ScienceWorks has hired Liese Murphree as the organization's director of education. Murphree was the interim director of education from August 2016 to December 2016, and previously worked as a field trip educator for the museum starting in January 2015. During her interim period, Murphree began to offer single-day camps at the museum.

“It’s a way to provide educational care options during those days that students have off and parents still need to be at work,” she said in a release.

Murphree’s credentials include a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry and environmental studies from Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio and a doctorate in soil science (soil chemistry) from the University of California, Davis. Murphree has 18 years of experience in the classroom and an additional three years working in a teacher education program at Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

“ScienceWorks has a great opportunity to make a big impact on students across Southern Oregon and Northern California through science programs at the museum and through outreach programs into their communities,” she said in the release. “To solve the complex technological, environmental and medical problems in our future, it requires a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and educated citizens. ScienceWorks is committed to helping students become those scientists, engineers, and educated citizens.”

ScienceWorks, which opened at 1500 E. Main St., Ashland, in 2002 to offer a private response to a decline in public science education, offers a variety of hands-on and interactive science and arts activities and learning tools.