Putting Our Principles Into Practice

Stephen presenting results in his dissertation defense.

I recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was the result of many months of research, but also an opportunity to learn what it’s like to be a scientist communicating about my research and engaging in public discourse about the environment. These lessons will serve me well as I create the conditions for other scientists to shine and to talk in clear and compelling ways about what their research means to policymakers. [Read more…]

Thinking About Your Communication Goals And Objectives: An Interview With John Besley And Anthony Dudo

Chart from PLOS One paper showing how different communication objectives for scientists rank against each other. The point, Dudo and Besley say, is not how objectives rank but rather, that establishing clear objectives in service of your ultimate goals - whatever they may be - is most important.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with John Besley (Michigan State) and Anthony Dudo (University of Texas at Austin), two social scientists interested in the intersection of science, public engagement and communications. Their recent PLOS One paper described how scientists prioritize their communications objectives for public engagement. John and Anthony, both housed in in their institutions’ advertising and public relations departments, are working to help us understand the interfaces between scientists and the public. I had the privilege of talking with them about their work, motivations, and why scientists who are working to engage should care about their research. [Read more…]

Find Your Way Down The Slopes Of Engagement

Confidence and competence on the slopes of Mt. Hood, Oregon. Both are as vital to #scicomm as they are to skiing.

This winter, I’ve had the privilege to witness a bunch of kids learning to ski (admittedly, while finally truly learning to ski myself). While supporting my daughters – one a future Bode Miller downhill-bomber, and one who’s slightly more cautious but still a strong skier – I was struck by the many parallels (pun intended) between learning to ski and learning to engage beyond your peers. [Read more…]

Leading By Example: Communication Lessons Learned From Gulf of Mexico Scientists

Dr. Natalia Sidorovskaia.

In January, right after the holidays, Nancy Baron and I traveled to New Orleans to work with the leaders from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) – a 10-year research program to investigate and understand the effect of oil spills on the environment and public health. The Gulf is the focus of a lot of investment in research these days, and these scientists are at the forefront, studying the effect of oil spills on the natural and human environment. This training brought together the Principal Investigators for the GoMRI Consortia, as well as several of the Research Board Members. These scientists are studying how oil and dispersants move in the ocean, the role of microbes in the reduction of oil, and the health of the marine and human communities around the Gulf, among other topics. [Read more…]

California’s Changing Oceans: A Sacramento, CA Briefing On Implications Of Ocean Change For Policy And Management

Photo Credit: the_tahoe_guy, (CC BY 2.0)

 On November 4th, COMPASS is supporting scientists to share their knowledge about changes in the ocean, and what those changes mean for our coasts, managers, and decision-makers. Occurring just before the Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Naturalists this year in Sacramento, this event will help scientists attending to connect with state policymakers. We hope you’ll be able to join us!

UPDATE: Thank you to all who attended! We’ve provided the slides and handout from the speakers below.

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Shoring Up: A Capitol Hill Briefing On Natural Infrastructure

NJ Boardwalk - US Fish and Wildlife copy 2

Next week, COMPASS is supporting scientists to share their knowledge on how, where and when natural infrastructure can be used to enhance the protection and resilience of our coasts and coastal communities. We are excited to be partnering with the American Metrological Society for this briefing. This event is part of our connecting work – where our goal is to create opportunities to connect scientists to the right people at the right time. We hope you can join us next week!

UPDATE: Thank you to all who attended! We’ve provided the slides and handout from the speakers below.

[Read more…]

Announcing The 2015 Society For Marine Mammalogy Conference Journalist Fellows

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COMPASS is proud to support an impressive group of reporters, editors, and producers in attending the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals: Bridging the Past Toward the Future this coming December. The meeting is expected to bring 2,500 marine mammal scientists and practitioners to San Francisco, CA, for workshops, plenaries, and presentations on topics of importance to marine mammalogy, ranging from climate and changing oceans to effective marine spatial planning.  [Read more…]

Stories, Science, And The Sea: Sharing At IMCC

A little over a year ago, eight scientists stepped out of their comfort zones and took to the stage to share a piece of their worlds. Without leaving a dark auditorium in Glasgow, we were transported to a fish spawning site in Australia, a night dive full of glowing plankton in the Philippines, a reef rescue mission in the Seychelles and a lionfish hunt in the Caribbean. We heard of the experiences that inspired a scientist to start a non-profit organization that raises awareness of the importance and vulnerability of fish aggregations, and how another scientist gained the trust of local fishers to get a more complete picture of the community and ecosystem in which she was working.
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COMPASS 2015 Retreat

The COMPASS team

This week, the COMPASS staff is meeting up in Baltimore for our retreat. We’re practicing what we teach in our trainings – using the Message Box, figuring out our thinking styles and how they work together, working on our elevator speeches, and preparing for another year of supporting scientists to engage in the public discourse about the environment!

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COMPASS Communication Tools And Resources

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Need a quick fix of communication advice? We have collected a few of our key tools and suggestions in one spot. Bookmark this page for your go-to place to reference the message box or to prepare to interact with policymakers and journalists.
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