Innovation, Development and Engagement Award (IDEA.) Eileen A. Hebets, Ph.D., Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Since 2005, Hebets’ teaching, research and outreach have made her a central part of the School of Biological Sciences at UNL and the broader scientific community. She is an accomplished arachnid researcher, appearing in more than 85 publications, and she has three active grants totaling more than $1.1 million. Her research has generated coverage in publications from The New York Times to National Geographic. She is heavily involved in outreach programs, earning the T.O. Haas Outstanding Faculty Award for Outreach in 2014. Hebets developed UNL’s Community Science Through Outreach course, in which students develop interactive programs and bring them to Lincoln after-school science clubs. In 2016, funding from the Nebraska Department of Education extended the reach of the program and its ability to engage elementary and middle school students. Her Eight-Legged Encounters Event started at Morrill Hall and has been adopted as a family-friendly traveling exhibit appearing in museums like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. She has also developed youth summer camps that have reached hundreds of Nebraska children over the last 10 years.
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