There’s a reason Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) and science communication (SciComm) share a place on my site. Although they are often discussed and implemented in isolation from each other, my work and passion for both are driven by constant questioning of myself and others, which is “Who is participating in the scientific process, and who feels like they don’t belong?”
During my decade of being a professional scientist, I’ve watched a slow-but-sure cultural shift from whether to how scientists should spend time on science communication. The reasons for this shift seem to include generational change, along with desire and need to counter erosion of public trust in science. The roots of my own commitment to science communication include these, but also a firm belief in the power (and responsibility) of science to promote social justice and equity. Without science communication, scientific information – locked behind journal paywalls, conference fees, or obscured by jargon – becomes an extra-privileged type of knowledge. There are many reasons to engage in science communication, but for me, one of the most pressing is helping create access to the “wealth” that is scientific process and information to anyone who needs it.
Science communication is also deeply intertwined with efforts to dismantle the widely acknowledged lack of diversity in STEM fields. While I strongly oppose the idea that longstanding and deep diversity issues in STEM can be overcome through more outreach, striving to communicate to and for broad audiences is part of making science a more welcoming place, and one in which more people may see themselves being able to participate.
Science communication takes patience and practice. Some of my efforts have been big, others small, but I’ve tried for consistency – it helps me to always keep one thing on the calendar, even if it’s months out. For those looking for inspiration, I’m happy if you find something in my SciComm “CV” that’s helpful. But there are so many professional science communicators and amazing scientists innovating on their own, that happily, nowadays, inspiration is never more than an internet search away!
SciComm CV (selected)
September 2020. Distinguishing dreams from reality when using eDNA to detect aquatic invasive plants in lakes. Washington State Lake Protection Association, Waterline. Article Link
June 2020. Growler jets and the impacts of noise pollution on Olympic Peninsula soundscapes. Eastside Audubon Society. Presentation Link
Febuary 2020. Class: Measuring Impacts of Noise Pollution on People and Wildlife. Sound Waters University, Whidbey Island, Washington. Link to organization
May 2019. University of Washington Aquatic Sciences Open House, Seattle, Washington. Link to organization
May 2019. Impact of military flights on the Olympic Peninsula soundscape. Friday Evening Talk Series, Olympic Natural Resources Center, Forks, Washington
Spring 2019. Tracking the Wild EA-18G: Growler Flights on the Olympic Peninsula. Washington State Department of Natural Resources, The Learning Forest 6: 7-10. Article Link
March 2019. Olympic mudminnow: Western Washington’s Best Kept Fish Secret! Washington Science Teachers Association, Oly Science and Brews Series.
September 2018. Hunting for Mudminnows on the North Olympic Coast. North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee, West End Natural Resources News 11: 5-6. Newsletter Link
May 2018. Applications of passive acoustic monitoring for forest ecology and monitoring. Department of Natural Resources 2nd Annual OESF Science Conference, Forks, Washington Presentation on YouTube
November 2017. Sustainability Game Jam. University of Washington. Article Link
January 2017. Idea for a new year: Workshopping grad student proposals for fun and profit. Early Career Ecologists. Guest blog post
March 2015. Lay summaries needed to enhance science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 112: 3585-3586. Open access article Guest blog post
April 2014. Practical science communication strategies for graduate students. Conservation Biology 28: 1225-1235. Article Guest blog post
November 2012. Ecological Avatars Predict Species Invasions. RealClear Science. Guest blog post
August 2012. Native Invaders Divide Loyalties. ConservationBytes.com. Guest blog post
Summer 2012. Science on the Edge: Birds on Beaches and the Quest for a Better Seawall. Seattle Audubon Society, Earthcare Northwest 52(6) 1-5. Article Link
June 2007. Classroom Curriculum: Harmful Algal Bloom Hunter’s Handbook. Sound Toxins. Link to publication