Donna M. Kridelbaugh


Analytical and forward-thinking outreach project manager, writer and editor dedicated to the design of effective outreach and fundraising programs through strategic planning and resource development. Technically trained in the chemical and biological sciences with a combined ten years of research, teaching and project management experience in academic and government research environments. Experienced in planning the administration and logistics to execute projects with an eye for detail and meeting deadlines. Active community service work in science and environmental outreach, diversity in science and social justice areas for the past 15 years. Driven by ambition to support the professional development of diverse groups in STEM fields, promote environmental stewardship in the community and overcome social inequities within systems.

Areas of Effectiveness

Communications  • Problem Solving  •  Program Design and Evaluation  • Project Management • Relationship Building • Outreach Education


MS Microbiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006)

BS Biology, BA Chemistry, Environmental Studies Minor, Southeast Missouri State University (2003)


Crosscut Sawyer B/First AID and CPR (2016)

Leave No Trace Trainer, Wilderness Skills Institute (2016)

Tennessee Naturalist Program, Ijams Nature Center (2015)

Grant Writing Certificate, University of Tennessee-Knoxville (2015)

Project Management Professional Prep Course, Project Management Institute (2012)

Basic Skills for College Teaching Certificate, Western Kentucky University (2009)


Annual Biomedical Research Conference Minority Students Judge’s Travel Subsidy (2011)

Excellent Teaching Assistant Award, University of Illinois (2005 and 2006)

Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society Research Grant (2002)

Funding for Results Travel Grants, Southeast Missouri State University (2002 and 2003)

Undergraduate Scholarships: Regents, Bright Flight, Chemistry Alumni and M&A Evens

Undergraduate Awards: Provost Award, Chemistry Department Distinguished Service Award, College of Science and Math Honor Student and Undergraduate Research Award


Strategic Communications Consultant, Freelance Writer and Editor, Science Mentor Consulting (2013–present)

Support proposal development efforts of leading research institutions and non-profits through technical writing, editing and review services, resulting in over $5M in grant funding to date. Consult on effective communication and fundraising strategies to reach programmatic goals. Provide detailed project management support to move technical communication projects forward to meet sponsor deadlines and requirements. Freelance write for magazines and newsletters of professional science organizations, specializing in science highlights, funding news and career development topics.

Wilderness Education Specialist (seasonal), Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (2016)

Developed education plans for federally designated Wilderness areas in the Southern Appalachian region to raise general awareness of Wilderness values, reduce visitor impacts and build capacity for future education efforts. Worked collaboratively to engage Forest Service staff and partners in the planning process to identify priority stewardship issues on the ground and education strategies to address and mitigate these issues.

Technical Project Specialist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2011–2013)

Performed technical edits on 60+ posters for two Department of Energy (DOE) science reviews. Organized a 100+ poster session for science retreat. Wrote a dozen closeout and renewal subcontracts for a larger bioenergy research center. Designed SharePoint sites to streamline operations and communications among research groups and divisions.

Contract Editor, American Journal Experts (July 2012–November 2012)

Edited technical manuscripts of non-native English speakers for grammar, punctuation and awkward phrasing.


Adjunct Faculty, Roane State Community College (Fall 2014)

Taught lecture and lab with an emphasis on active classroom engagement and activities that demonstrate impact of microbiology in students’ daily lives and future career paths. Provided enhanced learning opportunities, including a final project where students participated in real-world research through citizen science projects and brought in two guest speakers from a clinical research company and national lab.

Microbiology Lab Faculty, South Dakota State University (2009–2010)

Managed the instruction of general microbiology lab with 500+ students and ‘B’ average in two semesters. Revamped the safety orientation with zero reportable incidents that year. Designed new course activities to update the curriculum. Supervised a collaborative team of 15+ teaching assistants. Developed a teaching orientation manual.

Guest Instructor and Advisor, Biology Department, Western Kentucky University (2007–2009)

Served as co-instructor for a biotechnology certification course. Designed an online anatomy/physiology module for graduate-level homeland security course. Advised first-year students on course selection during orientation sessions.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, UIUC (2004–2005)

Instructed over 80 students in a molecular microbiology experimental course (2 semesters) and a non-major microbiology lab (1 semester) with “Excellent TA” award earned all semesters based on student evaluations.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, SEMO (2002–2003)

Graded organic chemistry assignments (2 semesters); Supervised general microbiology lab section (1 semester).


Research Associate, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (2014–2015)

Provided targeted information services to identify and secure qualified technical experts to review proposals.

Technical Project Specialist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2010–2012)

Created and implemented technical plans for DOE-funded biofuel-related research projects. Determined the minimal nutrient requirements for a cellulolytic, thermophilic bacterium to reduce growth media costs. Initiated a project to convert biomass inhibitors to value added co-products. Supervised two student interns during the summer terms.

Research Lab Manager, Western Kentucky University (2007–2009)

Managed lab operations, including a $60K annual budget, supply orders, equipment maintenance, lab training, report writing and safety compliance. Directed a team of 4-6 student researchers on multiple research projects funded by the USDA. Investigated the microbial production of malodorants from swine waste to mitigate nuisance issues.

Visiting Researcher, UIUC (September 2006–December 2006)

Provided research support to USDA research center with nucleic acid detection method that resulted in the first reported case of a pathogenic soybean dwarf virus in soybean crops within the northern Illinois region.

Graduate Research Assistant, UIUC (2003–2006)

Designed and conducted a microbial genetics project to test the function of a dehydrogenase enzyme in the central metabolic pathway of methanogenic archaea. Developed a new filter paper method for DNA transformations.

Undergraduate Research Assistant, SEMO (2000–2003)

Conducted three independent research projects in chemistry education, organic chemistry and molecular microbiology. Completed and defended thesis project to graduate with Academic Distinction in Biology.


Trail Steward, Volunteer Naturalist and Citizen Science Explorer (2015–present)

Participate in trail maintenance, invasive species removal and Wilderness stewardship projects. Contribute to citizen science projects, including bioblitzes and archaeology research. Certified as a volunteer naturalist through the Tennessee Naturalist Program, Leave No Trace Trainer and crosscut sawyer. Currently traveling to volunteer with 270+ hours logged in 2017.

Member, Ocean Communicators United (2017–present)

Member of an informal network of global communicators to share best practices and lessons learned in communicating the importance of the ocean and marine sciences to the general public and relevant stakeholders.

Career Coach, Pro Bono Services (2013–present)

Provide career-matchmaking services to limited number of early-career professionals via coaching on effective networking and self-marketing strategies; development of feature articles; and review of online profiles and application materials.


Board of Directors, AIM for Wilderness Stewardship (2018–2019)

Served on the board of directors in a consulting role for a new nonprofit dedicated to boots-on-the-ground stewardship of federally designated Wilderness areas in the Ozark region. Tasks included funding research, strategic planning and capacity building.

Environmental Steward, Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning (2014–2016)

Served as year-long trail steward on the North Ridge Trail, participated in cleanups and removal of invasive species from natural areas and contributed to the newsletter.

Advisor, STEAM Education Advisory Board, Knoxville Jewish Day School (2014–2016)

Advised innovative STEAM (STEM+art) program that fuses project- and service-based learning to teach STEAM skills to K–5 students, while engaging them in service work. Provided assistance with marketing, PR and fundraising needs, including press releases, media alerts and letters of inquiry for donation requests.

Board Member, Environmental Quality Advisory Board, City of Oak Ridge, TN (2014–2016)

Served as an elected member that advised city officials on issues that may impact the environmental quality of the local region. Developed communications guidelines and reporting framework for climate action plan progress; and contributed to planning of an urban forestry program.

STEM Outreach Volunteer, East Tennessee Community (2011–2015)

Volunteered as a science official at events, such as the TN Science Bowl and Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Festival.

Volunteer, Planned Parenthood of Middle and East TN (2014–2015)

Attended monthly volunteer events to fill supplies for patients. Actively worked on the “Vote No on One” campaign through data entry at phone banking events, recruiting volunteers and submitting a letter to the editor.

Grants Consultant, Discover Life in America (2012–2014)

Consulted on grants/fundraising strategies for non-profit that is conducting a biodiversity inventory in the Great Smoky Mountains. Tasks including funding research of over 350 foundations to identify priority funders and edited letters of inquiry.

Member, Association for Women in Science (2012–2014)

Volunteered as moderator for social media group, presented webinar on networking strategies and organized networking events for local chapter.

Publicity Committee Chair, Young Evolving Scientists, Oak Ridge, TN (2012–2013)

Recruited members through print and social media avenues, developed a group marketing strategy that helped increase membership by 200% and planned special events to encourage networking among members. Organized members to be proactive in their approach of senior management about professional development needs, resulting in several members becoming founders of a new postdoctoral researcher association.

Faculty Advisor, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, SDSU (2009–2010)

Coordinated a “Microbe Safari” workshop for the Flandreau Indian School (FIS) Success Academy and chaperoned students during a Docent for the Day event at local zoo. Secured private funding to purchase microscopes for FIS.

Event Leader, Kentucky Science Olympiad (2009)

Designed a “Disease Detectives” epidemiology event on Lyme disease for middle and high school students and recruited volunteers to grade tests.

Parent Volunteer, Dr. Howard Elementary School (2003–2006)

Served as a volunteer and event chair for Reflections literature and art contest and recruited volunteer judges. Designed classroom activities for grade-school students as part of Science Share program.

Volunteer, Planned Parenthood of Illinois (2005)

Edited health clinic forms with updates and translations. Assisted with mailings, inventoried library materials and compiled manager training manual. Called on donors and aided in reorganization of the volunteer/employee comment system.

Chapter President, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, SEMO (2002–2003)

Organized an information symposium to promote undergraduate research and a ‘Girl Scout Science Badge Day’ with over 50 attendees.

Event Coordinator, SEMO Chemistry Club (2000–2002)

Organized hands-on chemistry activities for kids during National Chemistry Week and fundraising events for a K–12 science teacher mini-grant program. Received Chemistry Department Distinguished Service Award for efforts.


Reviewer, National Mentoring Research Network Pilot Project Grants (2015), Citizen Science Association Conference abstracts (2016), FIRST Robotics STEM Equity Grants (2017, 2018)


Small business initiatives; tech transfer; K–16 STEM education; active learning; science outreach; citizen science; undergraduate research; technology; environmental and Wilderness education; geotourism; sustainability; career development; mentoring; diversity; project and program management.