Marta Toran is a science educator and outreach coordinator at Appalachian State University in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She works with the university’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences to develop K–12 programs for use in local schools. Marta also has experience teaching middle and high school science—everything from general science to Advanced Placement biology, as well as electives, including forensics and biotechnology—in both the U.S. and the U.K.
When she’s not creating “jellyfish goo” from soaked diaper fill (for a study on acids and bases) or building models of continental and oceanic crust from shaving cream, roofing tiles, and sanding blocks, Marta gets a cheap thrill rummaging through dollar stores in search of fodder for future science projects and interactive exhibits at her university’s geology museum.
Before cultivating a fondness for earth science, Marta’s interest leaned toward living things. She studied zoology at the University of New Hampshire, and also worked in two marine laboratories. Once she realized she wanted to share her passion for science with others, Marta went on to earn a teaching degree from Oxford University and a master’s degree in science education from Montana State University.
While she enjoys the occasional pulled pork sandwich, Marta longs for the Mediterranean-infused tastes of her native Spain. She gets her fix of pulpo, arroz negro, and churros every summer when she goes back for a month of eating, sun, and family time.