The Paytan Lab is deeply committed to outreach and science communication. Below are highlights from some of the programs and events our lab members have participated in.


Communicating Science (EARTH 240)

Dr. Adina Paytan teaches a course in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at UC Santa Cruz titled Communicating Science (EARTH 240). In this class she shares her love of teaching and helps train undergraduate and graduate students to become better science communicators.

This course is for students interested in improving their ability to communicate their scientific knowledge by teaching science in local schools. The course combines instruction in inquiry-based science teaching methods with six weeks of supervised teaching in a local elementary school classroom. Students in the course practice communicating scientific knowledge, and they receive mentoring on how to improve their presentations.

Click here to learn more about the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE): California initiative. 


GEOkids Program

First and second graders from local public schools participate in a field trip to explore and experience fun and engaging activities at UC Santa Cruz. They are introduced to the “work of a geologist” with hands-on educational activities focusing on minerals, rocks, fossils, and soil. Each student gets an official Geology Field Book to record their observations, just like real geologists. The activities are led by graduate and undergraduate students, who eagerly volunteer to express their love of geology. Both young and old enjoy this fun and rewarding experience.

This program is free and is offered to local public schools. If you would like to participate, please contact us. We are happy to share these activities with teachers or geologists who would like to use them with other young students.

Click here to read a published article on the GEOkids program and click here to view a news article about GEOkids.

We are always looking for new volunteers to help lead the program. Students of all disciplines are encouraged to help. For more information about the GEOkids program at UCSC, please contact Dr. Adina Paytan, GEOkids Program Director. 


Community College Research Internship for Scientific Engagement (CC-RISE)

CC-RISE is an eight-week, paid, summer research internship program for community college students run by the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations. Students gain firsthand exposure to the scientific process by working in a research lab at UC Santa Cruz. In addition to research, students will participate in activities focusing on how to transition from a two-year college to a university and get information on graduate school opportunities. At the end of the program, students present their results to an audience of peers and mentors. Students also have the opportunity to present their work at a national conference. The Paytan Lab has hosted and mentored CC-RISE participants in our lab. 

Read more about CC-RISE here.


Read more about Paytan Lab outreach and science communication: 

Galen and Maddie led a hands-on ocean acidification activity for the Monterey County Expanding Your Horizons STEM conference in November 2019. Expanding Your Horizons is an event for girls in grades 5-10 to explore career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. You can read more about EYH here.

Adina was featured as a blog writer to talk about importance of studying paleoclimates. Read the April 2019 post here.

Adina was featured in a Meet Women in Science video in which she talks about why she is a researcher in Earth Science. Find the April 2017 video here.

Adina was hosted on Planet Watch in October 2015 to talk climate change and climate education. See the video here.

Adina participated in a panel discussion “How perceptions of time influence environmental action” in October 2015. Please see the video here.

Click here to see photos of our lab’s participation at the Oct 2011 SACNAS National Conference. The conference, “Empowering Innovation & Synergy Through Diversity”, took place in the heart of Silicon Valley—San Jose, California—the birthplace of the world’s high-tech industry. From October 27-30, 2011 over 3,600 attendees participated in for four days of scientific research presentations, professional development, networking, exhibits, culture, and community.

Click here to see photos from the ¡Youth and the Ocean! program. This program, in a partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, seeks to provide ocean sciences research opportunities to underrepresented high school students, as well as training and practice in mentoring for geosciences graduate students, and to develop and field test an effective geosciences education model for university marine science laboratories. For more information about this program, click here.

Click here for a Jan 2011 “Girls Changing Science” article about Claire Dworsky, a 9-yr old who conducted her own research project in our lab.

Click here for a Nov 2010 UCSC news article about the Communicating Science course taught by Adina here at UCSC, with Earth and Ocean Science graduate students teaching science to 4th graders at Soquel Elementary School.