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Chuck and Cathy Williamson

Science Communication Fellowship

The Williamson Fellowship is aimed at increasing geoscience communications and encouraging diversity in the geosciences. The Williamson Fellows will develop relationships with 7-12 public school programs, engage youth in geoscience, increase public science literacy, and provide opportunities for U of U geoscience students to gain outreach and science communication experience. 

All teaching resources & activities

Emily and Sandra!

2023-2024 Williamson fellows

Emily Cunningham


Emily Cunningham is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geology and Geophysics working with Dr. Sarah Lambart. Emily’s research is focused on studying mantle sourced lavas with the goal of expanding our knowledge of the upper mantle’s composition. Emily earned her bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University in 2018, and then her master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 2020. Since the beginning of her academic career, Emily has been passionate about teaching and outreach, taking any opportunity to connect with people interested in learning more about the geosciences. She enjoys spending her free time with her partner and their pets, as well as reading, skiing, and climbing. Emily is grateful for the amazing outreach opportunities provided by the Williamson Fellowship, and excited to share her knowledge with the next generation of scientists while learning from them as well.

Emily Cunningham

Sandra Rameriez


Sandy is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Department of Geology and Geophysics working with Dr. Peter Lippert. Her graduate studies focus on low-cost alternative methodology development for air quality monitoring and assessment in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and her hometown, Mexico City. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Earth Science from UNAM in 2019 and 2022, respectively. After obtaining her bachelor’s, she worked at the UNAM Science Museum, where she started her outreach career. She enjoyed working with kids and found a way to connect with people through science communication. Sandy enjoys swimming, hiking, and watching good sci-fi movies in her free time. From the Williamson Fellowship, Sandy expects to gain and practice outreach skills that would help her in all aspects of her career. She is enthusiastic about promoting her research in a fun and exciting way.

Sandy Ramirez




Though my time as a Williamson Fellow was relatively short, the things I learned I will carry with me for the rest of my career as a scientist. I spent one day each week in the fall semester of 2023 working with two groups of students at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education. I spent time with Elizabeth Moretz’s 11th grade biology class, as well as Joshalynn Marino’s 9th-12th grade geology class. I got to know students by helping them with assignments, including some lab experiments in the biology class, and doing a few short presentations and activities.  I was fortunate to be able to join the students on a number of field trips, including a hike through Catherine’s Pass up Little Cottonwood Canyon to measure tree trunks, and a walking tour of prominent downtown Salt Lake City buildings where the students were observing different geological building materials and learning about what those materials are and where they came from. I was also able to join the middle school for two days of activities at the Great Salt Lake where I taught students about the levels of Lake Bonneville, and they learned what makes Great Sale Lake ooid sand special. 

My favorite day of the semester was when I was teaching the biology class about fossilization methods, which included a short presentation and several fossils for them to look at and answer questions about. While I was running the activity for Mrs. Moretz’s students, another 11th grade biology teacher happened to come into the class and loved the activity, so she asked me to also bring it to her room to share it with her students. Even though I had never met those students before, they were so engaged and attentive which made it a fun time for everyone involved. 

I truly loved and appreciated the opportunity to not only bring my own science into their classrooms, but more importantly to learn from them and their teachers how to best communicate what I do to a broader audience. This is an experience I will carry with me forever, and I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this program. Thank you for the opportunity and please enjoy the photos included below. 

2023-2024 Activities And Lesson Plans


2021-2022 Activities And Lesson Plans

2020-2021 Virtual Activities And Lesson Plans

Last Updated: 3/27/24