I am a Latina marine biologist and conservationist who is actively engaged in research, exploration, communication, and application of scientific knowledge related to the conservation of marine ecosystems. I currently study sharks and their relatives (the skates, rays, and chimaeras). I love learning about these animals and sharing that passion with others, so I created The Fins United Initiative (TFUI; www.finsunited.co.nz) to allow for scientifically accurate and open-access (free) materials for teachers worldwide. The Fins United Initiative is not a true non-profit and is currently just a program that I’ve put my heart, soul, and lots of money into. I’ve travelled all over the world to visit classrooms (or Skype into them) to teach all ages about these fascinating creatures. Since its inception in 2013/2014, TFUI has educated over 14,000 people! We are also proudly partnered up with Let's Talk Science and Share My Lesson to get more free educational materials to the general public.
I am also outspokenly passionate about the potential of young women, especially Latina women. I believe anyone can do science, regardless of their background! I want to shine the spotlight on those scientists who are different and help show younger generations how many amazing (and sometimes free!) opportunities exist as a STEM major. In fact, I did a TEDx talk that discussed this very point: you can see it here. This is why The Fins United Initiative features diverse shark scientists from around the world -- and why I started my bi-weekly #STEMSaturdays segment with femSTEM. By giving minorities and women the tools they need to succeed, I believe we can achieve true diversity and equality in science.
As an active science communicator, I believe we can discuss science-related topics in an easily understandable and entertaining way! I hope my work via various projects and speaking engagements helps increase the level of scientific literacy among the general non-scientific public so that anyone can understand scientific topics. Your support through Patreon will allow me to do the all of the above, and help me out with my latest endeavours: becoming an author and becoming a podcast host (see more on these below).
Your support will allow me to connect and help a multitude of people – and sharks! Thank you for all your support.
WHAT YOU’RE FUNDING
The Fins United Initiative: The Fins United Initiative is a shark, skate, ray and chimaera education and conservation program aiming to unite fin lovers worldwide. Through partnerships with K-12th grade educational institutions, The Fins United Initiative provides easy-to-access materials that educators can use in their classrooms. My main goal is to develop open-access resources for all, with a focus on free and freely-available content. The TFUI programs use innovative, participatory learning techniques that allow students to fully grasp the important role these animals play in our oceans. Teaching occurs in two ways: in person or via Skype Classroom/Google Hangouts.
ConCiencia Azul: The Spanish version of Speak Up For Blue Podcast. I will be publishing episodes about Marine Science and Conservation... all in Spanish. ConCiencia Azul will interview Latinx* researchers, discuss ocean-related topics, and speak about some of the unique hardships Hispanic/Latino countries face. The show will post a new episode once a week. Listen to it here. // *Note: Latinx is a gender neutral term often used in lieu of Latino or Latina.
Writing efforts: Yes, it’s true! This upcoming year, in-between my jobs, I will be putting much of my effort into becoming a published author and writing books that will help promote and encourage science literacy in all ages (Patreon supporters will get behind-the-scenes updates).
How Patreon Can Help
Your Patreon contribution would accomplish few things:
- It pays for my equipment, software, marketing practices
- It pays for my time, allowing me to reach out to more women and minorities in STEM
I’m a big believer in “support what you love.” Thank you for your interest in supporting my efforts. Feel free to contact me [email protected]<wbr>com if you have any questions.