Resource of the Week: The importance of storytelling in science

Resource of the Week: The importance of storytelling in science

Numerous articles, resources, podcasts, and whole ventures (e.g., StoryCorps; The Moth) address key aspects of narrative and storytelling that are valuable (even essential) for sharing science. See the following articles for a few we find particularly helpful, insightful, or thought-provoking. These resources may change how you do things and/or provide you with useful citations toRead more about Resource of the Week: The importance of storytelling in science[…]

Resource of the Week: Crafting social ties

Resource of the Week: Crafting social ties

Carolyn Trietsch writes in Science about the significant role that regular craft-making has assumed in her entomology department at Pennsylvania State University-University Park. The article points to valuable benefits including transdisciplinary collaborations and networking across labs, art-based science communication and outreach, and entomological collections curation.

Member Highlight: New Publishing opportunity as The Bulletin of ESA launches “Communicating Science” section

Member Highlight: New Publishing opportunity as The Bulletin of ESA launches “Communicating Science” section

Effective November 2018, The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America will accept submissions for consideration in a new section dedicated to Communicating Science. All articles published in the series are free to publish and freely available via open access. This new space in the journal provides ESA members interested in communication and engagement aRead more about Member Highlight: New Publishing opportunity as The Bulletin of ESA launches “Communicating Science” section[…]

Member Highlight: New Articles on Role of National Parks in History of Ecology & More

Member Highlight: New Articles on Role of National Parks in History of Ecology & More

New Web Articles on National Parks in the History of Science National parks in the United States have hosted some of the most significant and influential research projects in ecology and other fields. Many of those studies have launched new lines of inquiry, revealed new taxa, informed foundational ideas in a variety of disciplines, providedRead more about Member Highlight: New Articles on Role of National Parks in History of Ecology & More[…]

#MySciComm: Johanna Varner on the personal interactions that make a big difference

#MySciComm: Johanna Varner on the personal interactions that make a big difference

This week, Johanna “Pika Jo” Varner responds to the #MySciComm questions! We’re thrilled to share her story with you, not least because she was the originator and on-going inspiration for our annual #SketchYourScience activity at the C&E Section booth at annual meetings.

Smiling woman sitting on lichen-covered rocks; clearly in high-alpine environment (snow-covered mountain peaks visible in background)
Johanna Varner is an ecologist who studies how alpine mammals cope with changing climate conditions. She has developed several citizen science initiatives to engage the public in helping to monitor the status and distribution of pikas in both Utah and Oregon (photo courtesy of T. Walla)

 

Johanna Varner is an ecologist who studies how climate change affects pikas, small mammals closely related to rabbits. She is currently an assistant professor of biology at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO, but her path to ecology was far from linear. Over the course of her transformation from a MIT bioengineer to an organic farmer to a pika ecologist, she became passionate about SciComm, teaching, and including citizen scientists in her research. One group of students nicknamed her “Pika Jo”, a name which she has embraced for her SciComm work. Along the way, she discovered that her personal obsession with pikas is actually ideal for engaging people in the local effects of climate change. She was recently honored for her diverse contributions to SciComm with the AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement in Science. Follow her on twitter @johannavarner.

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Okay, Pika Jo…

1) How did you get into the kind of SciComm that you do?

I actually started out as a bioengineer.

Read more about #MySciComm: Johanna Varner on the personal interactions that make a big difference

Resource of the Week: A Tool for Facilitating Dialogue Across Difference

Resource of the Week: A Tool for Facilitating Dialogue Across Difference

The Intergroup Dialogue Project website indicates that IDP was founded as a series of undergraduate-focused courses and resources at Cornell University (2012). By 2016, IDP had developed “the first and only graduate and postdoc dialogue program in the country.” Beyond the programs and courses IDP offers at Cornell, they provide an overview of their coreRead more about Resource of the Week: A Tool for Facilitating Dialogue Across Difference[…]

Resource of the Week: Student-led initiative transforming PhD/postdoc training

Resource of the Week: Student-led initiative transforming PhD/postdoc training

In this article in Nature Biotechnology, Maximiliaan Schillebeeckx, Brett Maricque, and Cory Lewis detail: The limited availability of academic positions vs number of PhDs granted per year; What a group of PhD students and postdocs at Washington University-St. Louis are doing to expand their training and career options in light of the academic job market. Broadly,Read more about Resource of the Week: Student-led initiative transforming PhD/postdoc training[…]

Resource of the Week: Truth in Science (Neither Absolute Nor Timeless)

Resource of the Week: Truth in Science (Neither Absolute Nor Timeless)

In this article from Aeon, Dr. Michela Massimi takes on the essential-yet-complex role of truth in science. Philosophical, thought-provoking, and essential reading. Lots to ponder in here about how truth gets portrayed, how perceptions of what is true change, notions of truth vs. consensus, and the implications of these nuances and fluidity for public trust inRead more about Resource of the Week: Truth in Science (Neither Absolute Nor Timeless)[…]

Member Highlight: Introducing newly elected C&E Section Officers

Member Highlight: Introducing newly elected C&E Section Officers

In our February 2019 newsletter, we introduced our newly elected Communication & Engagement Section officers. They will join the leadership team in August 2019. Below are their responses to the elections nomination form questionnaire. Robert Newman, 2019-2020 Chair-elect Describe who you are and your interests in science communication and engagement. I am a professor in the BiologyRead more about Member Highlight: Introducing newly elected C&E Section Officers[…]