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Before leading the CSU STEM Collaboratives, Dawn M. Digrius, Ph.D. conducted international research on the history of water resources manangement and sustainability in Latin America. Her work brought together engineering, science, humanities, and social science students from the College of Arts and letters, Stevens Institute of Technology where Dawn was Assistant Professor of History.
She holds her B.A degree (Anthropology/Archaeology) from Drew University where she studied the reconstruction of ancient environmental systems using paleoethnobotanical methods to better understand the relationship between humans and the environment. Her MPhil (European Intellectual History) and Ph.D. (European History/History of Science) degrees are also from Drew University (2005 and 2007 respectively). Digrius's PhD award-winning dissertation, "Converstations and Contrasting Views: An Examinationof the Development of Paleobotany in Nineteenth Century Europe, 1804-1895" investigated the history of paleobotany (fossil plant science) during the nineteenth century and how technology (microscopy) and evolutionary theory influenced scientific practice.
Digrius has presented at national and international conferences and at the United Nations, where she participates in ongoing work with the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations in the region of La Unión. "Knowing that the future of sustainable development resides in the next generation of scientists and engineers, I see great potential in recruiting students from outside the traditional pool of candidates in STEM; diversity is necessary in STEM in order to achieve the level of participation needed globally for the twenty-first century."