About Us: Amy Mathews Amos

Amy Mathews Amos is a part-time COMPASS Media Outreach Specialist, helping scientists to understand and navigate the world and culture of journalism.

Her broad and varied background at the interface of environmental science and public policy includes time as: an independent consultant for conservation groups and charitable foundations, the Program Director/Vice-President of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, a policy analyst for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice), and a senior evaluator at the congressional Government Accountability Office. Throughout, Amy’s work has focused on the environment, including freshwater, terrestrial, and marine topics.

Coming home from the local Farmer's market in West Virginia.

Coming home from the local farmer’s market in West Virginia.

Amy also works as a freelance science and environment writer, publishing in outlets including The Washington Post and Pacific Standard. Her work as a science writer informs her work with us and provides scientists with valuable perspective as she helps them build their skills and share their expertise.

Here’s more about Amy:

How did you first become interested in science?

When I was a little girl I used to watch National Geographic documentary specials on television, and then on Sunday nights, there was always Wild Kingdom—I was just mesmerized by the wildlife. We’d probably cringe about their filming methods now, but they made me want to save endangered wildlife. That got me into conservation, and when I went to college, I majored in natural resource management (with an emphasis on wildlife biology) and then worked at the Ecological Society of America in their DC public affairs office for two years, which helped influence my decision to get my masters degree in environmental science.

How did you come to COMPASS?

I’ve worked in marine conservation since 1998, so I was familiar with COMPASS when it first came about and actually worked with Brooke and Nancy on various projects over the years. With the combination of the COMPASS team expanding this past year, my background in environmental science and policy, and my current work as a journalist, it all fell into place.

What’s your favorite part about work you’re doing with COMPASS?

I know it’s cliché to say this, but I have to say it’s the people. I’ve worked with a lot of teams over the years, because I was an independent consultant for 12+ years. I loved working with lots of different people and learning about lots of different issues, but the teamwork at COMPASS is exceptional, and it’s a great group of people to be doing good work with.

When you’re not helping scientists communicate their research, what do you like to do?

I love to write stories about environmental issues, and social and progressive issues, but when I’m not writing, I like to get away from the computer and get outside as much as possible. That usually means hiking, kayaking in the summer, skiing in the winter when I can, and doing a bit of birding, every chance I get. It seems more and more like we’re connected to devices, so when I’m not at a device I want to do something completely different and enjoy the natural world.

Hiking in the Black Hills, South Dakota.

Hiking in the Black Hills, South Dakota.

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?

I’m not sure anyone ever gave it to me, but the advice that I’ve followed, and that I think is good for everybody, is to listen to your gut and follow your heart, because if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you’ll only get so far. In my career, I’ve gone where the opportunities have opened up, when it felt like the right door to walk through at that moment. You really have to listen to how you feel about something, in addition to what your head is telling you, to achieve your full potential.

To see some of Amy’s work with us, check out her recent blog post on our Society for Marine Mammalogy Conference 2015 Journalist Travel Fellowship.

About Sarah Sunu

Sarah Sunu is a Program Associate at COMPASS, supporting the team across all of our programs, with an emphasis on research in key areas for our work (including the most recent science on environmental issues and the science of science communication).
When she's not delving into exciting things for COMPASS, she enjoys exploring (particularly parks, marine labs, and the coast), taking pictures, reading, conversing, and making things.

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