Since 2005 I have served as the Co-Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Científicas de las Huastecas "Aguazarca" (CICHAZ), a research station in Calnali, Hidalgo, Mexico. Our mission is to bring science and service together by promoting field work opportunities for the scientific community and developing education outreach programs. The research station is a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) and is recognized in Mexico's National Registry of Scientific and Technological Institutions and Businesses (RENIECYT No. 20083). We are the only recognized research station in the biologically and culturally unique Sierra y Huasteca region of eastern Mexico, and thanks to an NSF Field Station Marine Laboratory improvement grant (#1723266) offer state-of-the art laboraties. CICHAZ has hosted scientists from around the world and fostered over 60 publications in the scientific literature.
Primary activities at the station are supported by an NSF LTREB grant through 2023. In 2020 we received a TAMU-CONACYT grant to study the ecological impacts of ranching practices and to implement experimental regenerative ranching techniques. As part of the ranching research, I will be studying the interactions between and among the scientists and ranchers to evaluate informal STEM education practices, inclusion, science communication, and collaborative research.
CICHAZ is chartered as a non-profit organization in Mexico (CICHAZ, A.C.) and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States (CICHAZ USA). For more information, visit the CICHAZ web site: http://www.cichaz.org.
My research centers on informal STEM learning at biological field stations (NSF Grant # DRL-1713359) and how experiences with science impact the public's attitudes towards scientific findings, the scientific method, and science generally, and if there are associated behavioral changes. Additionally I am interested in exploring scientists' attitudes and how they implement citizen science and informal STEM curricula.