Ryder Fox recently completed a B.S. in atmospheric physics from New Mexico Tech and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the University of Miami, RSMAS. Raised in a fundamentalist home that denied science and restricted schooling, Ryder did not begin scientific training until they were in their thirties. As such, they are passionate about increasing vulnerable populations’ access to education. Kicked out of their home in their teens, Ryder went to work as a news photojournalist, covering the devastation of hurricanes and tornadoes in rural areas. Ryder devoted time to training rural communities about severe weather preparedness, and soon community activism became an integral part of their life. Upon entering university, Ryder quickly realized the disparities that existed for LGBTQ students and the outright discrimination underrepresented students experienced. It was only natural for Ryder to become active in campus advocacy, organizing the LGBTQ club to lobby for gender inclusive facilities and policies and to train the community regarding transgender equality. Their advocacy eventually led to the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Center that won approval in Ryder’s senior year. Ryder’s advocacy reaches to the national and international level, as the VP for Diversity and Inclusion with oSTEM and on the Board of Women and Minorities with the American Meteorological Society. Ryder remains passionate about broadening the participation of LGBTQ students and early career professionals in STEM and wants to use their education to improve severe weather preparedness plans for the homeless LGBTQ youth population.

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