Check out The Leader Vindicator’s article on the girls. It covers the IU6/Clarion University STEM educational tournament. A special thanks goes out to Evanne Gareis. You wrote a great article. Thank you!

Donna Beer Stolz, Ph.D. – Associate professor of Cell Biology

Donna Beer Stolz, Ph.D. – Associate professor of Cell Biology

Getting to know the people appearing on the EDGE of EXTINCTION Human cards.

If I remember correctly Donna wasn’t sure if she was interested when I initially asked, so I had to send in the big guns and asked Athia to hike a bit with her.

The Baker Trail Gang

Donna is Second from the left.

After a few miles of chatting, she was on board. We are glad to have her in the game and along the trail. Donna has a knowledge of the natural world I find refreshing. We talk about many of the species we find along the trail when hiking.

Below are a few questions we asked Donna along with her responses.

What is your full name and title? Donna Beer Stolz, Ph.D., Associate professor of Cell Biology, Associate Director of the Center for Biologic Imaging

Where do you work and reside? I work at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I live in Glenshaw (Shaler), PA

What is your educational background? I have a BS in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, both degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

What was your life like growing up? I grew up in rural north central Massachusetts, close to the New Hampshire border but about 1 hr away from Boston. Our property bordered on a dairy farm. My sister and I would spend a lot of time outdoors every season, playing outside in the streams, ponds, with the cows, my friends horses, playing hide and seek in the hayloft at the dairy farm, riding our bikes to our grandmother’s house, about 2 miles away. I loved to collect insects with my dad. I also liked to sew. In the winter we loved to ski, skate and go sledding and tobogganing.

Human Microbiologist CardDid you have a nickname? If so, how did it come about? My math teacher in middle school called me “Big D” since I never wrote out my first name on assignments. When I was a ski bum in Vermont all my friends called be DB. They still do.

What are you currently reading? Why? I’m re-reading the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. I’m re-reading because I was asked to give a keynote lecture for The Community College of Allegheny County, One College One Community Reads and that is the book they are all reading this year.  I have curated a couple art shows that depicted the HeLa cells derived from Henrietta Lacks’ cancerous tumor using many different types of microscopy.

What are you curious about or exploring in your field of expertise at the moment? Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy

What is your favorite Movie? Why? I have 2: Tonari no totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) a Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. It reminds me when I was a kid and I spent so much time the woods. My other favorite movie is “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

What personal strengths do you find especially helpful in your profession? Curiosity and Creativity

What is your least favorite subject? Why? Political Science…because it’s not science.

What advise you to offer to parents who want to help their children get involved with the natural world? Go outside with them. Do outside projects together. Go birdwatching, collect bugs, look for flowers and try and identify them. Get field guides and use them.

How do you disconnect from technology? Hiking/backpacking/knitting

What advice would you give to adults who are interested in supporting their local wildlife ecosystems? Get involved.

Are there specific wildlife or science clubs you find interesting? Why? The Audubon Society for the work they do with birds.

What could a visitor expect to see when they come to visit you at work? I will be helping (scientists, students) try and understand what they are seeing in their samples when they look under microscopes. I also help scientists understand how to set up an experiment using microscopes to answer specific questions.

What are your thoughts about our national park and preserve systems? We are very lucky to have open green protected areas that everyone can enjoy.

Is there anything else you want to share or say?

Donna Beer Stolz. Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Cell Biology

Associate Director, Center for Biologic Imaging

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Find the Perfect Starter Deck - take the quiz

Baker Trail Area Starter Deck

Baker Trail Area Starter DeckUsually Humans mess up nature, but not in this deck. Play the Human cards to expand your ecosystem. If you can play the Eastern Hellbender, you probably won.


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Joshua Tree Area Starter Deck

Learn more about Joshua Tree National Park Area Starter DeckIt’s going to sound weird but focus on the Milkweed Species. Use your Humans to bring out the Milkweed plants and their related species. Everything else will take care of itself.


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Shenandoah National Park Area Starter Deck

Shenandoah National ParkUsually playing an animal card will win you the game, but with this deck, the secret is the birds and invertebrates. You will rack up the points if you focus on bringing them out.


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Sonoran Desert Area Starter Deck

Sonoran Desert area Starter DeckA variety of desert Plants and Invertebrates will land you in the winner’s circle with this deck. Some of the coolest Multi-Player cards can also be found in this starter deck as well.


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WILD App for Google Play

Meet the Two Sisters

Learn why we build educational games and follow along as we explore the world together.

WILD App for Google Play

WILD App for Google Play

WILD: North East North America game app for Google Play. Check out our review from

WILD App for Amazon Kindle

WILD App for Amazon Kindle

WILD: North East North America game app for Amazon Kindle.



“Edge of Extinction is great because it gives you a closer look at your environment – using plants and creatures you can find right in your backyard!”

– Jen Christopher
2015 Comic Con Volunteer


“I watched in awe as our students eagerly learned about nature by accident.”

– John Cornman
Teacher and Mentor


“This game is AMAZING. You girls have done such a good job! I’m looking forward to buying some expansion packs.”

– Dr. Andrew Keth
Biology Professor at Clarion University of Pennsylvania


“It’s pretty inspiring to see what those two girls and their father have accomplished.”

– Ben Legum
Assistant Professor


“I can see this being used as part of the curriculum. It will be pretty popular during inside recess too.”

– Linda Barnes
5th Grade Elementary Teacher


“So Brian (age 9) purchased the Appalachian Homestead Starter Deck of Edge of Extinction today, and he and I have played 4 times. We both really like it–in fact, we’re in agreement we need to buy more!”

– Anissa Ferringer
Home school Mom