Over the last year, I’ve had the privilege of serving as the Co-Chair of the Environmental Literacy Task Force, a group of extraordinary environmental education leaders from around the state, convened by California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. This effort could not have come at a more critical and propitious time. As members of […]
As Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts-Wilson Dean of Education, Elizabeth C. Babcock, Ph.D. is responsible for creating and implementing public engagement, outreach, and education programs for the California Academy of Sciences—and around the globe through digital initiatives. She seeks to ignite a lifelong curiosity and appreciation for the natural world among all of the audiences who come in contact with the institution. The first person to fill the Academy’s newly-endowed Dean of Education role, Babcock is responsible for ensuring that the Academy's programs of education, public programs, aquarium exhibits, and planetarium productions remain fresh and engaging for approximately 1.5 million visitors of all ages each year from the Bay Area and around the world. The Academy is home to an aquarium with 38,000 live animals, a planetarium featuring award-winning shows produced by an in-house science visualization team, and compelling natural history exhibits on the evolution and sustainability of life on Earth. Babcock's team of experience designers develop and deliver a variety of innovative programs within and beyond the museum's walls. Signature programs include the Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability, the Careers in Science intern program, award-winning planetarium productions, and online courses reaching thousands of learners. Dozens of daily and monthly programs for museum visitors and public lectures offer the public opportunities to dive deeper into critical issues such as sustainability, conservation, and human health on a person-to-person level. Babcock also guides the development of new digital learning initiatives, which allow the Academy to reach audiences beyond the Bay Area through online courses and engage youth in creating their own science stories.