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2021 Writer In Residence Announcement

The High Plains Library District Foundation is proud to announce the 2021 Writer in Residence. Dr. Melanie Peffer was selected by a volunteer committee to serve as the Foundation’s sixth Writer in Residence.

Dr. Melanie Peffer is a writer, speaker, researcher, and educator originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She has lived in Greeley for the last five years.

Dr. Peffer is affiliated with the University of Colorado Boulder as a researcher in the Institute of Cognitive Science and teaches introductory biology as part of the Health Professionals Residential Academic Program. Over the last ten years, she has taught biology to a variety of audiences and researched how people learn and understand science, particularly biology. She also frequently writes on topics ranging from motherhood in STEM to science communication.

Dr. Peffer is author of the best-selling book, Biology Everywhere: How the science of life matters to everyday lifeBiology Everywhere is a journey through the science of life as told through our daily experiences. She was invited to speak on Biology Everywhere at TEDxCU in April 2021 and collaborated with TED-ED to produce a lesson based on Biology Everywhere.

She plans to spend her residency working on a children’s spin-off series. In the children’s book, we follow the path of a small child exploring the biology in their immediate environment in Weld County. The children’s book would target children in late elementary grades when children begin to read to learn (rather than learn to read). This is also an age when groups underrepresented in the sciences, such as girls, begin to feel less like a scientist and lose interest in the sciences.

Since the book series presents a child exploring their immediate environment, one shared by children living in Weld County, children will identify with the main character and be able to readily apply what they are learning to their lives. This increases the appeal of the content, fostering continued interest in reading, positive views about science, and a sense of belonging in our community.

When not writing, Dr. Peffer enjoys playing her flute and piccolo and enjoying all that Colorado has to offer in the great outdoors with her husband and son.

For more information about the Writer in Residence, as well as updates on Dr. Peffer’s project and her upcoming library programs, visit

Dr. Peffer's TED-Ed Talk