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3 June 2015

SoapBox Science – bringing science to public spaces

Soapbox Science is a public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do. Events transform public areas into an arena for public learning and scientific debate.


27 May 2015

The sounds and songs of climate data

Have you heard the statement, “any geophysical time series can be represented by music.” Look no further than this blog post to listen to the sounds of climate data over time.


2 February 2015

The Funny Side of A Missed Forecast

I made an appearance on our local talk show Delmarva Life last Friday with Mike Lichniak our weekend meteorologist, and we talked about the funny side of a missed forecast. Our morning meteorologist Brian Keane also chimed in with some of the messages from social media. I also talked about how we forecasters can communicate a difficult forecast in a better way. Note: Skip to about 20 secs into the …


22 December 2014

Guest Post – Natural Hazards Education and Communications

Welcome to the first-ever guest post on the GeoEd Trek blog, focusing on the teaching of landslides and earthquake dynamics in the Himalayas and the EGU 2015 session on Natural Hazards Education and Communications


1 October 2014

Science haiku to communicate research and more

NOAA is doing it. Even the entire IPCC Report was boiled down to 19 illustrated haiku. Can science-themed haiku be used for education & outreach, or just for fun?


13 June 2014

Go Local or Go Home

By Beth Bartel, Outreach Specialist, UNAVCO Okay, maybe that title is a bit harsh. When it comes to delivering a message about hazards and risk, there’s certainly benefit in delivering broad messages, to a broad public. But what I’d like to focus on is the power of targeting communication about natural hazards and risk to a local audience, and connecting with your audience through stories. So let’s start with one. …


11 June 2014

Are geoscience journals ready for video abstracts?

How do we “get the word out” about a new paper we have published, whether the focus is scientific or pedagogical?  We list the citation on our CV’s and perhaps on our faculty page of a department website.  We might send copies to collaborators and colleagues at other institutions.  And some of us will use social media to share the news of having a new manuscript released. Social science researchers …


24 May 2014

The Deterministic Dilemma

This is a guest post from Sean Sublette, the Chief Meteorologist for WSET-TV in Lynchburg-Roanoke, Va. It gives you an idea of the issues that forecasters face in attempting to communicate a forecast, and the uncertainty that is always present in any scientific prediction. I’ve thought about it for a few years now. Greg Fishel, Chief Meteorologist at WRAL in Raleigh, mentioned it at a conference a couple of years ago. More recently, …


22 May 2014

Applying science to natural resource policy issues: Social science joins natural and physical sciences

By Jana Davis, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust As AGU members, we generally focus on the contribution of physical and natural science solutions to policy questions. But sometimes an issue calls for us to step outside the boundaries of these “hard” sciences to the social sciences. Areas in which many of us tend to be less comfortable. And less trained. Watershed restoration and protection can be just such an issue. …


21 May 2014

Elected Officials are Human, Too

By John Bwarie, Founder, Stratiscope Having served as staff for over a decade for three L.A. City Councilmen, as well as L.A. Mayor James Hahn, I’ve been on the receiving end of countless requests for support, meetings, and action from concerned citizens and interest groups. In 2010, my world was turned upside down when I started working with USGS scientists to inform policymakers on how science can be used as …


20 December 2013

Senator Olympia Snowe Encourages Scientists to Make Their Voices Heard

The large auditorium was standing-room only for former Senator Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) address at AGU’s 2013 Fall Meeting. An ally with a history of standing up for many of AGU’s key issues on and off Capitol Hill, Senator Snowe resigned in January of 2013 over what she saw as an increasingly inept and hyper-partisan atmosphere in Congress. During her time in the Senate, Snowe positioned herself in the middle of …


22 November 2013

Speak science to me: AGU’s expert outreach network

Let me tell you… “People should know about this!” That comment, or a variation on it (“More people should know about this!”; “Why don’t people know about this?”) is one that comes up often when talking about science. It’s a phrase I used a lot when I was still studying marine invertebrates, and it was one of the main reasons I went into science communication and outreach. Whether it’s about …


19 November 2013

Make STEM Education a Priority

I feel so lucky to be working at AGU as an intern in the Science department, but my geoscience career has not been without challenges and struggle. Through my inherent passion for Earth science and the confidence that a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree could provide job security, I fought to attain a B.S. from the Department of Geosciences at Penn State University. If not for the encouragement …


12 November 2013

New Website Wants to Encourage Public Discussion of Climate Change by Scientists

What are your thoughts on the new Climate Change National Forum and Review (CCNFR)? According to the website’s founders, the forum offers one way for scientists, and eventually policy makers, to join the discussion on climate change. The organization’s founders, Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Dr. Barry Lefer, and Prof. Tracy Hester, developed CCNFR to educate the American public on the science of climate change and its policy implications. CCNFR’s main vehicle …


28 October 2013

The Bridge Joins AGU’s Blogosphere

  Welcome to The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy! We are excited and honored to join the AGU Blogosphere family. Our goal is to provide readers with a deeper understanding of how science and policy intersect and to encourage discussion about how those intersections can be enriched. Scientific research is often far removed from policy, which in many instances makes sense. Research itself should be isolated from the influence of …


1 August 2013

A Policymaker Walks Into The Forest…

A recurring challenge for scientists talking to policymakers is finding the match between the details that the scientist focuses on and understands, and the details that the policymaker needs to make their decisions. I often see scientists struggling to calibrate their message to the right level of specificity. Missing the mark on this can kill an otherwise promising conversation, but more importantly, increases the probability that you will squander real …


11 July 2013

Accomplishments and Future Needs of Science in the United States

The first full day of the 2013 AGU Science Policy Conference, on 25 June, began with a plenary session that provided a frame for discussions throughout the day. The plenary session, Preparing for Our Future: The Value of Science, not only elucidated the myriad of economic and societal contributions of science in the United States, but also issued a call for scientists to communicate their contributions and defend their role. …


3 July 2013

AGU Science Policy Conference as a Call to Action for Research Community

  For the American Geophysical Union, fitting a conference on “science policy” into a two-day span is no small feat. Compare that to the Fall Meeting in December where just the “science” alone stretches out across an entire week, with over 800 science-focused sessions already registered for the 2013 meeting (note: I am leaving out Education, Public Affairs and Union sessions in this count). Of course, the science is historically …


27 June 2013

Making Scientists into Scientific Spokespeople

  How would you bring up scientific funding if you bumped into your senator while he’s buying cheese and cured meats at the local market? How about getting a stranger interested in safer alternatives to lead-based welding solder? Communicating science to lawmakers and laypersons is important, but scientists too often get tongue-tied talking with everyday folks. Scientists from around the world heard from policy and communications gurus Monday at the …


21 June 2013

Why Is It Important for Science and Policy to Be Connected?

From climate change to energy and water needs and the impacts from natural hazards, the challenges we face are growing more and more complex and the need for sustainable solutions more and more urgent. History tells us that scientific research and development can play an important role in solving these challenges, and in serving as a catalyst for economic growth, helping us to protect lives and property and raise environmental …