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Circe Verba
NETL’s Verba to be Presenter at Portland ScienceFEST

NETL’s Circe Verba, Ph.D., a research geologist and experienced science communicator, will be a featured presenter at the Portland ScienceFEST 2019 Saturday, May 11 at the University of Oregon Portland.

Portland ScienceFEST 2019 is a celebration of science and technology offering interactive tracks that address general science, technology, and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) for Kids. Each track will feature interactive programming.

The mission of the event is to share the power of science through programs that tell stories and engage all voices. The program is intended to help participants explore what it means to practice and observe rigorous science through shared experiences in critical thinking.

ScienceFEST is partnered with Women in Science PDX — a Portland-area organization created to encourage better science-related career training and mentoring opportunities for women. The event embraces the theory that science works best when scientists come from diverse perspectives and it encourages new generations of scientists that includes historically underrepresented groups.

Verba’s kids’ track presentation will center on microscopy — a scientific discipline involving the magnification of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye, rendering them visible for study and allowing researchers to learn more about them and how they work. Verba came from a rural impoverished region with a passion for astronomy and geology and a desire to understand the world around her. She worked on NASA projects while studying for her undergraduate and master’s degrees. She began her professional career in the Pathways federal internship program at NETL and earned her Ph.D. in geology and civil engineering at the University of Oregon.

At NETL, she specializes in advanced microscopy (petrography and electron microscopy) and microanalysis techniques. Verba received the Oregon Federal Executive Board 2018 Leadership Excellence Award and the 2016 Pittsburgh FEB Woman of the Year Gold Award for her commitment to supporting the next generation of scientists. Outside the lab, she is an avid LEGO buff, even designing her own set featuring field geology and a petrographic laboratory.

At its Albany, Oregon facility, NETL has built a legacy of world-class materials-science research and development, including protection strategies for the nation's infrastructure; new CO2 storage technologies, and novel alloys for many industrial applications. NETL has helped provide clean, safe, affordable, and reliable energy to the American people. Its research sites operate as a single laboratory developing advanced energy technologies and accelerating their commercialization. NETL also collaborates with industry, academia, and other government organizations to supplement the laboratory’s research and energy analysis portfolios.