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9 November 2015

What makes newsworthy science? Depends on your audience.

As a scientist-turned-journalist, I have approached scientific research from two different angles. When I was a researcher, I paid the most attention to papers that related to my specific areas of interest, and evaluated them based on how they furthered my community’s understanding of my field. As a reporter, however, I consume new research with a slightly different set of questions in mind. I still wonder, “what do these results tell us about how the world works?” but I also have to ask myself, “will my audience be interested?”


2 November 2015

Showing by (simply) telling

Why did I decide to submit an abstract for the “Up-Goer Five Giving-It-a-Try” session at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting, which challenges scientists to explain their work using only the 1,000 most common words in the English language? Well, I’m already presenting my research for the meeting, so I’ve got the talk outline and figures already queued up. That made my decision easier. But, what I really wanted was to see whether I could translate my work into simplified language. Scientists love jargon, but I think it’s equally as fun to discover just how common (or uncommon) even basic geology-related words are. All I can say is that it’s lucky “rock” is one of those words, or it would have been really hard to write my abstract in Up-Goer language!


27 October 2015

Ignite a crowd, in just 5 minutes, at the AGU Fall Meeting

Scientists are increasingly encouraged to share the meaning and implications of their research with non-scientists. And, as many who have attempted this endeavor at a party or a Thanksgiving dinner table know, talking about scientific research with those outside your field is difficult. Yet, it can be fun and rewarding.

Being able to convey the details and importance of your work can help to boost public support for science, enhance your career prospects and improve your chances of finding funding. Communication is a skill not typically taught as part of scientific training, but training and practice can help you communicate more effectively.

Ignite@AGU is one such opportunity for researchers to hone their communication skills and become more comfortable talking about their work with diverse audiences. Similar to a TED talk, Ignite gives presenters just five minutes and 20 auto-advancing slides to make their point.


14 October 2015

Sharing Science Week

Join AGU from October 11-17, 2015, for Sharing Science Week – an opportunity to share your science with community groups, school groups, policy makers, the media, or anyone who may not be familiar with your work as a scientist.


12 October 2015

Riding a “Roller Coaster” at National Geographic

“Is that it?” I ask the security guard at the desk.

“That’s it,” he says.

That moment marked the end of my roller coaster ride in a fellowship program with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in which scientists work summer stints as reporters in news outlets across the country.


26 August 2015

AGU #VirtualPoster Showcase – a conference option for students

AGU has a new option for students that cannot attend a conference in person. Learn about two opportunities for students to present online in a virtual poster showcase.


20 June 2015

Day 2, June 2015 AGU Meetings Committee

This post details my journey as a member of the AGU Meetings Committee, capturing highlights of what we accomplished on our second day of meeting about meetings!


17 June 2015

Day 1, June 2015 AGU Meetings Committee

This post details my journey as a member of the AGU Meetings Committee, capturing highlights of what we accomplished on our first full day of meeting about meetings!


15 June 2015

Pre-meeting, June 2015 AGU Meetings Committee

Getting ready to begin the AGU Meetings Committee meeting! So what exactly is the AGU Meetings Committee, and what does the group do? Follow along with me as I begin my term and we meet over the next couple of days!


13 January 2015

Hanging With Smart People at AGU

The AGU meeting every December in San Francisco is truly an amazing experience, and while I only was able to be there for two days, it was well worth flying across the entire continent and back in 48 hours. Here are some sights and sounds from the AGU that I and others made. Up first is meeting Geoph Haines-Stiles one of the senior producers of the original COSMOS with Carl …


8 December 2014

Geoscientist and singer-songwriter shares her creative side at AGU’s Open Mic Night – and you can, too

Science is about discovering universal truths. Music, they say, is a universal language. So what better way to communicate science than through music?


14 January 2014

The Polar Vortex Gets Its 15 Minutes of Fame

I was asked by the AGU to do a post about the Polar Vortex for the AGU Blog THE BRIDGE. You can read it by clicking on the image below: and then you should read Bob Henson’s piece from the NCAR AtmosNews Journal


9 December 2013

AGU 2013: Earth Science-palooza

After braving excruciating cold, ice-bound airports, and snow-covered mountain passes to get here, some 21,000 Earth Scientists have descended on San Francisco for the annual AGU Fall Meeting. They’ll all be happy to know that the National Weather Service calls for freezing temperatures in all areas except San Francisco tonight. So everyone from Back East can still pretend they’re having a balmy California vacation while we locals wrap our heads …


5 December 2012

AGU 2012: Days 1 and 2 Highlights

Greetings! It’s been a busy first two days of AGU, and it’s impossible to convey it all, but here are a few highlights: Monday morning was my poster presentation, so that prevented me from seeing very many talks. I did stop by the Mars talks long enough to hear ChemCam team member Darby Dyar give a talk summarizing the many challenges involved in getting quantitative numbers out of LIBS data, …


26 September 2011

Tweeting Haiku

This 2010 NPR story titled Haiku Takes To Twitter, 140 Characters At A Time and 2009 NPR story titled Twitterers Message by Haiku remind me of my own haiku/Twitter experience earlier this year. I even created a Storify about it,…