Meet Our Team

Contact Us

South Dakota Discovery Center
805 W Sioux Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 224-8295
info@sd-discovery.org

Dr. Rhea Waldman, Executive Director

Education: 
Master of Science in Biology. Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany.
Doctor of Natural Sciences in Biology. Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
Recent accomplishments:
  • SD Space Grant Consortium Associate Director 
  • Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Officer of the Year
  • National Geographic Certified Educator
  • Short Grass Arts Council Past President
  • AAUW Pierre / Ft. Pierre Past President

What I Do: #AdvocateForScience, work towards equity in education, connect educators and students to research, offer science communication training.
Favorite Saying: Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Anne Lewis, Special Projects Director

Education:
Masters of Arts in Education: Natural Science and Environmental Education
Recent Accomplishments:
  • 2019 National Geographic Education Fellow
  • GLOBE US Partner Forum representative and Chair 

What I do: Most of my work focuses around earth and environmental science. I lead GLOBE, citizen science, outdoor education and anything relating to nature. I facilitate professional development (I have a special interest in empowering teachers to teach in the outdoors). 



Dr. Bree Oatman, Education Director

Education: 
BS Biology, Evergreen State College
MA Organizational Leadership and Teaching, Gonzaga University, 
PhD Science Education, University of Idaho, 
MS Chemistry Education, South Dakota State University (currently enrolled)
Recent accomplishments: 
  • I successfully completed my first year of a graduate program in chemistry! 
  • I survived another year parenting a toddler and a newly minted teenager.

What I Do: I am a science learning alchemist, one part science, 2 parts creativity, one part fun! I help create curriculum for K-12 classrooms and informal learning environments, I facilitate the Teen Science Cafe program called STEM Savvy, I lead outreach activities in the community and at our exhibit hall. I partner with different organizations to build capacity for STEM education, I provide professional development for teachers, I write grants to support the work we do. 
Favorite Saying: The scientist says, hmm.


Kendra Baucom, Exhibit Hall Manager

Education: 
Associates of Arts, McCook Community College
Bachelors of Art with a Museum Studies emphasis, Chadron State College
Recent accomplishments:
  • Graduating Summa Cum Laude and debt free!
  • Working in an industry I am passionate about

What I Do: Providing a friendly welcome, while helping people to enjoy what the Discovery Center Exhibit Hall has to offer! I coordinate visits, volunteers and valuable experiences!
Favorite Saying: I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.-- Vincent Van Gogh


Kristine Heinen, Museum Educator

Education: 
Bachelor of Science, biology emphasis, The University of Montana Western
Recent accomplishment:
I have started my long career in a field that I am passionate about!
What I do: I inspire curiosity in people of all types. I love to see that sparkle in people‘s eye when they find inspiration and find new opportunities.
Favorite Saying: Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It‘s posing questions and coming up with a method. It‘s delving in. -- Sally Ride


Jan Martin, Early Learner Coordinator/Volunteer

Education:  
BS  Elementary Education & Biology  Bemidji State University 
MS  Outdoor Teacher Education   Northern Illinois University 
PhD (abd) Curriculum and Research in Science Education, University of Wyoming 
Recent accomplishments:   
  • Starting Fridays at the Center , a preschool program focused on science and exploration allowing me to make good messes with the children. 
  • I am in the process of taming an out-of-control yarn stash which is a full-time job! 

What I Do: I get to mess about in science creating learning experiences for preschoolers and parents for the monthly Saturday morning program, Itty Bitty Einsteins. Fridays at the Center is a weekly preschool program so lots of planning and activity testing keeps me out of trouble.  I assist as needed with programs with after school providers, summer camps, and curriculum development for culturally connected science learning experiences. Making messes, learning about the world around us and making science real for children is what keeps me happy.       
Favorite Saying: There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. -- Rachel Carson