12 February 2020

The Geology Project: Bilingual Geoscience Communication by Bilingual Geoscientists

Posted by Shane Hanlon

By Bryan J. Rodriguez-Colon

During the AGU Fall Meeting 2019, I presented a talk on The Geology Project (TGP). TGP is a social media-based geoscience communication enterprise with special focus on providing content in both Spanish and English. Based in Puerto Rico, TGP is run by five young Puerto Rican geoscientists, with one mission: communicating science to the world! We are primarily Facebook-based, and our original written and audiovisual content is specifically geared towards the Spanish-speaking, and Puerto Rican public. We have social media followers in every Latin American country, and numerous other countries as well!

The Geology Project is not just a way to educate the public, it is also a multilingual geoscience storytelling laboratory. Our audiovisual content—our most successful communication tool, and the topic of my talk—focuses on early career geoscientists explaining their research through simple storytelling videos. With the help of talented geoscientists from Puerto Rico and across the US, we produce videos in Spanish and English, covering a wide array of geoscience fields as well as demonstrating the strength of cultural diversity in science. Our videos currently include topics such as geomicrobiology, geologic hazards, quaternary geology, carbonate geology, petrology, and geomorphology. All of our videos have had excellent public reception and have been watched by thousands of viewers around the globe.

Embracing our mission to educate the public on diverse geoscience topics, TGP’s creative content has already proven valuable to local communities. Due to the recent seismic events in southwestern Puerto Rico, geological processes are a hot topic in the mainstream media, and for communities who are desperately trying to understand why the earth won’t stop shaking. Since the 6.4 Mw earthquake on January 6th, TGP has worked actively to provide straightforward, simple information about the geologic processes involved with these earthquakes. We also used our platform to help the affected communities directly. We collected and delivered emergency supplies while hosting a Facebook Live in which we answered earthquake-related questions. At TGP, we strongly believe in the power of science to construct the best version of humanity. As geoscientists, we strive to support our fellow scientists and to increase geoscience literacy by providing information in “arroz y habichuelas”—the Puerto Rican phrase for simple, practical, real world language. To learn more about The Geology Project, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and YouTube!

Bryan J. Rodriguez-Colon is a graduate student in geomicrobiology at the University of Kansas. He’s also the audiovisual coordinator of The Geology Project.  Find him @BryanRodriColon.