Robin M.

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Robin's reputation as an explorer began when she was a baby, crawling her way into crevices that sometimes gave her parents a fright. As a child, she preferred biology and astronomy books to fairy tales and barbies. She fashioned her own experiments with plastic, ice, wax, and matches and nearly set the house on fire. In college, she became a biochemist, but found the practice of science somewhat stoic. When her first published paper came back from peer review with the commentary “too creative,” she took it as a sign she should get out of the lab.

She has since worked for many years as a writer and reporter, and spent a decade at the Exploratorium, where she had the honor of working with and learning from some of the best science teachers in the world. Robin still gets her geek on by writing for high school science textbooks and editing podcasts for the National Academies of Science, and she is also the current president of the Northern California Science Writers’ Association.

Reviews for Robin M.
Jon B.
Jon B. for SF Geology Walking Tour

Robin is GREAT. Thanks for a fantastic tour this past weekend! Fun, educational, and somewhat nutritious! - Jon

Kelsi G.
Kelsi G. for Invented in SF Walking Tour

I love how this tour combines interesting historical information with science. We explored parts of San Francisco I've never seen and learned interesting stories at the same time. I look at San Francisco differently now. I now think of how people are shaping the history of the city with creativity and inventions. I loved learning the facts about inventions and challenging myself to think outside the box. Robin is a fantastic tour guide. Not only is she hospitable and personable, her real world knowledge and practice in the science field brings an element to her tours that is completely unique.

Matej S.
Matej S. for SF Geology Walking Tour

Robin led us on a pleasant walk in San Francisco, exploring less-touristed areas and giving clear, concise explanations of the geology of the area. I especially liked that she referenced other relevant areas of the California coastline and sent wonderful follow-up information after the tour so we could investigate more. Great trip!

Kathy L.
Kathy L. for Invented in SF Walking Tour

My husband and I began our S.F. trip with the "Invention Tour". Robin led us through different ares of the city and shared lots of historical and scientific facts along with some hands-on activities. We enjoyed this tour so much that we scheduled another Geology tour a few days later! "San Francisco Rocks" was our favorite. We got to explore another part of the city with Robin as our guide, pointing out geology we never would have found on our own. My husband who is a fourth grade science teacher plans to "borrow" some of Robin's fun activities. Robin is someone who is very knowledgable and really enjoys sharing that knowledge. She has a wonderful presentation that is engaging and fun. She asked us questions from the beginning of the tour that got us thinking. We really loved her lighthearted style and sense of humor. We would highly recommend any of her tours for a unique experience in San Francisco!

Kaitlyn T.
Kaitlyn T. for SF Geology Walking Tour

Robin is a warm, creative, and knowledgable tour guide. She illustrated complex geological phenomena using Oreos, frosting, graham crackers, and cheese balls. The tour took us through lots of lovely San Francisco neighborhoods, so Robin supplemented the geology info with stories of local personalities and cool architectural details.

Jesse F.
Jesse F. for SF Geology Walking Tour

Robin's tour is great. Several friends were sure I had left SF for the day when they saw me posting the photos on Facebook. You'll get to see parts of San Francisco you didn't know existed. And some parts you did, but never paid attention to. Also, bonus: using Oreo cookies to illustrate siliceous ooze.

June L.
June L. for SF Geology Walking Tour

We had a great time on the geology tour! Robin was super knowledgeable about different types of rocks, plate tectonics, and all the places you can go to see great formations throughout the Bay Area. She provided edible displays that really solidified our understanding of all the concepts she explained on the tour. There are lots of gneiss photo opportunities for rocks and views, and you can even collect samples for your home geology display along the way. We were all denizens of the city and learned how San Francisco evolved into what it is today over millions of years. Don't take those views for granite! (all spelling mistakes are on purpose).

Ann C.
Ann C. for Invented in SF Walking Tour

I went on the "Invented in SF Tour" recently and it was actually quite a surprise. Having lived in S.F. for nearly many years now, I can say that I the tour was very different than your run-of-the-mill tours. It was full of neat surprises I don't think I would have learned on my own (keeping it a bit mysterious so as to not spoil anything). This tour really lends insight into the "can-do" nature of the city's spirit, and Robin is a captivating storyteller. She took time to answer questions and has a great sense of wit and humor about her. The "science-y" twists and little experiments our group did during the tour made it fun and interactive. It definitely was an added bonus and helped to make this tour very entirely unique, just like this city.

Pioja M.
Pioja M. for SF Geology Walking Tour

I absolutely loved this earthquake-themed walking tour of San Francisco! If you want to know this city at the deepest possible level, this is the tour for you. About a dozen people, in ages ranging from their twenties to their sixties, meandered through the Mission, Castro, and lower Twin Peaks neighborhoods, up side streets and to overlooks that visitors rarely stumble upon -- and that even residents may have missed. We met at Dolores Park, and Robin, our tour guide, introduced us to the earth forces that have shaped this city. She was obviously very knowledgeable and yet knew how to convey scientific information in a lively, memorable way. Out of her backpack (aka mobile classroom) she pulled props -- like a nerf-style earth that came apart and showed the various layers that make up the earth -- and snacks, like a gourmet cheese ball that was not only delicious but also demonstrated the consistency of the earth's core and mantle. Later in the tour, other delicious tidbits were brought out to demonstrate other principles of earthquake science. Yum! She also had historic photos that allowed us to compare the present-day view with what we would have seen during the 1906 quake, and I especially enjoyed Robin's stories of that disaster, how the city handled it, and what earthquake scientists learned from it. I found myself repeating those anecdotes at a dinner with friends that evening, and everyone was as rapt as I had been. As befits an earthquake-themed tour, we also paid close attention to outcroppings of rock, and Robin again brought out props -- this time a tupperware container filled with different rock samples -- as she explained the geology of various kinds of bedrock. One of the great things about this tour was that is seemed to attract very interesting people, and the questions put to Robin were at quite a high level. Tour participants also shared knowledge of the city and of science with each other, so the experience felt less like a teacher leading us along and more like a group of curious individuals exploring in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Robin knows her stuff, and she is fun and personable. I also love that she follows up with an email giving links to more of the information we touched on during the walk. Very highly recommended!