Want To Work At COMPASS?

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Many of us on the COMPASS team get asked “What’s your favorite thing about working at COMPASS?” The initial response is always the same: “Just ONE thing? Yikes, that’s hard.” But when we get down to it, I hear two consistent answers:

The people. Our teammates. The scientists we support. The networks we connect them to, especially journalists and policymakers. We are people people.

The work. Making a difference in the world. Knowing that you helped support scientists to find their ‘so what’ and find their voiceto share both their insights and their passion.  Being part of society’s journey to help people and environment thrive. Figuring out what it really means to be a science communication practitioner. Being part of a small organization with big impact. Innovating. Busting silos. Connecting.
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Thanking Liz Neeley: Champion For Scientists And #SciComm

Liz Neeley, doing what she does so well -- bringing communications trainings to new levels with style and insight. Image by David Kline.

I still remember the first day I met Liz Neeley, a little over seven years ago. We met in a hip coffee shop in Seattle. She had recently relocated there from Washington DC, where she was working for SeaWeb (first as an intern, then as project manager) to continue discussions about potential employment with COMPASS. She stood up from behind her Mac and shook my hand. The first words out of her mouth were how excited she was about this opportunity with COMPASS, followed by “I have so many ideas.” She was buzzing with enthusiasm and innovations. She turned her computer around, and her screen was filled with mock-ups and visuals of ways we could evolve how we help scientists – and ourselves – communicate. Because that’s what Liz does: she imagines, and she produces. Over the last seven years, Liz has tirelessly channeled this energy into COMPASS’ mission to support scientists to engage in the public discourse about the environment, while also working to move the larger field of science communication forward.

Today we are celebrating Liz, as we say farewell to her time with COMPASS. Listing all she has done would be impossible; the legacy and impact she leaves at COMPASS is strong. Liz has contributed to so many dimensions of COMPASS’ work to realize the change we want to see in the world, while also pushing us in new directions, particularly in the areas of social media and the science of science communication.

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Jumping Into The Flames: A Marine Ecologist At A Fire Ecology Conference?

Fire ecology, while very different from marine ecology, has COMPASS' Director of Science, Karen McLeod, all fired up!

I’m in a very familiar place – Portland’s Oregon Convention Center – but drowning in a sea of alien acronyms. In literally every talk (and even at meals!), I’m bombarded by them: FARSITE, FEIS, FLAMMAP, FOFEM, FVS, GYE, IFTDSS, WFAT, WFDS, and my new favorite, WUI (pronounced, woo-ee), or the Wildland Urban Interface. I’m definitely the only marine ecologist here at the International Fire Ecology and Management Congress… at least it’s (sometimes) a useful conversation starter.

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Resolving To Say ‘No’ To Get ‘Yes’

Sometimes it takes saying 'no' to get to 'yes.' Photo via cpalmieri on Flickr.

Every year my husband and I spend New Year’s dinner talking about our previous year: What were our goals, our highlights, how did we do? In addition to patting myself on the back for successfully getting to Pilates classes more regularly, I also found myself proudly recounting COMPASS’ evolution this year. COMPASS’ goal for 2012 was to explore the possibilities of expanding our communications savoir-faire beyond ocean science, to develop a plan and roadmap for what this might look like. We all felt excited and energized at this potential but we also felt some angst and trepidation. But now, a year out, we can look back and say we’ve come a long, long way and have successfully defined and aligned behind a vision of what our future looks like. And, with all of 2013 in front of us, our next goal is equally one-part thrilling and one-part daunting: retool our organization and expand our capacity to achieve this new vision. [Read more…]