Meet Kathy Dains

by Jan Whitmer

Having found volunteering with the EV to be great fun, Kathy Dains recently accepted a staff position with us as Collaborations Project Manager, overseeing several ventures in which we work with other environmental organizations. One of these is with the Mountain View Whisman School District in which we work with 6 other partners to provide 3 free programs for the 4th and 5th grades. Kathy will also be working with the district to measure student knowledge about the environment before and after the classes, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational experience. Another project she will be working on is Educate for Depth, the umbrella organization for Digging Deeper, our pilot program with the East Palo Alto charter schools. Educate for Depth allows schools to contract with an environmental organization, which guarantees that they receive their desired programs. Furthermore, Kathy will oversee our support of a website maintained by the nonprofit Science By Nature. Teachers, parents, and students can use this website to find an environmental education program that fits their needs. Other organizations sponsoring the site include such diverse groups as Happy Hollow, the Junior Museum of Palo Alto, Youth Science Institute, and Hidden Villa.

Kathy brings a strong scientific background to the EV. A native of San Francisco, she did her undergraduate and graduate work at Stony Brook, part of the State University of New York. After a long 11 years (according to her husband Don, who was supporting her academic endeavors!) she earned a Phd in Neurobiology. Following this admirable accomplishment, Kathy did post doc work at UCSF, worked for a while in industry as a project manager, and, most recently, finished 6 years as a researcher at UCSF, running a clinical study of the effects of nicotine on the body.

Outside of work, Kathy enjoys hiking and biking with Don. Recently, they biked the Bay Trail past the EcoCenter which made Kathy most excited about working there! She also loves to garden and is a rabid Giants fan (with season tickets). With her scientific background and love of the outdoors, Kathy is a perfect fit for the Environmental Volunteers.

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