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OSU College of Education alum named White House “Champion of Change”

June 27th, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon State University alumna Sandra Henderson was recently honored in a White House ceremony for being a champion of citizen science.

sandrahenderson-225x300Henderson is the director for Citizen Science at the National Ecological Observatory Network in Boulder, Colo. She received a doctorate in science education, with a minor in geography, from OSU in 2001.

She was recognized this week by the White House Champions of Change program, which aims to identify and recognize Americans doing extraordinary things.  This year, the program is honoring people who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in engaging the broader, non-expert community in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, or STEM research.

In 2007, Henderson co-founded Project BudBurst, a national online citizen science campaign where individuals from all walks of life report on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants in their communities. The data are freely available to researchers and educators who can use it to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to local, regional, and national changes in climate.

“Being able to combine my interest in science education with my passion for nature through NEON’s Project BudBurst has been a career highlight,” Henderson said. “It is so inspiring to work with thousands of people across the country to make a difference in our understanding of how plants respond to environmental change. Plants have stories to tell us about changing climates if we only take the time to observe and learn.”

To learn more about Sandra Henderson’s work with NEON’s Project BudBurst, please read this blog post on the Champions of Change website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/25/stories-plants-can-tell-neon-s-project-budburst.

For more information on the White House Champions of Change program, please visit: www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

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