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7 June 2019

Community (and Communication) Don’t Happen Naturally

Six months ago, I had no idea what a community manager was.

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27 May 2019

Revealing the baseline of geoscience outreach

Geoscience has been one of the least diverse STEM fields for nearly four decades, perhaps in part because our science isn’t making it to those who are outside our departments and institutions. In the era of climate change skepticism, geoscientists who practice science communication could provide immense value to their local and global communities by serving as Earth experts who can empower non-scientists to engage in reasoning and analysis in all aspects of life.

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23 May 2019

Take your lab to the ocean!

Calling all Ocean Scientists: with World Oceans Day fast approaching, and in celebration of AGU’s Centennial, we want to highlight the experiences you and your teams have out in the field!

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9 May 2019

Earth’s Past in Poetry

How do we regard the vast planetary time scales that span the Earth Sciences?  How do we regard a figure showing changes in Earth’s temperature since the age of dinosaurs, as spring rains pelt against the window, making rivulets that will evaporate before we leave the office, before we finish that email, and check our analysis, and pay that bill, and tweet that article, and lead that meeting, and, and, and…all in the next three hours. The Paleocene was 65 million years ago. The average human lifespan is just 79 years. 

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7 May 2019

Paying SciComm Forward with SCOPE

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) is home to world-class research across broad-ranging topics relating to oceanic, atmospheric, and earth sciences. Located in sunny San Diego, the institution is also home to a thriving outreach program – the Scripps Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program.

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22 April 2019

Connecting Kids to Real World Science through Children’s Books

Many science education projects for elementary school age kids start with the assumption that, in order to get kids interested in the science, there needs to be a character like “Barbara Bacteria” or “Larry the Lava Flow” to get their attention. In my over twenty years of experience as a science educator and children’s author, I feel confident in saying that this is not the case.

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16 April 2019

Stare into the Lens Until You Feel Comfortable

As a classical pianist and composer, my natural talent was present but practice was essential. You need one or the other to be good, and both to be exceptional. All the hours each day I spent writing and experimenting with musical devices, or exercising a variety of quirky, intricate techniques on the piano, were crucial to forming solid skills and artistry. Practice makes perfect, and it also provides confidence, endurance, and mastery for when the stage is set.

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1 April 2019

Embedding science within the art world

Art and science are often seen as complete opposites: art is subjective, while science aims to discover objective facts about nature. But more and more, we are realising that there are commonalities between the two and art-science collaborations have become more common. From the scientists’ perspective, such efforts can potentially reach audiences outside of the scientific echo chamber, however, it’s not always clear whether they always successfully do this in practice.

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27 March 2019

Science communication needs mentorship. You can help.

As a grad student, I knew that I wanted to do communication and outreach work outside of academia. Unfortunately, I had no idea where to start. I had created a research plan from scratch, executed multiple experiments, and was in the process of writing my thesis; however, the idea of “outreach” scared the crap out of me. At least with that other stuff there was a road map from my adviser, colleagues, and committee members. But with outreach, I had no map, no examples, no mentor.

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18 March 2019

Communicating climate change through traditional folk theater

Working as a scientist turned communicator is, I believe, one of the toughest jobs. Working with the non-experts specially without any scientific background knowledge is not easy at all. And specially when those non-experts are just making ends meet.

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