The project's purpose was to connect students and community members in Northern Alaska with science and research connected to their homes, cultures, and landscapes.
The vision of the project was to connect western science and indigenous cultural understandings in a way that honored both and encouraged broader interest in STEM-based careers in Northern Alaskan schools and communities.
The implementation of the project occurred during one of the most important recurring cultural events on the North Slope of Alaska, Kivgiq (2017).
The project culminated inan hour and a half community science panel on February 10, 2017 in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. The panel included speakers from NASA HQ, cultural experts, rocket scientists and community leaders. Students, scientists, hunters, families and other Kivgiq event staff attended the event. There were questions throughout and an engaged discussion afterwards between the audience and panelists that lasted almost an hour itself!
I supported this project as project manager throughout its entire lifecycle. I was contacted by a colleague at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who was interested in creating an event to showcase their new aurora curricula during Kivgiq 2017. After receiving the go-ahead from NASA, we had three weeks to develop the project from concept to completion, including developing all project material including presentation files and marketing; coordinating travel; and managing all event logistics.
The project was featured in four different internal communications products between NASA Headquarters and NASA Goddard as a unique event and huge success. The project partners, participants, supporters and community members were also highly satisfied.