Advisory Board

Science@Cal Staff

Rachel Winheld Director, Science@Cal Sr. Analyst, Particle Cosmology Group Katie Bertsche Education and Outreach Coordinator Science@Cal

Science@Cal Advisory Board 2014

Monica Albe

Monica J. Albe is currently an Executive Assistant to the Molecular and Cell Biology Division Heads on the UC Berkeley campus. She is active in supporting science education through her volunteer activities at Science@Cal, COPUS, and the UC Berkeley Natural History Museums. Before her current position, she was an education and outreach coordinator for Science@Cal and the UC Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and she also spent 10 years as a Senior Museum Scientist at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. She has a passion for outreach to low-income, underrepresented, and K-12 groups. She absolutely loves serving the sciences at Berkeley—it’s a fast-paced, cutting-edge environment and she gets to work with a lot of incredible people!

Teresa Barnett teresa@crscience.orgCRS Executive Director

Teresa Barnett has a passion for providing teachers and students with support and resources. Her professional background includes journalism, editing, and photography, and she has served as founding board member and president of SchoolCARE, a non-profit organization which has raised and distributed over $2.3 million to support education in Albany since its inception in 2001. She has also served as program manager for the WriterCoach Connection program of the Community Alliance for Learning, placing volunteers in classrooms in Oakland, Berkeley, and Albany.Her connection to science began over 15 years ago running elementary school Family Science nights, and presenting planetarium shows using space science materials from the Lawrence Hall of Science. She has a particular interest in efforts to integrate the teaching of science and writing, which CRS has learned is a priority for teachers.

Bruce B. Birkett

Bruce Birkett is a former lecturer in Cal’s Physics Department, as well as having gotten his B.A. and PhD there, and was a founding member of the campus’ Science Coalition (a precursor to Science@Cal). For the last eight years, he has been an organizational development consultant through his company, Sequoia Consulting Associates ( He is now founder and CEO of a startup dedicated to helping students do well in their college-level gateway STEM courses,

Verna Bowie

Verna Bowie is an Analyst in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at University of California, Berkeley. Verna is responsible for a broad spectrum of activities focusing on strategic planning, project development and project management, which fall under the auspices of the Vice Chancellor for Research. She coordinates and manages large multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator research and strategic planning teams. A conservation biologist by training, Verna’s core interest is in the field of global change biology and understanding how ecological systems will respond to change over time.

Steve Croft

Steve Croft is an Assistant Project Astronomer in the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department, working on large radio surveys, and transient and variable astronomical sources. He helped commission the Allen Telescope Array for science operations and developed data analysis pipelines. He got his PhD from the University of Oxford, working on actively feeding supermassive black holes in galaxy cluster environments. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, studying distant galaxy clusters, as well as investigating a fascinating burst of star formation triggered by a jet from a nearby black hole. He is an expert in the use of data at a wide range of wavelengths from many different telescopes. As well as working as a professional scientist, Steve spends around one third of his time on education and public outreach, including as part of the NASA-funded projects NOVAS, which combines art and science in afterschool education (with a focus on underrepresented minorities); and EVOLVE, which explores the evolution of the solar system as part of the UC Museum of Paleontology’s Understanding Evolution website. He also volunteers as coordinator of the Science@Cal Lecture Series, which he founded.

Amy Hamaoui

Amy Hamaoui is the Public Relations Manager for UC Berkeley and supports the Office of Communications and Public Affairs with high-profile, large-scale projects to promote the superior brand of the university. Amy brings with her a decade of experience in PR, media integration and digital media with a focus on consumer marketing for multiple industries. She has led brand and communication strategies for such clients as Mattel and Sony Electronics, and also draws from her experience in entertainment, with five years working in development and production for Fine Living Network and DreamWorks TV.

Laura Peticolas

Laura Peticolas is the Director of the education group at the Space Sciences Laboratory at University of California Berkeley called Multiverse, previously known as the Center for Science Education. She has studied the aurora (on Earth and Mars) and taught physics to undergraduates, K–12 teachers, and the public for over 10 years. As Director of Multiverse, she supports many NASA large-scale and small-scale education and public outreach programs, such as the E/PO efforts for THEMIS, STEREO, Wind, RHESSI, MAVEN and a program bringing solar wind science to teenagers in public areas. She also works with the Indigenous Education Institute (IEI) on an NSF informal science education professional development project bringing together multiple world-views to create better access to science and ways of understanding Earth and the Universe.

Bernard Peyton

Bernie Peyton is an internationally renowned origami artist. He received a BA at Harvard, an MS at the University of Montana, and his PhD at UC Berkeley. Among his career pursuits and explorations, he has been a lithographer/painter, and he has done field research on endangered kangaroo rats and kit fox in California, and spectacled bears, woolly tapir, white-winged guans, and yellow-tailed woolly monkeys in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. From 1985-1989, he was Chief Financial Officer of Alpine Fiber, a textile importation company from South America. As Co-Chair, IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group (1992-1998), he coordinated the bear management efforts in the Andes, and co-edited the “Bear Status and Conservation Action Plan” of the IUCN/SS.  During this time he was also an officer of the Int. Assoc. for Bear Res. and Management (1995-2001), and the Co-Chair of the IUCN Spectacled Bear Specialist Group (1980-1992). Bernie produced, directed and edited “Manos y Garras”, a television documentary designed to educate South Americans about the need to preserve wildlife and habitat (1999-2001). From 2000 to 2005, he was Chairman of the Chaparri Program, a community development and conservation effort that created the first private reserves in northern Perú.

Mary Roach

Mary Roach is a non-fiction writer that focuses on scientific topics. She lives in Oakland and often utilizes the UC Berkeley libraries for her research. She mostly writes books these days, but she still writes the occasional magazine piece. These have run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as many others too embarrassing to name. A 1995 article of hers called “How to Win at Germ Warfare” was a National Magazine Award Finalist, and in 1996, her article on earthquake-proof bamboo houses took the Engineering Journalism Award in the general interest magazine category, for which she was, let’s be honest, the only entrant. She often writes about science, though she doesn’t have a science degree and must fake her way through interviews with experts she can’t understand. She also reviews books for The New York Times.Her first book, Stiff, was an offshoot of a column she wrote for It was sort of a reported humor column, wherein she covered things like amputee bowling leagues and the question of how much food it takes to burst a human stomach. She is well tapped into what the public finds interesting, relevant, and humorous about science.

Bernard Sadoulet

Bernard Sadoulet is Professor of Physics, Director of the UC Institute for Nuclear/Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (INPAC), and Principle Investigator of the Particle Cosmology Group, at UC Berkeley. He likes to work at the borders between several scientific disciplines, currently cosmology, particle physics and condensed matter. He is fascinated both by the new perspectives offered by such multidisciplinary activities, and by the current rapid experimental progress, fueled in part by the technology transfer between these fields. At the same time, he likes to keep some involvement in the phenomenology motivating his field’s effort, as he strongly objects to the prevalent separation between theorists and experimentalists. He regularly collaborates with theoreticians to attempt to identify the generic aspects of the models he and his colleagues are trying to test.A pioneering advocate for equity and inclusion in the physical sciences, he also believes it is essential to better link such research activities to society, and he strongly encourages members of his research group to get engaged in outreach activities, whether it is sharing with the public at large their exciting scientific quest, involvement in K–12 education, or collaboration with industry.

Andrew Siemion

Andrew Siemion has devoted his professional life to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.  He joined the UC Berkeley SETI effort as a grad student, and now serves as a project scientist.

Kate Spohr

Kate Spohr is a research outreach specialist at the Berkeley Research Development Office where she provides a range of proposal writing and support services, with a focus on helping principal investigators strategize and develop plans that expand the broader impacts of their research. From 2006 to 2014, Kate was education outreach manager for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc), a multi-campus NSF Engineering Research Center headquartered at UC Berkeley. Since 2010, she has chaired the Coalition for Education and Outreach (CEO), a network of faculty, staff, and students who work in STEM education and public outreach at UC Berkeley and the community at large. Previously, Kate worked in higher education, industry and the non-profit sector in positions in program management, development, and communications for higher education and non-profit organizations focusing on education and training. She has an M.A. in communication from Stanford University.


Co-founder and chief scientist of the SETI@home project and director of other UC Berkeley SETI searches at radio, infrared and visible wavelengths, including the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Radio Emissions from Nearby Developed Intelligent Populations (SERENDIP), Dan Werthimer is also the principal investigator for the worldwide Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER). He was associate professor in the engineering and physics departments of San Francisco State University and a visiting professor at Beijing Normal University, the University of St. Charles in Marseille, and Eotvos University in Budapest. His father, Jerrold Werthimer, was Professor of Journalism at San Francisco State University for many years.Dan has taught courses at universities in Peru, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. He has published numerous papers in the fields of SETI, radio astronomy, instrumentation and science education; he is co-author of “SETI 2020” and editor of “Astronomical and Biochemical Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe”. Dan specializes in signal processing for radio astronomy. He has been doing SETI since 1979, and he runs the SERENDIPOptical SETI, and CASPER projects.

Lisa D White

Lisa White is the Director of Education and Outreach at the University of California Museum of Paleontology. In this role she enhances research programs at the UCMP by providing avenues through which to share research on the history of life and the Earth’s biota with the public. She is currently developing new collaborations to increase the public understanding of the nature and process of science, the importance of evolution, and the impact of global change. A micropaleontologist by training and Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Geological Society of America, Lisa trains and guides underrepresented minority students in wide-ranging field experiences through the METALS (Minority Education through Teaching and Learning in the Sciences) program and she has been instrumental in opening the geoscience field to other minorities.

Patricia Zambryski

Patricia Zambryski received her PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado. At UC Berkeley, Professor Zambryski is a plant and microbial biologist and also serves as the department’s Graduate Student Advisor. She studies Type IV secretion in bacteria and cell-to-cell transport in plants. Her laboratory performs research in two distinct areas. In microbial biology, the lab’s focus is on the molecular mechanisms utilized by Agrobacterium that leads to the genetic transformation of plant cells. In plant biology, her lab studies how plant cells communicate with each other via unique plant specific intercellular structures called plasmodesmata.