Melissa Shumer

photo of Melissa Shumer on Maua Kea in Hawaii

Melissa Shumer teaches Earth Science and AP Environmental Science at The Young Women’s Leadership School, Queens, an all-girls public-school in diverse Jamaica, New York City. Her students, ranging from eighth to twelfth graders, find it humorous that their geology teacher grew up in Rockland County, New York.

Melissa earned a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Rutgers University, an M.S. in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences from Hunter College, completed MBA coursework at UConn, and received her MAT degree from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). She is a member of AMNH’s first class to prepare science teachers to teach in high needs schools. Before transitioning to teaching, Melissa worked in the environmental and business fields. Melissa spends her summers conducting research with high school students and scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory. Her research focuses on the invasive species phragmites and carbon storage in Piermont Marsh, New York. Melissa is a member of the AMNH’s MAT Advisory Board and her school’s STEM liaison to The Young Women’s Leadership Network. She also participates in the AMNH’s middle school science initiative Urban Advantage.

Melissa connects her students with extra-curricular science opportunities and internships including those at AMNH and Columbia University. She is proud of all of her students’ accomplishments and is exceptionally excited when former students study environmental science in college.

When she’s not grading papers or preparing lesson plans, Melissa plays tennis and hikes with friends and family. While hiking in Rockland County, she enjoys finding glacial erratics to share with them.