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Interview with Brianna Johns

Interview with Brianna Johns

BS in Zoology
BA in International Studies
Minor in Wildlife Science
Anticipated Graduation: May, 2020
Hi Brianna, what is your proudest accomplishment as an NC State student?

My proudest accomplishment as an NC State Student would be working with my peers to form the Citizen Science Club at NC State. It started out with a small group of students passionate for public science, and has now grown into a unique and dynamic student organization with new members joining every semester! This is the first-ever student organization focused on citizen science, and it has shaped the person I am today. It sparked my involvement with the greater citizen science community, the Leadership in Public Science Cluster here at NCSU, and eventually led to my current research project focused on student views on citizen science.

What do you love best about your department or major?

Throughout my time as a student, I have discovered just how committed this department is to student success. Faculty and staff members have consistently gone out of their way to not just help students succeed in the classroom, but to provide them with the necessary resources to help them better prepare for their careers.

What do you plan to do after graduating from NC State?

Although I hope to apply to graduate school in the future, I will be taking a gap year next year and plan to become more involved in various citizen science/public science communities. I also hope to do some traveling as well!

Care to give a shout-out to a faculty or staff member that you’d like to recognize?

I would love to give a shout out to my advisor, Ms. Dana Thomas! She has been my advisor for over four years now and has always been a great source of support throughout my undergraduate career. I am very thankful for her reliability and resourcefulness!

What advice would you give to students at the beginning of their degree program?

Explore what you can during your time at NC State! Explore GEPs and potential minors that are of interest to you, even if they aren’t related to your major.


Brianna has been selected as a Teen Science Café presenter for the month of March at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, where she will be giving a talk on citizen science. We look forward to this opportunity to hear Brianna share her experiences with citizen science, and to engage with teens on this topic! More information on the event can be found here:

For further information on Brianna’s current research project and citizen science club at NC State, feel free to check out her website:

Here are just some of the other things Brianna has done or earned while at NC State:

  • Brianna is a first-generation college student
  • Studied abroad in Adelaide, Australia for a semester
  • Interned in the Cooper lab at NC State, involved with citizen science research, data, and outreach
  • Coordinator of Citizen Science Campus with the Public Science Cluster, NC State
  • Awarded Office of Undergraduate Research Grant from NC State to study student views on citizen science.
  • Ambassador to Global Village living/learning community
  • Presented at the Citizen Science Association Biannual Conference (2019)
  • Awarded travel grant to attend the Public Lab Barnraising 2019 Conference
  • Finalist in NC State Think and Do in 2 Global Storytelling competition
  • Voted Outstanding Member of the Year, Society for Multicultural Scientists, 2019

Featured on Citizen Science: Stories of Science We Can All Do Together podcast (episode 10)