Julia Sheldon

Grosvenor Teacher Fellow

Dr. Julia Sheldon grew up fascinated by the natural world, leading her to study science and to pursue a degree in chemistry at the University of California at San Diego. During her time at UCSD, she became a certified SCUBA diver and worked in a research lab studying fish physiology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. After college, she continued her research at Yale University, where she earned a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry while studying the interactions between DNA and the proteins that begin the cellular process of transcription.

After graduate school, Julia began teaching at The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connecticut. As a female educator at an all-girls school, she is passionate about engaging girls in science by encouraging them to observe the environment around them and to explore how science can help them understand and improve their world. A highlight of her career was being named a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow in 2014, which allowed her to travel on an expedition to Norway and Svalbard, and then to develop and teach an interdisciplinary elective course in Arctic Studies. Her experience as a Fellow has led her to find new ways to teach geo-literacy, and she has since partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the Hartford Audubon Society. She has also co-developed and co-teaches a research-based science course where girls search for novel antibiotics in their local environment in response to the worldwide antibiotic resistance crisis.

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