2018-2019 Wheelhouse Founding Fellows


The Wheelhouse Founding Fellows gathered during 2018-2019 to envision the future of Wheelhouse, prototype our activities and program design, and build a foundational network. Wheelhouse is thankful for their incredible contributions and leadership, and we are so excited for their continued involvement across the organization.

Fiona McDonald

Fiona Mcdonald, phd

Fiona is a visual anthropologist who specializes in material culture. She completed her PhD (2014) in the Department of Anthropology at University College London. Her research interests are: Water, Energy studies, Indigenous material and visual culture, repatriation, oral histories, contemporary Indigenous art, curatorial theory, performance theory, and museum studies. She is a co-director of Ethnographic Terminalia, which curates interdisciplinary art and anthropology group exhibitions and projects and has been awarded the Michael M. Ames Prize for Innovative Museum Anthropology.

Sylvia Johnson

sylvia johnson

Sylvia is a filmmaker, visual storyteller, educator, and impact strategist - humanitarian at heart and creative problem solver by nature . As the Creative Director of her production company, Free Roaming Studios, she works with organizations focused on social good and environmental sustainability to create films, visual storytelling projects, and impact strategies that foster human connection and drive positive change. Her films have been featured in film festivals around the world and she has worked for organizations including the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, the National Park Service, the Inter-American Culture and Development Foundation, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Center for Environmental Filmmaking Scholar, and an Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar grant recipient.

Julia Rosen

Julia rosen, Phd

Julia is an award-winning freelance science journalist based in Portland, Oregon. She writes stories about how the world works, and how humans are changing it. She holds a PhD in geology. Her words can be found in Science, Nature, The Los Angeles Times, Orion, Discover, Nautilus, and High Country News, among other places, and her voice can be heard on podcasts for Science, Scientific American‘s 60-Second Science and The Dirtbag Diaries. She has received numerous awards and honors, including an AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship, the Grand Gold Award for feature writing and a Silver Excel award for feature writing from Association & Media Publishing. She was a finalist for a Science in Society Journalism Award.

Heidi Roop

Heidi Roop, Phd

Heidi is a scientist with a passion for science communication & science education. Through high-quality research, innovative teaching methods and informed public engagement, Heidi is changing how the world engages in science. Her  pursuit of science has led her to all seven continents. She holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College, an MSc in Geology from Northern Arizona University and a PhD in Geology from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Heidi is a Research Scientist and Strategic Communications Lead with the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington and an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Science in Society Research Group at the Victoria University of Wellington.

Nina Elder

nina elder

Nina is an advocate for collaboration, often fostering relationships between artists, scientists and diverse communities. Nina makes meticulous drawings and facilitates interdisciplinary creative projects that promote curiosity, exploration, and collective sense of stewardship. Nina’s work is exhibited and collected nationally, and has been supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Rauschenburg Foundation, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. Her personal commitment to fight oppression and inequity is reflected through her public speaking, teaching, consulting, and project management, all of which propose interdisciplinary understanding and engagement with the world.

Twila Moon

Twila Moon, Phd

Twila is a scientist, leader, thinker, communicator, and enthusiastic learner. As a Research Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, she studies Earth’s glaciers and large ice sheets, Greenland and Antarctica. Her focus is on understanding ice on Earth and how it interacts with the climate, ocean, and biosphere. Twila has a BS in Geology (Stanford) and an MS and PhD in Earth and Space Sciences (University of Washington). Her research has been published in Science, highlighted in Nature and Nature Geoscience, and received extensive media coverage, including National Public Radio, the Associated Press, and the BBC. Twila is passionate about and active in communicating science to policymakers, the media, and the public.