On Feb. 10, the Social Justice in Science Club hosted a special guest speaker, Nicholas Perez, Ph.D. A geology and geophysics professor from Texas A&M University, Perez spoke with students about tectonics, climate change, minerals and mining, radioactive decay and dating techniques, environmental racism, and more.
“Seventeen students attended the meeting, which lasted more than an hour,” said Danielle Horton, physics and engineering instructor and the club’s sponsor. “I was impressed with the questions and genuine interest shown by our students.”
Club presidents Sonal Alla and Alice Huang explained the purpose of the club and why they selected Perez to speak with club members. “The Social Justice in Science Club at St. Stephen’s aims to create a stronger awareness of the contributions of Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) scientists, including women and LGTBQIA+ scientists,” they shared. “One way the club hopes to promote awareness of BIPOC scientists is through direct interaction, such as guest speakers. A Latinx geologist, Perez was our first speaker in the lecture series.
“Dr. Perez has published several papers on plate tectonics based on his work in places like the Andes Mountains in Peru, the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and the Rocky Mountains in the United States,” they added. “His most recent publication, from 2020, is about tectonics in the Cascade Range in Oregon.”