Cavalier, 50, has become a leading national booster for the idea that the general public can and should be a part of the scientific process by collecting data for researchers around the world. It’s a fitting role for the former college cheerleader who launched Science Cheerleaders, a nonprofit organization consisting of current and former NFL, NBA and college cheerleaders pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Aside from being a valuable social distancing activity when much scientific fieldwork is disrupted, enlisting more people to collect data and observations about our changing climate is more important than ever.
Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene holds degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.