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Chuck and Cathy Williamson Science Communication Fellowship

The Williamson Fellowship is aimed at increasing geoscience communications and encouraging diversity in the geosciences. The Williamson Fellows will develop relationships with 7-12 public school programs, engage youth in geoscience, increase public science literacy, and provide opportunities for U of U geoscience students to gain outreach and science communication experience. 

Meet Hannah, Sam, and Brenden!

2020-2021 Williamson fellows



Hannah Hartley is a second-year Master’s student in the Department of Geology and Geophysics working with Dr. Cari Johnson. Her research focuses on the relationship between sedimentation and historic lake levels in Lake Powell, and how that understanding can be applied to interpret the rock record. Hannah received her bachelor’s degree in Geology at the College of Charleston, where she was a teaching assistant in several upper-level labs and participated in geology outreach efforts through the department. She is thrilled to bring her enthusiasm for science to others by expanding opportunities to investigate geoscience!





Sam Lopez is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Geology and Geophysics working with Dr. William Johnson. His research is focused around methylmercury production and transport in the Great Salt Lake. Sam received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Grinnell College in Iowa, where he also played collegiate baseball and took part in research focused on mercury cycling in agriculturally dominated wetlands. Sam often spends his free time fly fishing, skiing, backpacking, and enjoying other outdoor activities that the beautiful state of Utah has to offer. Sam has previously worked with youth in science through STEM oriented summer camps and tutoring programs. He is incredibly excited for the opportunity to further promote youth participation and diversity in geoscience through the Williamson Fellowship.




Brenden Fischer-Femal is a 6th-year PhD student in Geology and Geophysics conducting geochemical research with Dr. Gabe Bowen.  His project focuses on past and present soil chemistry and how it changes in response to rapid warming events. He enjoys doing field work at multiple sites in Central Utah where ancient soils record a rapid warming event millions of years ago. Brenden received a Fellowship in Science Communication from the Natural History Museum of Utah and is excited to use the tools that he learned there in this new fellowship, to inform the public about Earth’s carbon cycle. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, backpacking, and rafting.   




holly Dr. Holly Godsey, Associate Professor (Lecturer) in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and Director of Student Success and Teacher Development for the U’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education, will oversee this year’s cohort of the Williamson Science Communication Fellows. Holly is an award-winning teacher who is highly experienced in geoscience education and has worked closely training secondary school teachers and developing numerous programs in STEM outreach.

For more information on activities or visits, contact

Holly Godsey


Field trip


classroom activity
Last Updated: 9/24/21