Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts-Wilson Dean of Education
As Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts-Wilson Dean of Education, Dr. Elizabeth C. Babcock is responsible for creating and implementing public engagement, outreach, and education programs for the California Academy of Sciences. She seeks to ignite a lifelong curiosity and appreciation for science and the natural world among all of the audiences who come in contact with the institution.
The first person to fill the Academy’s endowed Dean of Education role, Babcock is responsible for ensuring that the Academy's education initiatives, public programs, aquarium exhibits, and planetarium productions remain fresh and engaging for approximately 1.5 million visitors of all ages each year from the Bay Area and around the world.
Babcock's team of experience designers and educators develop and deliver a variety of innovative programs within and beyond the museum's walls. Signature programs include the Careers in Science internship program, award-winning planetarium productions, and online classroom materials reaching millions of learners. Dozens of daily and monthly programs for museum visitors and public lectures offer the public opportunities to dive deeper into critical issues such as sustainability, conservation, and human health on a person-to-person level.
In 2013, Babcock was honored as a White House “Champion of Change” for her leadership in museum and library partnerships. Babcock was also recognized in 2011 as one of the Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times. Before joining the Academy in 2010, she was the Vice President of Education and Library Collections for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Babcock also previously worked for Sapient Corporation, where she managed user experience research and design projects in the financial, consumer products, and technology industries. Babcock has taught K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and adult students in a range of content areas, including music for special needs students, environmental anthropology, sustainable development, introductory anthropology, and adult literacy. She holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Indiana University, where she studied international migration and Belizean voluntary associations. She also holds bachelor degrees in Psychology and Music Education from Northwestern University.