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 participates 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. Reasons for this shift include generational change, along with desire and need to counter eroding public trust in science. The roots of my 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 one of the most pressing is providing access to the “wealth” of scientific process and information to those who want and can make use of it.
Science communication is also deeply intertwined with efforts to improve the widely acknowledged lack of diversity in STEM fields. While I strongly oppose the idea that longstanding and deep diversity issues can be overcome through more outreach, striving to communicate to and for broad audiences can help make science a more welcoming place, 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 try for consistency – it helps to always keep one thing on the calendar, even 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 that, happily, inspiration is never more than a web search away!
SciComm CV (selected)
January 2021. Measuring the impact of military flights on the Olympic Peninsula soundscape. Thompson Science and Mathematics Seminar, University of Puget Sound. Presentation on YouTube
January 2021. Op-Ed: Navy should use our data on Growler noise, not dismiss it. Seattle Times Article Link and Kitsap Sun Article Link
January 2021. Olympic National Park’s One Square Inch of Silence, with Gordon Hempton. Crosscut Escapes Link to Podcast
December 2020. Navy Growler jet noise loud enough to reach orca pods even 100 feet underwater, Lynda Mapes in the Seattle Times. Article Link
September 2020. Distinguishing dreams from reality when using eDNA to detect aquatic invasive plants in lakes. Washington Lakes Protection Association, Waterline. Article Link
June 2020. Growler jets and the impacts of noise pollution on Olympic Peninsula soundscapes. Eastside Audubon Society. Presentation Link
February 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
September 2018. Green and blue games; New Directions in Conservation Education. UW Freshwater Initiative. Article 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