Eager Science Communicator Joins CAST

Kimberly Nelson Joins CAST Staff

Kimberly presenting the early stages of
her graduate research.

Although Kimberly Nelson refers to herself as a “townie” since her main connection to agriculture stems from her father’s many years as an agricultural educator, her passion for science communication and previous experience makes her an exceptional addition to the team at CAST. As of recently you can often find Kimberly biking and enjoying the great outdoors or relaxing with a good book or watching a binge-worthy series on Netflix, but for the last few years Kimberly has had her nose to the grindstone.

Starting her academic journey at Buena Vista University (BVU), Kimberly chose to explore her interests in media and literature. During this time she was heavily involved in the student-run newspaper and radio station. Upon her graduation, Kimberly made her way to The Stelter Company editorial department as a copy editor, and also assisted in project management and web design. Kimberly eventually moved to Meyocks, where she ensured food packaging labels were up to FDA and USDA regulations. Throughout this chapter of her life, she discovered a way to bridge her love for science, storytelling, and radio with podcasts. Realizing her true passion, Kimberly chose to attend graduate school at Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication for science communication.

While at Iowa State University, Kimberly was given many opportunities to enhance her educational experience. Although she served as a co-author on three research publications, the experience she cherished the most was her trip to Guam. Through a research collaboration between Kimberly’s major professor and a research team in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, they spoke to locals about the environmental management issues they were facing on their island. After observing the feedback they received for common themes regarding the island’s perspectives on nature, wildlife, and management efforts, their research was published in The Journal of Environmental Management and applied toward Kimberly’s thesis.

Kimberly participated in RAGBRAI 2018.

Even though she would someday like to go back to school and obtain her doctoral degree, she is currently eager to join CAST and gain hands-on experience in science communication. “I believe it is extremely important to have real-world experience to share with your students, especially for those who plan to go directly industry instead of pursuing continued education.”

Luckily for CAST, Kimberly’s passion includes communicating scientific research, and she is excited to take what she has learned through her education and apply it to concrete scenarios. “I am excited to work with people who are passionate about science. Communicating complex research findings to a diverse group of people can be a difficult process, but I am happy to be part of it.” The CAST community welcomes her.

By: Kylie Peterson

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