Graduate Student at the University of Florida
Project Researcher on iDigFossils
Howdy! My name is Michael Ziegler and I am a first-generation scientist and current graduate student studying paleoecology at the University of Florida. Often my research focuses on reconstructing fossil-rich sites in order to answer how a locality formed and where it fits into the local geology. After completing my B.Sc. degree in Environmental Science & Geology at Georgia College, I spent my gap year as a substitute teacher in the public-school system where I really got interested in formal/informal K–12 education. Working in education allowed me to see the increasing demand for quality science content and the desperate need for this content to be delivered in a fresh format.
Inherently a bit nerdy, Pokémon & Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards, characters and corresponding gameplay captivated me. Mainly, how these imaginative characters often held a strong resemblance to modern flora and fauna or borrowed features from ancient species. Do I still have all my nerdy paraphernalia and am I excited to have found other scientists who share this interest? Ya betcha! Also, historically I’m a big fan of playing boardgames with Michelle Barboza, Isaac Magallanes, and Lisa Lundgren. Even bigger fan of beating them at their own games.
As part of the snazzy Cosplay for Science team, I aim to formalize how we take the phenomenal scientific content covered at our events and deliver it to a broader audience in the format of open-source K–12 lesson plans. Basically, I see myself as a C4S devotee trying to spread the good word of Science Education.