Devra’s love of caves was discovered, like many, by social media. In college a classmate made a post about going into a cave. She had never seen anything like it. There was photo after photo of large white crystals formations, people with heavy packs navigating pools of water and dark drops on rope. When Devra ran into him on campus, pestering him saying “I really wanted to go into a cave!”, he warned her that the pictures he posted, which Devra later discovered were of a cave named Lechuguilla, were not like any other cave. That most caves were “small tight holes in the ground”
“I don’t care, I didn’t know you could do that, how do I start?”
As they say, the rest is history. After teaching for 12 years, she jumped at an opportunity to work for the National Park Service, but she missed her work as an educator. Working as NCKRI’s Education Program Manager combines her love of science and exploration with her passion for education.
Devra became a teacher because she realized that being a good student and being a good learner are not the same. School is not the only environment in which to learn. Caves are a beautiful interdisciplinary stage to learn content and skills. In understanding the formation and history of a cave, you learn chemistry, physics, paleontology, biology, microbiology, geology and even archeology, while applying mathematics and deductive reasoning. Not only should learning be accessible but meaningful. Devra’s goal is to give the public context and relevance to karst, with relatable analogies, enticing visuals, and memorable experiences that further the understanding of the scientific processes and the fragility of this special environment.
Bachelor of Science, Biology, University of Texas, 2008
Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, University of Texas, 2008
UTeach Program, Student Teaching Completed 2008
Certified Teacher, Science 8-12, Texas and Arizona