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Green Careers Panels Recap
Jan 20

Green Careers Panels Recap

By Jennifer Torrance, Science Education Coordinator

Last week, middle and high school students had the opportunity to meet local professionals who work in conservation and climate change fields when Phipps hosted two virtual Green Careers Panels. These panels explored careers in areas such as ecology, innovation and design, water quality, entomology, education & collections, ornithology, sustainability, botany, and climate science. Panelists introduced the students to possible jobs in STEM, talked about their own career paths, and answered many questions about the importance of their daily work.

We were honored to have these amazing panelists share their wisdom:

  • Braley Burke, Phipps’ integrated pest management specialist
  • Brian Pilarcik, watershed specialist for the Crawford County Conservation District
  • Robert Mulvihill, ornithologist at the National Aviary
  • Shishir Paudel, Phipps’ plant ecologist
  • Dr. Erica Cochran Hameen, architect, assistant professor, Co-Director of the Center for Building Performance & Diagnostics, and School of Architecture Director of DEI at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Taiji Nelson, senior program manager for the Climate and Rural Systems Partnership at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
  • Adam Haas, Phipps’ interpretive program manager
  • Isatis Cintrón Rodríguez, PhD Candidate in Atmospheric Chemistry at Rutgers University and Latin America Regional Coordinator for Citizens Climate International

Wednesday’s panel was tailored toward exploring conservation careers with middle school students, while Thursday’s panel aimed at diving into climate change careers with high school students. As we heard from the panelists, however, these two topics are deeply intertwined, and their work goes hand in hand. To hear our panelists give some wonderful career advice or to learn more about the different science careers in our area, you can watch the recordings of the virtual Green Careers Panels here:

Watch Conservation-Focused Green Careers Panel:

Watch Climate Change-Focused Green Careers Panel:

A HUGE thank you to our incredible panelists! You inspired the next generation of leaders to take leaps toward conservation and climate action in hopes of having a greener future!


Have questions? Contact Jennifer Torrance at or 412/622-6915, ext. 3230.

Developed by the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Fl., and adopted by Phipps as a satellite partner in 2008, The Fairchild Challenge offers a menu of interdisciplinary challenges for grades K-5, 6-8 and  9-12, attracting students of diverse interests, abilities, talents and backgrounds. The Challenge empowers young people to engage in civic life and encourages them to become energetic and knowledgeable members of their communities.