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Seth Thompson // biogeochemist and science educator // class of 2010

Seth Thompson (B.S. Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) is many things, but his top three roles currently include: student, teacher and scientist. While pursuing a graduate degree in the Water Resource Sciences program at the University, he’s also continued teaching classes in the Foundations of Biology program. And his commitment to science education has led him out into the wider community for additional teaching opportunities.

“I’ve become active in a program called InSciEd Out, currently primarily housed at the Mayo Clinic, which promotes the development of long-term partnerships between science experts and K-12 schools across the state,” Thompson says. “The program is intended to impact students’ attitude and behaviors towards current societal issues related to science, such as climate change, infectious disease, obesity, diabetes and vaccines.”

As challenging as that mission sounds, it’s work that Thompson has relished. “It’s been rewarding to work with educators, and to have the opportunity to spend time with younger students talking about how science actually works,” he says.

Thompson still has a passion for pure science, too. “My science love is in the field of biogeochemistry and understanding the linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, particularly related to carbon cycling,” he says. “I hope to make some novel contributions to this field in the coming years and hopefully greatly expand upon our current understanding on how terrestrial ecosystems metabolically subsidize aquatic systems.”

And, as if that weren’t enough, he wants to have an impact on policy, too. “I hope someday to be a prominent voice at the local, state and national level in advocating for improved science education for American students.”