Our story begins where so many do: in a college dorm room. Aubrey Paris and Emily Black were friends-turned-roommates at Ursinus College, where they lived together from sophomore through senior year. The science majors had little in common, with two significant exceptions: they were both profoundly impacted by Ursinus' interdisciplinary curriculum, and they both loved the National Treasure movies.
Over three years, Aubrey and Emily partook in various National Treasure-themed exploits, such as visiting the nearby Valley Forge National Historical Park and hunting down all the hidden statues on their college campus. In the summer of 2015, to celebrate their graduation, they traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit National Treasure filming sites in an adventure they dubbed their "National Treasure Hunt."
In the years that followed, Aubrey and Emily lost touch during the height of their respective graduate school programs. But in 2020, thanks to lockdown orders, the pair decided to reconnect over their first shared love, National Treasure. The National Treasure Hunt (NTH) podcast was born as a way to bring their interdisciplinary education to life through their favorite films.
Few people (Aubrey and Emily included) thought their show could surpass a season or two, but ideas for episodes of their niche podcast just kept coming. They launched the NTH merch store in summer 2021 and will be publishing their first book in April 2023. Inspired by their original "National Treasure Hunt" in 2015, Aubrey and Emily hosted their first National Treasure-themed informal walking tour of Washington, D.C., in summer 2022, an event they will now convene semi-annually.
Aubrey is a foreign policy advisor in Washington, D.C. Her work focuses on the nexus between gender issues and climate change. Prior to her current position, Aubrey was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Energy and Climate Scholar at Princeton University, where she designed catalysts capable of transforming carbon dioxide into useful and marketable products. Her first National Treasure memories involve seeing both films with her parents in theaters on Christmas Day.
National Treasure Hunt is Aubrey's passion project, though it is not her first podcasting experience. From 2015-2020, she co-hosted, wrote, and executive produced "ISGP’s The Forum," a scripted series contextualizing scientific topics for international audiences. As of 2022, she moderates and produces "S/GWI's Innovation Station," a discussion-based podcast featuring woman and girl innovators hosted by the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State.
Aubrey received her Ph.D. in Chemistry and Materials Science from Princeton University (2019), M.A. in Chemistry from Princeton University (2017), and B.S. in Chemistry and Biology, with a minor in French, from Ursinus College (2015).
Favorite National Treasure Hunt Episode: The Secret Lies with Segars
Emily is a postdoctoral fellow at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the comorbidity between stress and oxycodone use. Prior to her current position, Emily was a Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellow through the National Institutes of Health at Drexel University, where she studied viral manipulation of targeted brain receptors and effects on cocaine use. Her first National Treasure memories include joining friends to see the films almost immediately after they premiered.
National Treasure Hunt as a project represented a step into the unknown for Emily, as this is the first podcast she has hosted and produced. However, the show allows her to showcase some of her music and sound skills. Emily wrote the intro and the outro segments for the podcast and is responsible for editing the audio of each episode.
Emily received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Drexel University College of Medicine (2021), B.S. in Neuroscience, and B.A. in Music from Ursinus College (2015).
Favorite National Treasure Hunt Episode: Hunt for Hypotheses