The Free Library's Living Library: Participant Sneak Peek- The Science Version

By Grace R. RSS Thu, June 7, 2012

The Free Library's Living Library event, to be held on Wednesday, June 20, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Parkway Central's Room 108, promises to bring together people from all walks of life to share their stories with interested library patrons. As covered in previous blog posts, a pilot from US Airways; the founder of Philadelphia Photo Arts Center; the Farmer Educator at the Urban Nutrition Initiative; and the CEO of Generations On Line will be available to share their stories with you. For those of you who are more scientifically-minded, fear not; the two women profiled today will also be in attendance to answer all of your questions regarding green water management and the intriguing relationships among smell, taste, and human health, respectively.

Jessica Brooks, PE, is the Manager of the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Planning and Design Coordination Group at the Philadelphia Water Department. Throughout her career, Ms. Brooks has applied her engineering background to a wide range of water resource protection projects from the city block up to the watershed scale. Her primary focus at PWD is developing the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program, where she designs decentralized, vegetated stormwater management systems that can be integrated into the urban landscape. Ms. Brooks also collaborates with other City departments, community groups, and non-profit agencies to enhance green stormwater infrastructure designs included in a variety of sites, such as streetscaping and park improvement projects. Jessica received her Bachelor’s of Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and her Masters of Engineering from Northeastern University.

Beverly Cowart, Ph.D., is a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. As a graduate student studying linguistic development, she stumbled into the world of smell and taste through the serendipitous offer of a position to conduct research on the early development of taste at the National Institutes of Health. She joined the prestigious Monell Center in 1983, and for 25 years has served as Director of its Chemosensory Clinical Research Program, which focuses on developing a deeper understanding of taste and smell disorders. She is passionate about community service and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the University City Hospitality Coalition, which provides direct support services, including meals and medical, legal and dental assistance, to the hungry and homeless in West Philadelphia.

To see bios for all of the participants currently slated to serve as human "books" for the Living Library event, check out our budding card catalog on Flickr. The evening is slated to be divvied up into three 15-minute "reading" sessions, so make sure to preview the books available before heading over! First come, first served!

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