#MySciComm: Kirsten Schwarz on Community-Based Research as SciComm

#MySciComm: Kirsten Schwarz on Community-Based Research as SciComm

This week, Kirsten Schwarz (the C&E Section incoming Chairperson) responds to the #MySciComm questions!

Woman smiling at camera
(Photo credit: Brittany Bays Photography)

Kirsten Schwarz is an urban ecologist studying environmental amenities and hazards in cities. Community engagement, social justice, and equity are central themes of her research. She has addressed community-level food insecurity and soil contamination in underserved neighborhoods of Sacramento, CA and the environmental drivers of soil lead patterns in Baltimore, MD.  Currently, Schwarz is leading a research team developing green infrastructure designs for vacant lots in partnership with community members, non-profits, city officials, and planners in Newport, KY. Schwarz earned her PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University in 2010. She is currently a AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow. Kirsten is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Northern Kentucky University. She is also Director of Northern Kentucky University’s Ecological Stewardship Institute.

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Okay, Kirsten…

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

Like many that find themselves in the environmental sciences I was a kid that loved nature and being outside.

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#MySciComm: Sarah Schneider on the at-times winding road from academia to academic publishing

#MySciComm: Sarah Schneider on the at-times winding road from academia to academic publishing

This week, Sarah Schneider (of ESA’s Editorial Office/publications) responds to the #MySciComm questions! We’re delighted to share her story with you, as it is a window into a type of SciComm career that is pivotal to how we do science.

Woman in hat smiling at camera
You can take the ecologist out of the field, but you can’t take the field out of the ecologist. Sarah Schneider applying her backcountry research experience to a hiking trip in Shenandoah National Park. (Photo credit: Virginia Sawyer)

Sarah Schneider has worked for the Publications Office of the Ecological Society of America since 2013. These days, she works primarily on Ecosphere, ESA’s open access journal, and on the society Bulletin. Sarah worked as a paralegal, lab technician, farmhand, museum curator, and archivist before finding her calling in science publishing. She has a Bachelor’s from Cornell University and a Master’s in Ecology from the University of Maine. You can connect with her at sarah@esa.org.

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Okay, Sarah…

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

I “decided” on a career in science early in life.

Read more about #MySciComm: Sarah Schneider on the at-times winding road from academia to academic publishing

#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

#MySciComm: Marty Downs on finding a home in the field of science communication

#MySciComm: Marty Downs on finding a home in the field of science communication

This week, Marty Downs responds to the #MySciComm questions! 

Woman smiling at camera

Marty is the Deputy Director of the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Communications Office, based at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in Santa Barbara.  She manages internal and external communications for a network of over 2000 environmental scientists and 28 diverse research sites. Marty began her career as an ecosystem ecologist studying nitrogen and carbon cycling in northeastern U.S. forests, with occasional forays to Alaska and Sweden. While teaching a group of science journalism fellows the reality of hands-on science, she caught the science communication bug. She earned a master’s in science journalism from Boston University and launched a career in freelance science writing and, later, institutional communications. For the past decade, her work has involved using science communication to accelerate collaboration and interdisciplinary synthesis.

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Okay, Marty…

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

I guess I should start with…what kind of SciComm do I do?

Read more about #MySciComm: Marty Downs on finding a home in the field of science communication

#MySciComm: Diogo Veríssimo on how to market good news about the natural word

#MySciComm: Diogo Veríssimo on how to market good news about the natural word

This week, Diogo Veríssimo updates his responses to the #MySciComm questions! 

Man smiling at camera
Photo by Laure Cugnière

Diogo is a biologist turned scientist turned marketer! He decided that he could have the cake and eat it, and so focused his research on the fledgling field of conservation marketing, the use of marketing theory and techniques to help promoted biodiversity-friendly behaviors. He is currently an Oxford Martin Fellow, based at the University of Oxford, UK, working primarily on the design and evaluation of behaviour change interventions focused on the illegal wildlife trade. Connect with him online at www.diogoverissimo.com and @verissimodiogo.

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Okay, Diogo…

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

Everyone likes a good story.

Read more about #MySciComm: Diogo Veríssimo on how to market good news about the natural word

#MySciComm: Tatiana Eaves on making the jump from science to science writing and editing

#MySciComm: Tatiana Eaves on making the jump from science to science writing and editing

This week, Tatiana Eaves responds to the #MySciComm questions! 

Young black woman outdoors - looking at the camera, and holding a camera
Tatiana Eaves hiking through the Appalachian Mountains in Boone, NC, taking photographs for a news article. Photograph taken by Katelyn Cartwright.

Tatiana is a biologist, photographer, and freelance science writer living in the Washington D.C. metro area. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology, with a concentration on ecology and evolution, from Appalachian State University and minored in Geographic Information Systems. She currently writes for Ricochet Science and the Ecological Society of America’s Journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, while simultaneously working as a web designer/editor/writer for the Refugia Research Coalition, managed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Connect with Tatiana on her online portfolio and @EcologistSays

The #MySciComm series features a host of SciComm professionals. We’re looking for more contributors, so please get in touch if you’d like to write a post!

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Okay, Tatiana…

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

I always knew I wanted to be a scientist, I just didn’t know what kind.

Read more about #MySciComm: Tatiana Eaves on making the jump from science to science writing and editing

#MySciComm: David Bowne on being an undisciplined professor

#MySciComm: David Bowne on being an undisciplined professor

This week, Dr. David Bowne responds to the #MySciComm questions! 

Man on a step ladder, hanging artwork from the ceiling. Artwork looks like a mobile.
David Bowne installing a handmade algae paper mobile at the North Museum of Nature and Science in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (photo courtesy of Kristi Arnold)

David is an Associate Professor of Biology at Elizabethtown College, an ecologist, an author, and a happy husband and father of two. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, a M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia, and a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University. He augments his science courses with original works of fiction and creative nonfiction and collaborates with English professors, artists, and anyone else willing to break disciplinary boundaries.  His creative nonfiction piece “The Improbability of Me (and You)” was recently published in Hippocampus magazine. His collaborative art exhibit “Placida Paper: Turning algae into art” at the North Museum of Nature and Science in Lancaster, Pennsylvania runs through the end of December 2018. He has finished his first novel and is working on proposals for two books of creative nonfiction. Connect with him @dave_bowne and bowned@etown.edu.

The #MySciComm series features a host of SciComm professionals. We’re looking for more contributors, so please get in touch if you’d like to write a post!

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Okay, David…

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

Stories are essential.

Read more about #MySciComm: David Bowne on being an undisciplined professor

#MySciComm: Becky Barak on how Teaching High School and Loving Plants led to a Research Career

#MySciComm: Becky Barak on how Teaching High School and Loving Plants led to a Research Career

This week, Becky Barak responds to the #MySciComm questions! Becky is a co-founder of Plant Love Stories, which we will be featuring at the Communication and Engagement Section’s booth* during ESA 2018! Please visit us to share your Plant Love Story! Read more about #MySciComm: Becky Barak on how Teaching High School and Loving Plants led to a Research Career

#MySciComm: Sara Kuebbing on transitioning from management to research and scicomm about invasive plants

#MySciComm: Sara Kuebbing on transitioning from management to research and scicomm about invasive plants

This week, Dr. Sara Kuebbing, of Plant Love Stories*, responds to the #MySciComm questions!

Sara tending her invasive plant seedlings during her dissertation research at the University of Tennessee (Photo by Katie Stuble)

Sara Kuebbing is a plant ecologist and conservation biologist who adores chickadees and mayapples. She is delighted to join the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Biological Sciences this fall as an Assistant Professor. Sara’s most recent #MySciComm adventure is propagating Plant Love Stories, a website devoted to curating and collecting people’s stories about how plants have shaped their lives. Sara runs PLS with a team of other fantastic SciCommers. Connect with her @SaraKuebbbing or via her website.

The #MySciComm series features a host of SciComm professionals. We’re looking for more contributors, so please get in touch if you’d like to write a post!

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Okay, Sara…

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

#MySciComm activities started out with more Comm than Sci.

Read more about #MySciComm: Sara Kuebbing on transitioning from management to research and scicomm about invasive plants