Kevin Wyatt

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Kevin Wyatt
Michigan State University

I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Zoology and the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior program at Michigan State University. I completed a Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Southern Mississippi in 2003 and a joint Master of Science degree at The University of Montana and The University of Southern Mississippi in 2005. As part of a master’s thesis, I investigated the main tenants of the hyporheic corridor concept in an effort to develop a more complete conceptual model of stream ecology. Currently, I am working on a project with The National Science Foundation to better understand the mechanisms associated with global warming in interior Alaska wetlands.

It is important for us to share our knowledge gained from ecological studies with a changing world. While studying climate-change processes, there is often a significant communication gap between the public and policies related to climate-change issues. In order to properly communicate our science with the public, we have to develop the ability to translate our knowledge of ecology to a broad audience. This requires that we write about the knowledge gained from ecological studies in a manor that can be easily interpreted by policy makers and corporate America, as well as residents within the local communities that we are studying. Bridging the communication gap and sharing science with a world that is continually changing remains an ongoing challenge, however, through proper communication sills, this goal can be obtained.

I have been, and continue to be involved in a variety of activities aimed at communicating ecological issues with the public. I was recently featured in a state newspaper article promoting climate-change research and I write a column on the subject of habitat conservation for a recreational magazine. These media have allowed me to share ecology with a broad audience. I plan to expand on this outreach with a film documenting climate-change research during our field season in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. In an effort to target the youngest generation of our changing world, the film will present ecological research as an adventure to grades K-6. These adventures include flying via floatplane to remote areas of interior Alaska and filming our encounters with large mammals as well as extravagant waterfowl and interesting microorganisms. This effort will show Alaska from a climate change perspective and describe the importance of climate change stressors on the environment.

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