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Jen Baron

Jen Baron
Let’s Talk Science Volunteer at UBC Vancouver

Jen aims to empower youth from diverse backgrounds to visualize and pursue STEM careers and finds working in classrooms exciting and fun!

Time volunteering with Let’s Talk Science: 3 years

Area of study: Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Forestry

Inspirational Moment: While leading a lesson on tree-ring research and describing sample collection, a young girl in the classroom asked me if I used chainsaws in the field, and was excited to learn that I had and that anyone can with the correct training. Forestry and wildfire science continue to be male-dominated disciplines; through moments like these, I aim to empower youth from diverse backgrounds to visualize and pursue STEM careers.

Favourite Let’s Talk Science volunteering activity: Classroom outreach sessions through the Lessons in Ecology and Evolution Fundamentals (LEEF) Program. In particular, I love leading students through active participation games that teach scientific concepts.

Why do you volunteer with Let’s Talk Science? As a scientist, I can have a large impact on public perceptions of STEM and scientific research. I believe I have a responsibility to promote and support scientific literacy and critical thinking in youth. Also, working in classrooms is exciting and fun; student enthusiasm is contagious!

Fun fact: I recently returned from 6-weeks of fieldwork in southeastern BC, where we sampled forest fuel conditions to model fuel accumulation and wildfire risk. Through this work, we will identify priority locations and strategies to reduce wildfire risk and restore fire-adapted ecosystems.