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UNH-M: Co-Navigating with ASL – Through the Lens of a Deaf Marine Biologist

November 13, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

ASL/English Interpreting Program Special Event

We are honored to welcome
Dr. Barbara Spiecker
Co-Navigating with ASL: Through the Lens of a Deaf Marine Biologist
When: Monday November 13th, 2023
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Location: University of New Hampshire Manchester
    800 Commercial Street
    Room 201: Multi-Purpose Room Please request needed accommodations to Laurie.shaffer@unh.edu
    Free and Open to the Public.  ASL-English Interpreting provided
Sponsored by the ASL/English Interpreting Program and the Health Sciences Department

How did a Deaf person who grew up using American Sign Language come to realize that ASL is not a tool to communicate English? What is it like for a Deaf person who do not speak and hear to partake on an ASL journey? This talk invite viewers to glimpse into how Barbara Spiecker, a Deaf marine biologist, grew and evolve simultaneously with ASL through her journey of becoming a marine biologist. She will discuss her experiences of how ASL is being used in various settings — in a large deaf community where she grew up, in predominantly hearing classrooms during her undergraduate and graduate years, in remote islands and underwater for field work, while teaching hearing biology students, for science communication through Atomic Hands, during the development of academic texts in ASL and creation of STEM signs. And, the ways ASL is being used with various people — deaf colleagues, hearing professors, and educational interpreters. Lastly, she will share her reflections of the value she sees in ASL, the importance of allowing ASL to thrive in its own right, and what ASL can do for us and what we can do for the language.
Barbara Spiecker (she, her, hers) is a deaf marine ecologist at the University of New Hampshire who uses mathematical and statistical tools, coupled with experiments and field observations, to answer questions related to responses of marine communities to climate change and monitoring and management of marine habitats. She is a co-founder of a non-profit, Atomic Hands that focuses on making science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) engaging through American Sign Language (ASL). We create videos covering varying STEM topics, give presentations and training nationally and internationally on how to deliver STEM topics in ASL, and offer ASL-English translation services for anything STEM related. Barbara has also worked with state- and nationally-funded projects on developing STEM signs in ASL and state education departments to translate English-based standardized tests in ASL. She has a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Oregon State University, M.S. in Marine Biology from Northeastern University, and a B.S. in Biology from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Click here to download the flyer.


November 13, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


University of New Hampshire – Manchester
88 Commercial St.
Manchester, NH 03101
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