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Scientist Ambassadors Bios

Scientist Ambassadors are trained to be really great at science conversations with learners of all ages.

The Bradbury is building a corps of Scientist Ambassadors who are trained to be really great at science conversations with learners of all ages, about topics that they are passionate about.

Amanda Barry – Biofuels

Amanda Barry

Interested in science from a young age, Amanda studies the biology and biochemistry of algae to characterize and enhance biofuel production. Currently, she supports the Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technology Office in Golden, Colorado, and works in the Bioenergy and Biome Sciences group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Jack Shlacter – Materials Science

Jack Shlackter

Jack has been a physicist at Los Alamos since 1979. While here, he has worked extensively on magnetically driven implosions both for plasma physics applications and the study of materials under extreme conditions. He is also a member of the Los Alamos team promoting the development of MaRIE (short for Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes), an experimental facility for time-dependent control of dynamic properties of materials for national security science missions.

Sandy Frost – Software, Internet of Things, and Cyber Security

Sandy Frost

Sandy is an electrical and computer engineer who works as a solutions architect, developer and certified security specialist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  She was inspired by her Grandfather’s “love of learning” and hopes to light the fire for others.

Jeff Favorite – Mathematics

Jeff Favorite

Scientists and engineers in all fields do their work with integral calculus (among other mathematical tools). No matter how complicated the problem, an integral is just the area contained within some shape. Jeff, a nuclear engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, thinks integrals are fun!

Teri Roberts – Computers

Teri Roberts

A certified software quality engineering and computer software development specialist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Teri hopes to inspire a new generation of children to embrace science and find their life paths by using technology to benefit humanity.

Mitzi Boswell – Cosmic radiation

Mitzi Boswell

A nuclear physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mitzi is a certified non-metal miner whose research takes place mostly in mines because they have less radiation than the surface, due to cosmic rays. She hopes to teach the public that radiation is everywhere and it’s not something they should be afraid of.

Chuck Mielke – Magnets

Chuck Mielke

As the Director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Los Alamos, the facility that holds the world record for the highest non-destructive pulsed magnetic field, Chuck advocates the value of pure science and is interested in helping people develop and recognize their own scientific intuition.

Nicole Jeffrey – Sea ice

Nicole Jeffrey

Nicole is an oceanographer with a background in physics and a member of the Climate, Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She enjoys sharing “cool” science with inquisitive people and wants them to know that scientific insight begins with keen observations and a curious mind.

Jane Clements – Aquatic biology

Jane Clements

Jane is a biologist and zoologist specializing in aquatic biology. She believes that science is an everyday experience and everyone can discover something new if they look at the world with an inquiring perspective.

Mandie Gehring – Nuclear fission and fusion

Mandie Gehring

As a physicist and postdoctoral research associate with the Nuclear Chemistry and Physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mandie believes the field of nuclear science is incredibly interesting and diverse and enjoys sharing her knowledge with children and non-scientists.

Nicole Lloyd-Ronning – Supernovae and electromagnetic spectrum

Nicole Lloyd-Ronning

Nicole is an astrophysicist studying gamma-ray bursts – the most energetic explosions in the universe – at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She was inspired to pursue a career in science by many wonderful teachers and hopes to do the same for the next generation of learners.

Diane Oyen – Machine learning

Diane Oyen

Diane began working at the Lab as a postdoc while she was finishing her Ph.D., in part, because there was an opportunity to work on a project very similar to her dissertation topic: interactive machine learning. The area interests her because it involves complex data and pattern recognition, and has applications in the real world. When not working for the Lab’s Space Science & Systems group, she enjoys backpacking, skiing, traveling, knitting and reading.

Nathan DeBardeleben – Supercomputer reliability

Nathan DeBardeleben

Nathan, with the Lab’s High Performance Computing Design group, started designing, programming, and tinkering at an early age. Coming from a family of engineers, that was hardly unexpected. His interest in computers and computer gaming eventually led to an engineering Ph.D. At the Lab, Nathan uses his knowledge to help build the latest supercomputers and keep them running in tip-top shape—despite what the environment throws at them. When not at work, he’s still gaming—mostly with tabletop and video games.

Nicholas Generous – Data analysis

Nicholas Generous

It’s gone viral! Diseases have always spread quickly but now information is spreading just as fast. Nick, who works for the Lab’s Information Systems and Modeling group, links the Internet and symptom searches to track the spread of sickness. Analysis of these data clusters, along with other information, can show illness patterns almost in real time. For Nick, it’s not just a new set of challenges every day, but work that would have been impossible less than 10 years ago. When he’s not at work, he likes to fly airplanes and ski.

Linda Anderman – Metric System

Linda Anderman

Linda became interested in the ease of the metric system more than four years ago while pursuing outside hobbies. Since that time, she’s worked to understand our history with measurement and tried to figure out what needs to be done to supplant U.S. customary units with metric ones. When she’s not involved in communications and marketing at the Bradbury Science Museum, she spends her time reading and indulging various hobbies.

Matthew Hecht – Ocean and climate modeling

Matthew Hecht

The oceans, which cover about 70% of planet Earth, hold vast amounts of heat. Shifts in the distribution of heat within the oceans can strongly affect the sea ice floating atop those waters, the great ice sheets that extend into the oceans and the climate that we experience on the continents. Matthew Hecht, of the Lab’s Computational Physics and Methods group, applies computer models of ocean circulation, which are closely related to the computer models that generate daily weather forecasts, to the study of the Earth’s climate. When not at work, Matthew enjoys getting out in New Mexico’s high desert climate and playing folk and bluegrass music.

Scott Crooker – Materials and extreme conditions

Scott Crooker

What happens when you take something brand new—like a semiconductor or a quantum dot, and you make it really cold—like just above absolute zero cold, then you stick it in some of the world’s largest and strongest magnetic fields…and then fire a laser at it? Turns out you learn all sorts of new things about all sorts of new materials and you also have what Scott Crooker does every day at the Lab’s National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. Scott and his team use optical spectroscopy measurements to analyze the properties and physics of never before seen materials under extreme conditions. The thrill of pure scientific discovery runs in the family, as Scott’s father was an experimental physicist at the University of Hawaii. When he’s not in the Lab, Scott spends time with his family up in the mountains, hiking, biking, and swimming.