Beth Sanzenbacher

Outreach Coordinator

Beth is the Outreach Coordinator for the Biodiversity Synthesis Group at the Field Museum of Natural History. She develops, manages and facilitates several different digital outreach projects with Field Museum scientists and the Encyclopedia of Life. Some of which include:

  • WhyReef - a virtual reef that teaches about coral reef ecology and conservation
  • I Dig Science - a virtual science class that connects students with scientists in real time
  • Science@FMNH - a video and podcast series which explores the behind-the-scenes science, collections and research at The Field Museum.

Through digital media programs she has combined her two passions of science and education, and her goal of getting scientists interacting with kids without scaring them!


She received her BS from the University of Illinois U-C in microbiology focusing on coral disease and the biodiversity of hot spring environments.

Fouke, B.W., Bonheyo, G.T., Sanzenbacher, B., and Frias-Lopez, J., 2003, Partitioning of bacterial communities between travertine depositional facies at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA. Canadian Journal Earth Sciences, 40:1531-1548. (PDF Download)


She continued her science career as a field assistant for an animal behavior project in Israel, which focused on the role of hormones in social hierarchies. She then left the lab and field to become a middle and high school science teacher. She has 5 years experience as a classroom teacher and during that time developed the science curriculum for a middle-high school in Egypt.

Contributions to the Encyclopedia of Life

In conjunction with the Learning and Education Group she developed the Mammoth and Mastodon pages and activities for EOL to accompany the traveling exhibition: Mammoth and Mastodons - Titans of the Ice Age. She has also contributed to and liaised several different Education Life Desks.