#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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Resource of the Week: Science careers and individual development plans

Resource of the Week: Science careers and individual development plans

  According to their website, “myIDP provides: Exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values A list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests A tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track ArticlesRead more about Resource of the Week: Science careers and individual development plans[…]

Resource of the Week: Women in STEM Ambassadors (training/funding opportunity with AAAS)

Resource of the Week: Women in STEM Ambassadors (training/funding opportunity with AAAS)

              Applications for the AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors program are being accepted April 1 – July 21, 2019. The AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors program will bring together 100 US-based women from a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers to serve as high-profile role models for middle school girls.Read more about Resource of the Week: Women in STEM Ambassadors (training/funding opportunity with AAAS)[…]

#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

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[…]

#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