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Black History Month: Recognizing Black Scientists

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

We're celebrating Black History Month this year by highlighting Black scientists in a variety of fields throughout the month of February.

Corina Newsome

Corina Newsome is an American ornithologist, birder, science communicator, and graduate student at Georgia Southern University. Her graduate research is focused on studying the roles of climate change and predation on MacGillivray's seaside sparrows. Newsome co-organized Black Birders Week, a celebration of Black birders, and you can learn more about the events and activities to celebrate this week here.

We're discussing Corina's sparrow research and bringing bird-themed activities to our Girls Empowered with Math and Science class on March 11th from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Fort Walton Beach Library for girls ages 8 to 15.

Harold Amos

Harold Amos was an American microbiologist and professor. He taught at Harvard Medical School for nearly fifty years and was the first African American department chair of the school. His research was mostly recognized for his work on bacterial metabolism, nutrition, animal cell culture, virology, and the effects of hormones.

Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas is an American scientist and inventor. She invented the illusion transmitter which she received a patent for in 1980. She was also responsible for developing the digital media formats image processing systems used in the early years of NASA's Landsat program. Throughout her career, she held high-level positions at NASA including serving as assistant program manager for Landsat and serving as Chief of the Space Science Data Operations Office.

Alex Troutman

Alex Troutman is a wildlife biologist and has several years of experience in the field working with various wildlife species, including endangered species like the Kemp's ridley sea turtles and Karner Blue butterflies. He is currently a graduate student studying the dynamics of avian and insect species in tidal wetlands. In his free time, Alex shares wildlife facts and photos on social media as N8ture AL on Instagram and Twitter.

Interested in learning more about Black history? Join us for our Planetarium Night Special Feature: Stars and Stories of Africa on Thursday, February 23rd for our 6 or 7 p.m. showing. We'll travel the cosmos to learn more about the ancient Kush people, learn exactly what the Kenyan Borana Star Calendar was, and more! Reserve your spot for this event by visiting or calling us at 850-664-1261.

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Each week we will be projecting an image of an African American pioneer in science onto the side of our iconic island building. geometry dash


Valerie Thomas is a physician and innovator hailing from the United States. In 1980, she obtained a patent for her invention of the illusion transmitter. geometry dash online

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