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Explore Alliance Ambassadors - Dr. Katherine Auld

Explore Alliance Ambassador - Abigail Bollenbach
Bentonville, AR USA
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Two years into a business degree I quit school because it was “boring”.  After marrying and starting a family I went back to school, starting at a community college.  While searching for myself and needing another lab science I took geology.  It was a life changing experience.  Immediately I changed my major altering my life course.  Since I was young with no roots, it took 6 years, 3 more community colleges and finally the University of Arkansas to complete a Bachelor of Science in Geology.  Three more years saw the completion of a Master of Science in Geology studying martian geology then seven years later a PhD in Space and Planetary Science, specializing in martian geomorphology and gullies.  While finishing the doctorate I started teaching at NWACC, recently starting my 10th year at NWACC. I taught for 7 ½ years as adjunct, received the 2016 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, then transitioned to Full-time faculty.  I have taught Intro to Physical Science, Survey of the Universe (Intro to Astronomy), and General Geology.


My passion is STEM education at all levels.  I am a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador giving public lectures at the Bentonville public library and the local public schools.  I work closely with a number of local civic groups to coordinate STEM programs between the public, private sector, and NWACC because I believe in the mission of the community college and its importance in the community and building a proficient work force for tomorrow.


My current scientific interest is our Sun. Stars are fascinating, but this interest dates back to my dad helping me track down information on sun posts through a research group in Boulder, Colorado and finally to Japan for a paper my junior year of high school. The Sun has so much to teach us and it has a greater effect on the Earth than most people really consider.

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