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.
Examples of previous seminar projects:
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:
Even 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.