Confirmed Presentations

Keynote Speakers

“Using an Investigative, Interdisciplinary and Equitable Framework to Make Science Learning Meaningful for all Students” by Kalyn S. Owens

Dr. Owens is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at North Seattle College. She obtained her PhD from UC Davis and then conducted her postdoctoral research at the University of Washington, College of Education. Dr. Owens is passionate about designing innovative curriculum for early post-secondary STEM courses with emphasis on embedding interdisciplinary research and engaging students in social construction of new knowledge. Her research is centered on documenting the impact these methods have on student learning and faculty teaching practices. In addition, Kalyn has directed several NSF-funded research projects that serve to foster a sense of community as a means to increase persistence and participation in STEM. She is also the co-director of the undergraduate research program at North Seattle College, which has served as a national model for how to engage students in research early in the college experience. When not in the classroom or conducting educational research, Kalyn loves to spend time with her family and friends in the outdoors–hiking, camping, skiing, travelling and kicking the soccer ball around.

“Exploring Beer Chemistry and Methods of Analysis” by Kara Taylor

Kara Taylor has been with White Labs since 2009. She became interested in fermentation science while homebrewing during her days at Loyola Marymount University. She received a B.S. in biology in 2009 and began employment at White Labs in San Diego as a yeast laboratory technician. Since November 2018, she functions as the Technical Laboratory Manager. She enjoys traveling the world judging beer and educating brewers about fermentation.

“Integrated Monitoring, Management, and Education in San Diego’s Coastal Wetlands” by Jeff Crooks

Dr. Crooks has been the Research Coordinator of the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, a Marine Protected Area just north of the US/Mexico border, since 2002. Jeff runs the Reserve’s research and monitoring program, which focuses on using sound science to adaptively manage urban marine ecosystems such as salt marshes and lagoons.

Panel Discussion:  Partnerships with Two-Year Colleges in the San Diego Area

Dr. Edward Alexander is a Professor in the Chemistry Department at San Diego Mesa College.  He is the principal investigator of the NIH funded Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program.


Dr. Jessica Bell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of San Diego.  She is involved in the Malate Dehydrogenase Course Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) Community project, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.


Dr. Suzanne Hizer is the program coordinator for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program at California State University San Marcos.


Dr. Christal Sohl is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at San Diego State University.  She has established a mentoring program, MINDSET (Maximizing INclusion and Diversity in Science, Engineering, and Technology), that strives to diversify the San Diego STEM workforce.