Advanced Science Communication Education

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In a semester-long professional development seminar sponsored by Virginia Sea Grant, graduate-level marine scientists develop skills in communicating with non-scientists. Participants learn the “science of science communication,” evidence-based social science that can guide them in analyzing stakeholders’ concerns and addressing them respectfully, clearly, and effectively. Participants attend a one-day workshop, select a specific non-scientist audience, and develop a communication product to use in interaction with stakeholders. Participants submit project drafts and receive feedback through a seminar blog.

The seminar will be in its third year in fall 2016. Students interested in participating should contact Katherine Rowan at [email protected] or [email protected].


Examples of previous seminar projects:

Fellow Animates Oysters’ Role in Nitrogen Cycling

Abby Lunstrum, 2016 Knauss fellow and former graduate research fellow, was having trouble explaining her research to people. So for her Advanced Science Communication Seminar project, she created a stop motion animation about the role of oysters in nitrogen cycling, a concept crucial to understanding her research. She chose stop motion animation because she wanted her video to appeal to a general audience. Click here to read more, and click on the below arrow to watch Lunstrum’s video:


Sea Turtle Scientist Takes Communication to New Level in VASG Seminar

sea turtle imageEven though Bianca Santos says “people love turtles,” she has a hard time talking about her research modeling sea turtle strandings in Chesapeake Bay with the public.

“When I say modeling, people zone out,” she says.

So as a participant in the Advanced Science Communication Seminar, Santos designed an infographic as a fun, colorful way to introduce her research to coastal Virginians.

See full-size versions of Santos’ infographic here and here, and click here to read more.