Suzanne Hobbs Baker
Creative Director, University of Michigan@SuzyHobbsBaker
While attending art school at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Suzy's sculpture and writing veered so far into the realm of climate science that her professors could no longer grade her work and had to bring in a science advisor for support. The desire to communicate science has driven each of Baker's career steps: first as an art teacher at a children's oncology hospital, and then as an education advisor to conceptual artist Mel Chin as he collaborated with scientists to tackle environmental lead contamination. In 2008, after a brief but strategic stint working at a motorcycle shop in Asheville, NC - a chance to learn the ropes of small business management - Baker founded a nonprofit organization with the goal of reaching women, young people, and other under-represented groups with critical information about climate change and nuclear energy. Utilizing a unique mix of art, digital media, social science and sheer enthusiasm - Baker spent six years traveling the world, visiting nuclear sites, working with communities and developing novel, far-reaching outreach campaigns. In 2014, Baker accepted a position at the Idaho National Laboratory, where she focused her efforts on advanced reactor development, supporting communications for the Nuclear Innovation Workshops and subsequent events that have rapidly pushed new nuclear technologies into the public spotlight. In this role, she also completed a detail assignment in the Department of Energy Office of International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation before joining Third Way's Clean Energy team as Communication's Advisor.