Madeline is an AmeriCorps VISTA who works with BioCultura, a new educational institute in Santa Fe, NM. STEAM New Mexico finds life at Biocultura through the conjunction of biologic sciences and art. Since the opening in April 2017, Madeline’s daily work has aligned with her VISTA service by building community participation in Northern New Mexico. Not only does she invite explanation of the large mural on the side of the Biocultura building on a busy Santa Fe street but also organizes events and workshops geared toward public engagement. Her background of informal science outreach has played a large part of her work as a VISTA in New Mexico through increasing networks within the Biology outreach scene.
Relevant to her service as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Madeline is based out of Los Alamos where she experiences one of America's largest poverty gaps. On her commute to Santa Fe through Espanola she passes through two counties with vastly different economies. Los Alamos consists of two populations: the scientists and the people who run the services of the small town. Madeline exists within both worlds; she exists within one world as a biologist/educator while she exists in another through her Vista commitment as poverty-line laborer. This unique position provides Madeline with the perspective to question,
"whether science should be practiced for the sake of science or for the people whose lives it affects."
What are we researching and why? The experience that Madeline brings to the STEAM New Mexico team finds grounding in the belief that science is best practiced not only with an open mind but especially with transparency. Working between communities of varying socio-economic backgrounds, she hopes to help members of the community by utilizing grant funding to provide free workshops and classes to members of all Northern New Mexican communities. Through STEAM New Mexico, she says, we can make science more readily available.