Sandra Henderson is the Director of Citizen Science at NEON and the co-founder and current Director of NEON’s Project BudBurst, a national citizen science program that engages individuals from all walks of life in making and sharing observations on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting in plants. Project BudBurst is a nationally-recognized citizen science program being implemented across the country in formal and informal education settings and the resulting data are being used by scientists to better understand how plants respond to changing climates.
Working on Project BudBurst allows Sandra to combine her background in biogeography and experience in developing climate change educational programs. She has over two decades of environmental science education experiences, which include managing teacher professional development courses and workshops (online and face-to-face); development of climate change educational resources; and dissemination of information about climate change to broad audiences. Before becoming a science educator, Sandra worked as a project scientist studying the impacts of climate change on biodiversity at the U.S. EPA’s Environmental Research Laboratory in Corvallis, Oregon. It was there that she first started working with educators to develop instructional resources that addressed climate change.
Recently, Sandra founded NEON’s Citizen Science Academy (CSA) – a first-of-its-kind online resource for both informal and formal educators. She is particularly interested in science education programs and citizen science campaigns that address the needs of underrepresented populations.
Sandra is a proud graduate of Oregon State University where she earned all three of her degrees. She has published in both peer-reviewed journals and the popular press. Recently, she served as the guest editor for a special issue of the Ecological Society of America’s Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, which focused on citizen science. In June 2013, Sandra was recognized as a White House Citizen Science Champion of Change for her work in engaging the broader, non-expert community in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) research.
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