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January 31, 2017

Ecological drought in the Southeast U.S.: Forest fires, supermoon and new age libraries

Simon Costanzo, Brianne Walsh and I traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to meet with scientists associated with the USGS Southeast Climate Science Center to talk about ecological drought on 16-17 November 2016. Fittingly, there were forest fires raging in the Great Smoky Mountains as a result of a prolonged drought as we held the workshop. […]

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January 17, 2017

Scrooge and the Report Card

At the conclusion of a 9-11 Nov. 2016 workshop in Annapolis titled “Integrating systems modeling and report card development to improve basin health & manage trade-offs”. I was able to convince the participants to act out a play that I wrote for the occasion. The play was entitled “Scrooge and the Report Card”, loosely based […]

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January 6, 2017

Belmont Forum Workshop Songs

As part of our Belmont Forum synthesis workshop, we sang a song at the end of each day. At the end of the first day after we had listened to the descriptions of diverse and fascinating projects, it was quite apparent that we were dealing with real research stars. This led to the adaptation of […]

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January 3, 2017

Belmont Forum Synthesis Meeting 10-12 December 2016 San Francisco, CA – Synthesis of first project results

Bill Dennison, Vanessa Vargas, and I traveled to San Francisco, California from 10 to 12 of December 2016 to help our partners Martin LeTissier, and Shona Paterson at Future Earth’s Coasts, to facilitate a meeting of a select group of Belmont Forum project leaders. The Belmont Forum is a consortium of national-level research funders that […]

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December 15, 2016

Science, communication, and story-telling for social change

Last weekend I attended a workshop that gave me a different perspective on communicating through story telling and on the stories that scientists tell among ourselves. The workshop was Building Skills for Change put on by the Institute for Change Leaders. Olivia Chow, who led the workshop, is well-known in Canada for her work in municipal […]

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November 3, 2016

Communicating science effectively—working through environmental report cards

In September, Simon Costanzo, Caroline Donovan, and I traveled to Edmonton, Alberta for a science communication course sponsored by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI). Participants had a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise, including researchers, planners, GIS analysts, communicators, and managers. All are involved with ABMI and their mission of monitoring the state of […]

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October 27, 2016

The report card game “Get the Grade!” was launched in Stockholm, New Delhi and Honolulu

The Basin Report Card Initiative, a partnership between the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the World Wildlife Fund, worked closely with game developers from the Engagement Lab at Emerson College to produce a fun, interactive and thought provoking game, “Get the Grade!”. “Get the Grade” was successfully launched at three signature events […]

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October 4, 2016

How to help your audience feel comfortable: Four steps in creating clean, colorful and welcoming graphs

Jennifer Shanahan As I listened to valuable lessons on how to improve visualization of our data during the latest unit in the IAN Science Communication course it struck me that there is a great parallel with the process of preparing to host a great party! Yes as much as we want to make a great […]

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September 1, 2016

Great minds get together: A day spent discussing impacts of the Susquehanna River and the “Reservoir Reach”

On Wednesday, August 24th a group of technical experts, stakeholders and communicators met at the Chesapeake Bay Program in an attempt to make some sense of the current knowledge about the influence of the Susquehanna River reservoir system on Chesapeake Bay water quality. The group that gathered in Eastport on this temperate August day was […]

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August 30, 2016

A Report Card for Coastal Yucatán

In Early August, Jane Hawkey and I traveled to Mérida and Sisal, to help initiate an ecosystem health report card for the Yucatán State coast of Mexico. We facilitated a two-day workshop with approximately 30 participants from around the State to begin the process of identifying the many values and issues important to the people […]

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