Science Communication Series
The Program on the Environment trains emerging environmental leaders in science, engineering, policy and management to make an impact by better communicating their work to a broader audience.
Science Communication Clinic Series
Could your science inform decisions about our future? Scientists who make their work accessible to the public and decision-makers can boost the impact of their work. Want to learn the skills needed to effectively communicate beyond your colleagues? The ENVIR 500 clinics are a series of fast-paced, practical short-courses providing essential professional development for upper-level graduate students. You will learn to develop clear messages about complex science, how-to tips for working with reporters, and strategies for using online media effectively. Clinics are taught as 4-week short-courses that meet each week for two 1.5 hour sessions. Students will earn 1 credit per clinic, on a pass/fail basis. Clinic Zero is a requirement for all subsequent clinics, which are independent of each other and can be taken individually or in sequence. Instructors Liz Neeley and Heather Galindo are senior staff at COMPASS, where they use their science communication expertise to support and coach scientists to develop tools to engage with the right audiences at the right times.
Clinic 0 - Finding Your Message, offered Autumn 2013 and Winter 2014
Students will understand the latest research on effective science communication and engagement, learn tools for developing clear messages about complex research findings, and practice talking about what you do - and it why matters - in clear, lively terms.
Clinic 1 - Engaging with the Media, offered Spring 2014
Students will understand the culture of journalism and how it is changing, explore how science is covered in the media, and practice skills relating to capitalizing on opportunities and avoiding common mistakes in interviews and press outreach.
Clinic 2 - Engaging with Social Media, offered Spring 2014
Students will understand the breadth of social media platforms and opportunities for science communication; develop a personal plan for listening, tracking, and engaging in relevant conversations; and build a presence and online community.
Environmental Science Writing for Impact (ENVIR 500, 2cr)
Influential scientists can express themselves clearly and memorably, and successful people are often skilled communicators. Unfortunately, the world is full of geniuses with valuable, painstakingly-acquired knowledge whose achievements remain hidden due to failures of communication. Many feel uncomfortable giving expression to ideas outside an audience of immediate peers. But writing well is a skill. It can be learned.
This class aims to transform writing-related anxieties into anticipation. We will lay down lasting foundations for a daily writing practice, a key to getting that which is bottled up inside out and onto the page. Writers will learn principles of persuasion and rhetorical technique. Experimentation is encouraged.