By Nita Tarchinski, edited by Ashley Atkinson

Welcome to Sunny Skies and SEISMIC Times

University of California Irvine Week of SEISMIC, March 14-16, 2022


And we’re back! This March we launched our first Week of SEISMIC, hosted by the University of California Irvine. It was a blast! For the first time in several years, SEISMIC members from across the U.S. joined together in one geographic location for 3 days of intense ~seismic~ activity.

Many of us arrived Sunday night and met up for good food and drinks (shout out to Bosscat and CURRENT Coastal Cuisine), some of us seeing each other for the first time ever! Monday heralded in-person meetings for our Measurement Working Group attendees. The goal – refine parallel analysis plans, run code for each participating institution, and draft a manuscript. No big deal. 




Meanwhile, some of our SEISMIC administrative liaisons spent their time connecting with UC Irvine campus leadership, sharing the importance of parallel data analysis and the tips and tricks for optimizing institutional data structures. Tim McKay, Marco Molinaro, and Nita Tarchinski, facilitated by Brian Sato and Michael Dennin, connected with the UC Irvine STEM college and department deans to share the story of SEISMIC and pathways to collaborate with and learn from SEISMIC’s work. Nita Tarchinski shared “Opportunities to Engage with the SEISMIC Collaboration” accompanied by SEISMIC swag giveaways for audience members who answered questions about the collaboration correctly.





Dinner was a noisy affair at North Italia, accompanied by delectable desserts and charcuterie galore.

Day 2 promoted connections with students at UC Irvine who have been engaged in SEISMIC work. Past UC Irvine SEISMIC Scholars and Constructs Working Group undergraduate researchers got together for lunch with two of our SEISMIC Scholars Program Organizers, Sabrina Solanki and Nita Tarchinski. At the same time, past Measurement Fellows and graduate student researchers met up with the Measurement Fellows Organizers, Becky Matz and Stefano Fiorini. It was such a joy for the students and the organizers to finally meet in-person and share a meal.


Back at the Measurement meeting room, SEISMIC members were working hard to run the analysis code on their local institutional data and share the results. Kameryn compiled the data so we could see comparisons of results across institutions. We broke up the analysis with short periods of focused writing time on our manuscript. Marco Molinaro, Meryl Motika, and Nita Tarchinski shared initial ideas for an upcoming SEISMIC grant proposal and received constructive feedback from the Measurement team.

This evening we made it out to Newport Beach’s Fashion Island for amazing food at True Food Kitchen. We couldn’t leave without trying their ~transformative~ tea. We’re still not totally sure what was supposed to happen there…

We wrapped up the Week of SEISMIC with final discussions on the analysis and manuscript plans for the Measurement project. Chris Mead shared a presentation on “An examination of course grades and access to accommodations for students with disabilities in an online biology degree program”, followed by Becky Matz’s presentation on “Retaining some COVID-era flexibility in drop and pass/fail grading policies”.

With one final lunch to tide us over on our journeys home, the first ever Week of SEISMIC officially came to a close. What a whirlwind!






Nita Tarchinski

Nita Tarchinski is the Project Manager for the Sloan Equity and Inclusion in STEM Introductory Courses (SEISMIC) Collaboration, coordinating multi-institutional and multidisciplinary research and teaching projects focused on making introductory STEM courses more equitable and inclusive.

Ashley Atkinson

Ashley Atkinson is a Program Assistant for SEISMIC Central, lending a hand to whichever projects need support. Her primary projects include the SEISMIC website, making graphics for various efforts, and editing a podcast. As an alum from Michigan State University, Ashley is passionate about equity and inclusion in STEM alongside science communication.