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Science Iowa Board Members


Dan Chibnall (President) is the STEM Librarian & Associate Professor of Librarianship at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and has been in that role since July 2016. He received his Master's in Library & Information Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005. His professional focus is on embedded librarianship, information literacy, science communication, information behaviors, and helping students become better researchers. Dan has designed & teaches courses on the relationship between science fiction & science, misinformation & personal information behaviors, and science communication's role in educating the public about the role of science in everyday life. He is also an active member of the Iowa Library Association, volunteers with the Science Center of Iowa, and performs volunteer water quality testing through Polk County Water Quality Monitoring Program. 

Laurie Neuerburg--As the Sciences Reference and Outreach Librarian at the University of Iowa Libraries since 2018, Laurie Neuerburg is the librarian liaison to Biology, Physics and Astronomy, and the Pride Alliance Center at the University of Iowa. She earned her MSLS from UNC-Chapel Hill and her MS in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Houston-Victoria. She organizes community science engagement events for the University of Iowa Sciences Library such as “Discover Iowa’s Birds: Intro to Birding” and “Science Fest,” and she teaches a first-year seminar course called “Standing Up for Science” at the University of Iowa focused on science communication and science literacy. She was a science judge at the state Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium for high school students hosted by the Belin Blank Center in 2021. She is active in the American Library Association, the Iowa Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association. She serves on the planning committee for Iowa City Darwin Day, a grand celebration of science and its contributions to humanity. 


Thomas R. O'Donnell (Secretary) is science media editor for a nonprofit in Ames, Iowa that manages programs for the U.S. Department of Energy. He previously worked for several newspapers in Iowa, including nearly 16 years at the Des Moines Register, the state's largest daily. His last position there was medicine and science reporter. He later freelanced for a number of clients, including the Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University and the Iowa Biotechnology Association. He is coauthor with Bryan Berg of the 2003 book "Stacking the Deck" from Fireside Books. O'Donnell is an ISU graduate and was a newspaper management fellow at the Modern Media Institute, now the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.


Ruth Henderson (Treasurer) began her science journey at Iowa State University with a BS in Biology followed by a Masters in Education. Over the 41 years of her teaching career, she taught junior high and high school students both physical and life science. Outside of the classroom, Ruth worked with young people in Girl Scouts, STEM clubs, Physics Olympics, and Science Bowl Competitions.

As a leader with Science Iowa, Ruth was able to organize the Rally for the Paris Climate Accords at the State Capitol in 2017, The Science Festival Trail in 2019 and help with the March for Science Iowa marches in 2017 and 2018.  Her hope is to continue promoting science literacy, conservation, and volunteerism through involvement with Science Iowa. 

Nathan Steimel--As a student at the University of Iowa pursuing a double major in the biomedical sciences and public health, Nathan has developed and maintained a deep curiosity in oncology and a passion for health care that focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to solving complex problems. As a result of this interest, his long-term career plan involves pursuing a medical degree with an emphasis on cancer biology. Nathan has always believed that research and science literacy was an important aspect of informed decision making and has been involved with Science Iowa since 2021. In addition to his studies, he currently works in Dr. Dodd's lab at the University of Iowa studying Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors (MPNST). Nathan also works as a supplemental instruction leader at the University of Iowa, a certified pharmacy technician, and in his free time volunteers at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.

chris jones by river.jpeg

Chris Jones retired in May of 2023 from the University of Iowa, where he worked as a Research Engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, an institute white the College of Engineering. He previously worked at Des Moines Water Works and the Iowa Soybean Association. Chris has published 55 scientific journal articles and is the author of several book chapters. He recently published the book The Swine Republic, Struggles with the Truth about Agriculture and Water Quality. He lives in Iowa City. 

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