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May 24, 2017

People’s Climate March

After participating in the March for Science I was hesitant to join in on yet another march in the same week. The March for Science, while inspiring and exciting, was still a very cold, wet, and tiring day. But when I found out that my 86-year-old grandfather wanted to participate in the People’s Climate March, […]

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May 17, 2017

So you think you can couple systems? Reviewing our research proposals

Killian Farrell Last week’s class marked the final meeting for our course MEES620: Coupled Human and Natural Systems. Our class has gone through many different topics related to coupled systems, from resource assessment to cultural views of nature. This was reflected in the many topics and research approaches in the proposals reviewed on this last […]

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May 16, 2017

Tell a compelling story: Talking about science communication to landscape ecologists in Baltimore

The 2017 annual meeting of the US chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecologists was held in Baltimore at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Inner Harbor. Andrew Elmore, my University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science colleague, invited me to present the banquet keynote. Since any after dinner talk should not be all […]

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May 11, 2017

How to give a good briefing

Hao Wang and Ana Sosa On Friday, May 5th, MEES students in the Science for Environmental Management class traveled from multiple campuses across the state to gather in Annapolis at the UMCES IAN office. For our last session of the course, we each gave an oral environmental science briefing that was related to a specific […]

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May 10, 2017

Forests, floods, and fisheries… Houston, do we have a problem here?

Veronika Leitold Last week, in our Coupled Human and Natural Systems course, we continued the presentations of our final class projects: individual research proposals to study a coupled human and natural system of our choice. The overarching theme of the presentations was natural resource use and management approached from the various angles of sustainability, stewardship […]

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May 3, 2017

Wanted – Single natural system seeks industrious human system from which to couple

David Miles It’s hard for a natural system to find a good partner in today’s world; there are so many options. Even when a natural and human system do manage to couple, their relationship is often troubled and murky at best with so many questions left unanswered. Our class found this to be true as […]

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May 2, 2017

Narrative literacy for science communication

I recently wrote a blog entitled ‘Practical visual literacy for science communication‘, and since narratives and visuals need to be combined for effective science communication, I felt that developing a narrative literacy was also important. The first three narrative literacy principles are derived from Randy Olson‘s excellent book “Houston, We Have a Narrative“, discussed in […]

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May 1, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific visualizations: ‘Saper verdere’ or knowing how to see

In a paper titled “Visual literacy and science communication“, published in the journal Science Communication in 1999, Jean Trumbo uses the writings of Leonardo da Vinci to introduce the concept of visual literacy. Da Vinci called his visualization process “sapere vedere”, translated as “knowing how to see”. Da Vinci was a master of drawing and sketching […]

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April 27, 2017

Making the Grade

Annie Carew and Qiurui Zhu We’ve spent a lot of time this semester discussing the intersection between science and the public – how can we communicate the importance and urgency of our science without alarming or confusing people? This week, we discussed environmental report cards, which could provide a solution to this tricky balancing act […]

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April 26, 2017

Dogfish, farmland and toast – what’s culture got to do with them?

Alec Armstrong, David Miles Nature is part or product of culture, as our class discussed last week. When we say “nature” we invoke some mixture of values, knowledge, experiences, and stories to order our relationships with things in our universe. But how can culture be described and measured? This week we discussed two anthropological approaches […]

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