voter, I want my representatives and politicians to be held accountable to facts and evidence. A world where those in power can make up whatever “facts” they want is terrifying.

I’m marching because I’m a scientist. As a scientist, I want to share with the world how awe-inspiring learning how the world works can be. I want people to know that scientists are not some weird subspecies that is inherently different from them.
I’m standing up for science and marching in defense of Facts Not Fears.

 Dr. Joshua Weitz

Dr. Joshua Weitz

Conscience of a Scientist

BIO:

Dr. Joshua Weitz is Professor of Biological Sciences, Courtesy Professor of Physics, and Founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 2003 and did his postdoctoral research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University from 2003-6. His research group investigates how viruses transform human health and the health of our planet. Joshua has authored an award-winning book on Quantitative Viral Ecology and more than 80 peer reviewed articles on topics ranging from viral ecology to infectious disease dynamics to the structure of complex biological networks. Joshua was the recipient of a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and is currently a Simons Foundation Investigator in Ocean Processes and Ecology.

WHY I MARCH

Science matters. It sheds light on how the world works from molecules to microbes to humans to the Milky Way. Science also shapes the choices we make on how to leave the world a better place for our children and grandchildren. But, science as a whole is under threat. Ongoing efforts to undermine the value of facts, evidence, and scientific discoveries do not just hurt science and scientists, but ultimately leave all of us worse off. I march in support of science and scientists so that we can forge a more robust and diverse alliance for the betterment of all.

 Dr. Ronald Hunter

Dr. Ronald Hunter

Ignorance is NOT Bliss… or Safe!

BIO:

Ronald E. Hunter, Jr., PhD, is a scientist at The Coca-Cola Company. He is an analytical chemist and new technology program leader for the North America Analytical Services Laboratory (NAASL). NAASL is one of six laboratories strategically selected by The Coca-Cola Company for the creation of a global network of analytical testing facilities with similar facilities in five countries – Belgium, China, South Africa, Mexico, and India. As a scientist, his areas of expertise include liquid and gas chromatography, method development and validation, mass spectrometry, process innovation and optimization, water quality, and food and beverage analysis. At The Coca-Cola Company, Hunter strengthens quality and food safety standards, drives innovation, and advances Coca-Cola’s long-term strategic growth objectives.

Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, Hunter was a former analytical chemist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While at CDC, Hunter was responsible for the end-to-end development and implementation of high-throughput methods using to quantify tobacco exposure biomarkers for large epidemiological studies, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study.

Hunter has over eight years of experience as an analytical chemist in the public, private, and academic sectors. He worked as a senior research specialist and post-doctoral fellow at Emory University for a few years after shaping environmental policy directives at the national level as an environmental health fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Hunter has over a decade of experience in pesticide residue analysis in difficult matrices and method optimization via technological advancements. He is also a member of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists International; the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers; the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science; and serves as the 2017 Chair of the Georgia Section of the American Chemical Society. In 2014, he was awarded the Director’s Award for Excellence in Innovations by CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

Hunter holds BAs in chemistry and Spanish from Mercer University and a PhD in analytical chemistry from Emory University.

 Casey Bethel

Casey Bethel

Engaging students in STEM

BIO:

Casey Bethel, the Georgia Teacher of the Year, is a passionate educator and an accomplished scientist. He hosts elementary STEM exhibitions and tutors middle school science students. At New Manchester High, he teaches Advanced Placement Biology and Physics. He is also an Adjunct Professor at two local universities. Lessons he designed have been published in The Journal of Chemical Education. In 2015, he was nominated for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Away from school, he conducts Biochemistry research at GA Tech, hoping to find cures for Alzheimer’s disease and Inherited Glaucoma. His most recent publication appeared in Nature-Chemical Biology.

Why I March

As a science teacher and Georgia’s Teacher of the Year, I have spent 13 years inspiring the next generation to embrace the wonder and harness the power of science to address our world’s greatest challenges.  That ought to be celebrated and protected.

 Karin C Lopez

Karin C Lopez

The Power of Diversity in Science

BIO:

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Karín C. López comes from a multicultural background.  Her father is Peruvian-Inca and mother Brazilian-Italian-Austrian.  Her parents migrated to the US when she was 11 in search of a place for their daughters to achieve dreams and become professionals. This sacrifice and work ethic has driven Karín personally and professionally throughout the years.

Karín is now a corporate leader who specializes in bridging strategy to operational execution and is an expert at creating cultures of commitment, collaboration and trust. She continues to have increasing levels of responsibility as the “go-to” person for achieving desired results. Her areas of expertise include: business enterprise transformation, system implementations, technical project management, supply chain, business process improvements and optimization.  She is completing an Executive MBA with a focus on Strategy from Emory Goizueta Business School sponsored by a scholarship received for leaders of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

As a corporate and motivational speaker, Karín’s delivery is powerful and engaging. It’s inspirational and packed full of relevant, life-work balance information. Karín’s comments resonate with her audience. She has a clear understanding of the corporate environment and its challenges from a woman’s perspective and being a minority.

Karín is motivated by challenging stretch goals and business problems that seem impossible. She has a very successful track record developing strategy plans, executing and delivering measurable results. Her multi-cultural, multi-lingual background makes her a well-rounded leader committed to team development and motivating team members to reach their highest potential. Her personal mantra, “Failure is not an option; Let’s figure it out together!”

Karín has advanced training in Global Negotiation, Lean Manufacturing, Leadership & Management.  She a native Portuguese & Spanish speaker and beginner level French & Italian. She is a single mother of four who resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

 Dr. Paul Goldbart

Dr. Paul Goldbart

The endarkenment

BIO:

Paul M. Goldbart is a theoretical physicist devoted to research and education in science and mathematics. He He firmly believes that people who acquire a strong education in fundamental science and mathematics—especially when this includes research experience—are superbly positioned to find lifelong fulfillment, not only as flexible innovators and knowledge creators who will catalyze and implement advances for the betterment of society, but also through the sheer joy of engaging with this astonishing universe.

As Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Sciences, Goldbart has focused on critical issues to advance the Institute’s research and teaching in mathematics and the sciences and to elevate their national and international visibility. These include growing, enhancing, and diversifying undergraduate programs; investing in research infrastructure; appointing and developing early-career faculty and ensuring excellence in instruction; promoting research and education in neuroscience; encouraging high-risk/high-reward projects; supporting extensive development and alumni relations activities; communicating the College’s discoveries; engaging the public; and advocating for science and mathematics. He is committed to diversity in its most wide-reaching forms, to promoting family-friendly practices in the workplace, and to establishing opportunities for recognizing the importance of contributions made by College staff.

Goldbart’s research—done jointly with graduate-student and postdoctoral collaborators—is primarily on the physics of condensed matter. This field explores how the large-scale features of matter—e.g., rigidity, liquid crystallinity, magnetism, and superfluidity—emerge as consequences of the nature of the constituents and the interactions between them. Goldbart has also contributed to the fields of quantum entanglement and chaos, ultracold gases, nanosuperconductivity, and law and economics. He interacts widely, with both experimentalists and theorists, and has co-authored approximately 150 journal articles and a well-received textbook: Mathematics for Physics – A Guided Tour for Graduate Students. In recognition of the science that he and his collaborators have explored, Goldbart has been elected to fellowships in the American Physical Society, the U.K.’s Institute of Physics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Early in his career he was named a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator.

Passionate about education, Goldbart is an award-winning instructor who has taught at all collegiate levels and guided numerous doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, many of whom have gone on to university faculty positions. He is also an advocate for public engagement in science and mathematics and for science as a model for addressing complex challenges via a blend of observation and imagination. Since coming to Georgia Tech, he has launched a lecture series that exposes the public to exciting topics in contemporary science and has advanced the Atlanta Science Festival through his service on its Board of Directors.

A student at the University of Cambridge, the University of California–Los Angeles, and the University of London’s Imperial College of Science and Technology from 1978 to 1985, Goldbart then spent 25 years as a member of the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Beginning as a postdoctoral researcher, he rose to professor, leader of the Quantum Materials at the Nanoscale program, and founding director of the Institute for Condensed Matter Theory. He has also held leadership roles in the wider physics community, most notably at the American Physical Society and the Aspen Center for Physics. In 2011, he came to Georgia Institute of Technology as Professor and Chair of its School of Physics. He currently serves as Dean of the College of Sciences and is the inaugural holder of the Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair.

 Debbie Buckner

Debbie Buckner

The synergy of politics & science

BIO:

Debbie G. Buckner (D, Columbus) represents House District 137, which includes Talbot County and parts of Harris, Meriwether, and Muscogee Counties.

She earned a BS Degree in Health Science from Columbus State University and attended Georgia Southwestern College to do postgraduate work and earn a teaching certificate.

Rep. Buckner is currently serving as a member of the Ethics, Natural Resources & Environment, Retirement, and State Institutions & Property committees. As a freshman legislator, she served as secretary of the State Institutions & Properties Committee, a member of the Health & Human Services Committee, a member of the Natural Resources Committee and was the only freshman to serve on the Water Subcommittee. She has served as an assistant to the Majority Whip and currently serves as Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus.

Rep. Buckner is the Former Director of Community Benefit at Columbus Regional Healthcare System, having previously worked for Doctors Hospital as the Director of Community Relations and the Columbus Health Department as Senior Public Health Educator.