Reach Out

PMB students, faculty, posdocs and staff regularly perform a variety of outreach and public service work, including volunteering in schools, visiting science fairs and conferences and mentoring in small group settings.



American Society of Plant Biologists


Graduates volunteered at the American Society of Plant Biologists booth at a National Science Teachers Association meeting, demonstrating DNA extraction and plant biology science lessons. 

Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) 

Bay Area Science in Schools puts scientists (mainly graduate students) into elementary school classes in the Bay Area to teach curriculum relevant science lessons organized around the scientific method.

Volunteer with PMBers in pre-organized lesson plans to elementary schools. We have 4 lessons that use games and hands on materials to learn science. For each lesson I'm listing the emails of contact people if you are interested in helping. BASIS is great if you want to work with kids and have minimal commitment (or you can always do more).
1) How plants adapt to different environments: jjaenisch@berkeley.edu
2) Plant lifecycles: arschwartz@berkeley.edu
3) Micrscopes: ashelton@berkeley.edu
4) Microbes: gaberose@berkeley.edu 

Be A Scientist

A developing program for seventh graders to "be a scientist." Graduates will be visiting schools for one a week for five weeks to help seventh graders develop and answer questions, identify controls, etc. Get 7th graders excited about science and engineering. Graduate students and postdocs mentor 7th graders through designing and conducting their own science investigations over 6 weeks.
or contact Traci at traci@crscience.org
Berkeley BioLabs

Establishing efficient exchange channels for resources and expertise between Ecuador and California. 

Berkeley High School TutoringChris Gee of PMB is organizing a tutoring rotation at Berkeley High for homework and mentoring and anything a high schooler may need help with. The idea is to get a rotation of us to share going a few times a week.
Contact Chris Gee at cwg@berkeley.edu


Berkeley Unified School District

Graduates work as after-school tutors in science and math assisting Berkeley High School students with homework, exam preparation, and providing a tangible presence of UC Berkeley outreach and "scientists" in general. 

Beyond Academia

Graduate student- and ostdoc-run conference that focuses on educating PhDs about careers in addition to academia. A career education conference that exposes UCB PhD students and postdocs to career options outside of academia. While not specific to science, this is a great volunteer opportunity.

Contact Rose Kantor at rkantor@berkeley.edu

Cal Day

Interfacing with members of the public or undergraduate community at UC Berkeley that are interested in science or PMB, on this day of public exposure. Graduates work with other members of the department, and set up fun activities for visitors.


Communication, Literacy & Education for Agricultural Research

The CLEAR project, funded by the UC Global Food Initiative, involves undergrad, grad and postdoctoral students from UC Berkeley who meet twice monthly and sponsor roundtables. CLEAR groups are also on UC Davis and UC San Diego campuses.  The goal of CLEAR is to find better ways to communicate fact-based information, grounded in scientific evidence, about agriculture and food to address demands of climate change and decrease our environmental footprint.


Community Resources for Scientists

The Bay Area Scientists in Schools branch of Community Resources for Scientists is a volunteer organization that specializes in bringing scientists to Bay Area schools to bolster science curricula through hands-on lectures designed by the scientists. Additionally, this gives the students a chance to ask scientists what their jobs are like, and to ask questions about high school or college. The Bay Area Scientists in Schools also sends volunteers to be judges in science fairs and to similar events, but I have thus far only been involved in the lessons.

Counter-Culture Labs

Counter-Culture Labs is a Do-It-Yourself Bio hackerspace being set up in Oakland. Meetings are currently being held to discuss funding, governance, and random community outreach events. Some of the people involved are from BioCurious. 

Expanding your Horizons Conference

A conference introducing middle school girls to science, technology, engineering and mathematics through workshops and panels, organized locally by post doctorates and graduate students through a national organization. Graduate, postdoc, and undergraduate student women from all STEM departments at UCB who organize a conference for teenage girls to encourage a career/education in STEM subjects. The conference will take place in March and volunteers are needed!

Please contact Riva Bruenn: rbruenn@berkeley.edu
or ocf.berkeley.edu/~eyh/

The FoundryNon-profit organization for education outreach in sound engineering and visual arts.
Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Ecuador PMB participates with this Institute, whose goal it is to articulate scientific research with education outreach and economic activity. An international team of collaborators proposed amendments to Ecuador's regulations pertaining the access and development of biological resources and indigenous knowledge.
Madera Elementary SchoolGraduates volunteer to be judges for science fairs.
Microbiology Student GroupThe department's student group for micro is geared to bring together microbiology students in the Bay Area. Every year the group hosts a symposium with student talks and posters, and two prominent microbiologists in the field. They also host a social mixer in the summer for Berkeley students. 

The Millet Project

A diverse group of PMB researchers launched a campaign to grow, cultivate and market millet, a nutritious, gluten-free grain, higher in protein and micronutrients and lower in water needs than corn and rice. Funded by the Berkeley Food Institute and Berkeley's CLEAR project (Communication, Literacy & Education for Agricultural Research, the project engaged growers in six California locations to cultivate four millet varieties and hosted a Gill tract event to introduce the community to millet through field tours and foods made from millet.

Oakland Math and Science Outreach

The Oakland Math and Science Outreach provides mentoring, tutoring, and extracurricular project-based learning activities for middle and high school students in Oakland, as well as provides a community and resources for parents. Mentoring consists of facilitating academic, social, and emotional development. They frame Science, Technology, Engineering and Math  within a context of social justice.

Planting Science

Online science and research mentorship of public middle school and high school teams developing science projects in classrooms. 

SF Bay DIY Bio International Genetically Engineered Machine Team

Counter-Culture labs are creating an International Genetically Engineered Machine team with high-schoolers.

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science

Department and University personnel regularly attend meetings of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science--is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano & Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership.

SPUR (Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research)

Faculty or student initiated projects for CNR undergraduates to collaborate on research projects by rpoviding a grant to support their joint project. Postdocs and graduate students are often part of the mentoring process.
Visit nature.berkeley.edu/undergraduate-research/spur
or contact Carina Galicia at cgalicia@berkeley.edu

ucbiotech.org (Peggy Lemaux's educational resources)

A website that provides educational resources focused broadly on issues related to agriculture, crops, animals, foods, and the technologies used to improve them. Available education tools and information and science-based information to promote informed participation in discussions about these topics.
Visit ucbiotech.org or contact Barbara Alonso at balonso@berkeley.edu

Volunteer Docent at the Cal Academy of Science

Commit to 3.5 hour shift a month for a year and four on-going training sessions in the year to talk about science at the Cal Academy. Work on your people skills! PMB alum Onur Erbilgin is a docent and is happy to talk to you about it: onuruno.e@gmail.com
 Writer Coach ConnectionGraduates become writing coaches for middle and high- schoolers. Every student gets one-on-one attention. Writing coachers help students with their writing, and provde them with positive feedback to help build their writing and academic confidence.