From Academia to the World

I enjoy engaging people in science and helping them find their own passion for understanding the world.  

I use science to educate people on environmental policy issues at the federal, state, and local levels.

I have given presentations at schools, libraries, wildlife centers, and universities on many topics, including ecological research, desert wildlife, federal wildlife laws, and legislative processes.

  • Wildlife Center of Virginia, Facebook Live event, May 2024. What Do All Those Cases Add Up To? Watch here.

  • National Science Policy Network Annual Symposium, Workshop Presenter, November 2021. Writing Effective Science Policy Memos.

  • Attleboro Land Trust Annual Meeting, Invited Speaker, November 2021.

  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Research - Presentation and Discussion with Rehabilitators, October 2021.
  • URBAN Workshop: Science Communication for Youth Audiences, Panelist, May 2021.
  • BU-MIT Virtual Hill Day, February 2021. Set up and led meetings with five Congressional offices about federal science funding, immigration reform, and COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
  • Skype a Scientist, May 2020. Five sessions with classes and homeschooling children from kindergarten to 7th grade.
  • Milton Speaker Series, Milton, MA. March 2020. Invited speaker; cancelled due to COVID-19
  • Brookline High School, Scientific Drawing Class, Brookline, MA. September 2019.
  • Sunrise Elementary School, Yuma, AZ. February 2017.
  • James D. Price Elementary School, Yuma Proving Ground, AZ. February 2017.
  • Gila Ridge High School, Yuma, AZ. September 2016.

Science Communication

Contributor to The Conversation: "Digitized records from wildlife centers show the most common ways that humans harm wild animals," November 22, 2023.

Contributor to The Conversation: "Climate change threatens spring wildflowers by speeding up the time when trees leaf out above them," March 14, 2023.

Contributor to Journal of Ecology Blog: "Cover stories (111:02): Yellow trout lily – a journey from ground to museum to research journal," February 27, 2023.

Contributor to The Conversation: "By fact-checking Thoreau's observations at Walden Pond, we showed how old diaries and specimens can inform modern research," October 26, 2022.

Vitamin PhD Podcast, Guest: "Conversations about Communication Platforms in Higher Education," Season 5 Episode 2, August 12, 2021.  

Contributor to Vegetation Science Blog: "Environmental variables driving species composition in Subarctic springs in the face of climate change," October 20, 2020.

See posts that I have written on the Primack Lab Blog.

Press coverage and interviews:

Harper Prize Shortlist 2023. Journal of Ecology, Mar 2024.

For Wildlife in Rehab Centers, Humans are the Culprit. The Wildlife Society, Jan 2024.

New Study Identifies the Greatest Threat to Wildlife across North America and Canada: People. The Brink, Boston University, Nov 2023.

Twitter - 3 posts in a thread, Boston University Experts, Oct 2023.

Twitter, Annals of Botany, May 2023.

Warming temperatures are creating 'zombie forests' in California. New Scientist, Mar 2023.

Twitter, Boston University Experts, Nov 2022.

Warmer temperatures are linked to mismatch among forest plants. British Ecological Society, Nov 2022.

Twitter, British Ecological Society, Nov 2022.

Discussion of Atherton et al., 2021 policy memo. Science Stream: Urban Heat Island Effect ft. Entroma. SocrateaseTV, Twitch TV, Oct 2021.

Commentary on Miller et al., 2021: "Coping with eccentricities of natural history collection data. A commentary on: 'Comparing fruiting phenology across two historical datasets: Thoreau's observations and herbarium specimens'. " Annals of Botany, July 2021. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcab045 

Thoreau still contributes to climate change research: New study uses Henry David Thoreau's observations of fruiting times. iDigBio, May 2021.

Prof. Primack and Ph.D. Candidate Tara Miller publish in Annals of Botany. Biology Department, Boston University, Apr 2021.

What can Henry David Thoreau Teach Us About Climate Change? Researchers pull from Thoreau's findings to investigate how climate change is affecting local environments. Boston University Experts Medium, Apr 2021.

BU researchers study potential loss of wildflower population due to climate change. The Daily Free Press, Feb 2020.

Right Place, Right Tree: app informs urban canopy planting in cities. TalkPlant, Dec 2019.

BU's URBAN Enables PhD Students to Study People's Health and the Earth's. BU Today, Sept 2019.

North Country at Work: Rehabilitating Adirondack Wildlife with Wendy Hall. North Country Public Radio, Sept 2019.

STEPUP Science Policy

As president of STEPUP (Science and Technology in Public Policy) - Boston University's graduate science policy group - I recruited and fostered new leadership in the group, implemented new working groups, and the led the expansion of our group's activities.

Under my 2 years of leadership, STEPUP organized or co-hosted the following events:

  • Science Debate - a platform to ask candidates and elected officials about their positions and plans for addressing a wide range of science-related issues, including education, healthcare, immigration, artificial intelligence, and climate change. We worked with the Massachusetts Science Policy Network to develop questions, contact candidates for statewide office in MA, conduct media outreach, and draft press releases to news outlets. Website.
  • MA Student Power Forum - an event spotlighting and amplifying student's political voices and needs. I recruited undergraduate students from Boston University to participate, and I supported outreach for the event. Video.
  • Science Policy Debate Panel and Discussion - a community discussion of candidates' Science Debate responses, with panelists Margaret Magaletta (Massachusetts Science Policy Network), Dan Pomeroy (Scientific Citizenship Initiative at Harvard Medical School), and Jennifer Grodsky (Boston University Federal Relations).
  • Policy Memo Workshop (led by Jessica Wright) - an event to learn how to write a policy memo, with panelists Johannes Epke (Conservation Law Foundation), Dr. Deborah Thompson (One Health Lessons), and Patrick Reilly (U.S. Department of State).
  • Group Discussions of MIT edX Course: Tools for Academic Engagement in Public Policy (led by Leticia Lee). Website.
  • BU-MIT Virtual Hill Day. I coached team members in how to set up and conduct legislative meetings, we researched and wrote talking points for science policy advocacy on science funding, student visas, climate change, and COVID-19 vaccination data, and made we connections with staff in ten Congressional offices.
  • Science Policy Networking Event with Union of Concerned Scientists - meeting and Q&A with Shreya Durvasula and Paulina Muratore.
  • National Science Policy Network Policy Memo Competition. We had two policy memo writing groups; one group submitted to the NSPN Policy Memo Competition and published in the Journal of Science Policy & Governance.
  • Boston Candidate Science Survey (led by Leticia Lee) - an initiative to provide voters with information on candidates' positions on science policy issues important to Bostonians. Website. Op-ed by Leticia Lee and Rayven-Nikkita Collins.
  • Science Policy Elevator Pitch Workshop - an event to practice talking about science policy topics and research with different audiences.
  • Takeaways from COP26: International Perspectives on the UN Climate Summit - an event to hear from international and interdisciplinary speakers on the impact of climate negotiations on public health, oceans, and policy, with panelists Dr. Poornima Prabhakaran (Public Health Foundation of India), Theresa Keith (Knauss Marine Policy Fellow), and Florencia Ortuzar (Interamerican Association for the Environmental Defense).
  • Communicating Science, Shaping Policy Workshop, co-hosted with BU URBAN, Federal Relations, and Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs - an event to learn skills in developing equitable partnerships with community organizations, writing policy briefs, and meeting with policymakers, with panelists Melissa Varga, Andrea Savage, and Paula Garcia (Union of Concerned Scientists), and Maria Belen Power (GreenRoots).
  • Social Media (run by Lucila Bloemendaal) - Twitter

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