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Exhibits and Collections Curator elected SCAS President

CMA Exhibits and Collections Curator Dr. Julianne Kalman Passarelli was elected President of the Southern California Academy of Sciences (SCAS). As President of SCAS, Passarelli will carry on a tradition that started in 1891 when a group of people in Los Angeles organized a science association. This informal association for science enthusiasts evolved into an official organization dedicated to promoting fellowship among scientists, fostering scholarship among young scientists and recognizing natural history research taking place in Southern California.

Passarelli has been actively involved with SCAS since 2000 when she first joined the organization as a member before graduate school. “For me, joining SCAS was a great way to meet other scientists and potential advisors for graduate school,” said Passarelli. “After presenting at SCAS, I connected with Dr. Don Buth who became my PhD advisor at UCLA. Then he actually nominated me to replace him on the SCAS Board of Directors. Being a part of SCAS has really helped me in my career and now I look forward to giving back to the organization as President.”

SCAS hosts an annual meeting for scientists and students, produces an academic journal called the Bulletin featuring Southern California research, awards research grants to undergraduate and graduate students and helps high school students conduct original research through the Research Training Program. As President, Passarelli’s duties include helping organize the next annual meeting, running board meetings and expanding SCAS’s social media presence.

“We just set up the SCAS Facebook page, which is very exciting,” said Passarelli. “I really want to get more young people involved in SCAS. They have an opportunity to benefit the most by making connections with potential advisors and mentors, applying for research grants and learning research techniques through the Research Training Program.”

After becoming President, Passarelli found a surprising connection between SCAS and CMA. “While looking into the history of the Academy, I discovered that in 1949 the first director of CMA, Dr. William L. Lloyd, was also the president of SCAS,” said Passarelli. “I had no idea that CMA and SCAS had such a long history and I am happy to continue the relationship.”

SCAS also has a long history with the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Members actually led the effort to build the museum in 1911 to house and display the mammal fossils excavated from oil deposits at Rancho La Brea. Today, the relationship between the museum and the academy is still strong. SCAS board meetings are held at the Natural History Museum and the museum hosts the SCAS website. For more information about SCAS, visit the SCAS website and the new Facebook page.



Post Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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