Previously, at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, Dr. Allen oversaw the development and growth of PREL’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education programs throughout Hawaii and the other U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands. As a central part of this work, Dr. Allen served as Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation’s Water for Life: Community Education for Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting in the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands program. This five-year, $2.6 million project fostered broad community water science learning, improved access to potable water, and enhanced water security and resiliency for residents of Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Chuuk and Yap States in Micronesia. As part of this work, Dr. Allen co-authored a broadly useful 280-page reference, “Water for Life: A Pacific Island Handbook for Education, Health, and community Resilience.”
Dr. Allen also served as Co-PI for an NSF INCLUDES project, Water Network for Team STEM, bringing together USAPI communities in collective impact endeavors to enhance drinking water security and resilience. He also headed up the external evaluation for the University of Hawaii’s ‘Ike Wai project – a five-year, $20M grant from NSF’s EPSCoR, to model and match groundwater resources in Hawaii.
Outside of his formal work, for the past four years, Dr. Allen has hosted a weekly live-streamed Internet TV show, Likable Science, on ThinkTech Hawaii, promoting science and STEM as accessible and fascinating parts of all of our lives. He also hosted a bi-weekly show, Pacific Partnerships in Education, focusing of learning and teaching collaborations in the Pacific islands. Earlier, Dr. Allen also served as President of the Board of Directors for the Hawaii Public Health Association.
Dr. Allen previously directed diverse science education improvement programs at the University of Washington’s Center for Nanotechnology and Department of Molecular Biotechnology, and at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, raising millions of dollars in grant funding and serving as Co-PI on several projects. Earlier in his career, he was an Associate Director for Policy and Planning at the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science in Chicago, and before that he served as an exhibit developer for the Museum of Science and Industry there.
Dr. Allen received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, his doctorate in systems and integrative biology (neuroscience) from the University of Oregon, and did postdoctoral research both there and at the University of Texas at Austin.