Matthew Von Hendy, is the owner and principal of Green Heron Information Services, which began in 2011 with a mission of providing outstanding research and information services for the STEM community.
Von Hendy is an experienced research librarian having worked in technical and scientific information centers for the last 15 years. He spoke with WashingtonExec about his current role, how he became interested in STEM research, and some of the challenges of finding STEM-related information.
Tell us something about your background and how you came to be interested in STEM
I have a B.A. and M.A. in history of all subjects. When I was getting my master’s of Library Science degree, I worked in several sciences related jobs.
I moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 1998 and ever since my work has involved connecting people with scientific and technical information. I have worked at the EPA Water Resource Center, the main EPA Headquarters Library reference center, and the NASA Center for Aerospace Information. For the last six years, I was a Research Librarian at the National Academies of Science where I served as a subject matter expert for teams of scientists, engineers, statisticians, and social scientists. Over the course of time, I have gotten more and more interested in how to connect people to just the right STEM information and research.
Was that your inspiration for founding Green Heron Information Services?
Green Heron Information Services provides services to business, non-profits and individual consultants, and researchers. We specialize in scientific, technical, social science and environmental research. Specific services include: locating just the right research, identifying experts, finding grant opportunities, training workshops and knowledge management. Particular areas of expertise are science education and STEM.
What is the most challenging question you have been asked?
Late on a Friday afternoon someone asked me to find out how to personally contact Larry Page (CEO of Google) so that he could be invited on Tuesday for an upcoming event. I got them the information they wanted by Monday morning.
What are the biggest challenges in trying to find STEM related information?
The sheer volume of STEM related information being produced is staggering. Every organization seems to be developing its own STEM material. It can be very difficult to separate the really good information from the not so good. Most people, especially busy executives, don’t have time to do this.
Another issue for finding STEM information is that a lot of research, particularly in the areas of best practices and innovation, has not been published. So you need to be able to talk to these researchers in person. It can be a challenge to identify, contact, and connect with them. We can help in both these situations.
Have you become a Redskins fan since moving to DC?
Of course I have!