Blog posts by Caroline Donovan

Monitoring conferences in 2019

Caroline Donovan ·
25 April 2019
Environmental Literacy | Science Communication | Learning Science | 

This past March I had the pleasure of attending both the Citizen Science Association’s biennial conference (CitSci2019) and the 2019 National Monitoring Conference. Going to back-to-back monitoring conferences presents an opportunity to highlight the similarities and differences within one seemingly homogeneous topic. I attended the CSA 2019 conference with Alexandra Fries and Suzi Spitzer.


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St. Paul wraps around a bend in the Mississippi River. There are bluffs on the northern shore (St. Paul) and across the river, a wide, flat floodplain (West St. Paul). Image credit: google maps

“The most livable city in America”

Caroline Donovan ·
14 June 2017
Environmental Literacy | Science Communication | Applying Science |     1 comments

During the week of May 15th, I traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota, to attend and present at the 2017 Citizen Science Association Conference. Alex Fries and Suzi Spitzer from IAN also attended the conference. Check out Suzi’s awesome blogs on the conference. St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota and adjoins Minneapolis, which is the largest city in Minnesota. While the combined St. Paul-Minneapolis population is 3.52 million (Wikipedia), St.


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Top: Guam's location. Photo credit: Google Maps. Bottom: hotels dot the shoreline around along the northwest coast of Guam. Photo credit: Alex Fries

The first thing people ask: Where is Guam, anyway?

Caroline Donovan ·
17 March 2017
Environmental Report Cards | 

Guam is in the western Pacific Ocean, approximately equidistant from Tokyo (north), Manila (west), and Papua New Guinea (south). And, on January 28th, Heath Kelsey, Alex Fries, and I traveled to Guam from Hawaii. Guam is a U.S. territory and is one island in the chain of islands that make up the Mariana archipelago. Guam has a population of approximately 165,000, but with several military bases and a strong tourism business, the number of people on the island can fluctuate significantly. Top:


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Zip, zap, zop was played to start off the retreat

Annual retreat fuels new thinking and cross-pollination of ideas

Caroline Donovan ·
6 July 2016
Science Communication | 

What is the definition of retreat? We all immediately think of military retreats in battle. But, there are two other definitions of retreat that relate to our annual work retreat: • a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax - this is what most people intend when they go on a retreat or retreat to a vacation spot. Work retreats can be restful and relaxing because they bring you out of your day-to-day work space and provide a new creative arena to focus on.


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The 2016 conference was held at the Tampa Convention Center, a large complex on the waterfront, with nearby hotels and restaurants for attendees.

Expanding my conference horizons

Caroline Donovan ·
10 June 2016
Science Communication | Applying Science | 

I attended the biennial National Water Quality Monitoring Conference in Tampa, Florida from Monday, May 2nd through Friday, May 6th. This was my first time attending the conference and by the end, I realized it was a conference I want to attend many times again. The 2016 conference was held at the Tampa Convention Center, a large complex on the waterfront, with nearby hotels and restaurants for attendees.


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Indian River Lagoon

Engaged participants made the Indian River Lagoon Report Card workshop a pleasure to facilitate!

Caroline Donovan ·
8 February 2016
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

On Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22, 2016, IAN staff facilitated the kickoff workshop for an Indian River Lagoon report card. The Lagoon is located on the east coast of Florida, stretching from above Cape Canaveral south all the way to Stuart, where the St. Lucie River meets the Lagoon and flows out into the Atlantic Ocean. Indian River Lagoon … Our workshop was held at the Marine Resource Council’s Lagoon House in Palm Bay, FL.


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Charles Darwin’s 1842 map of coral reef distribution.

Diving into NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program

Caroline Donovan ·
14 July 2015
Environmental Report Cards | Science Communication | Applying Science | 

Even before Charles Darwin wrote about coral reef atolls in his 1842 “The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs,” humans have been fascinated by coral reefs. Corals and coral reefs are connected to the spiritual rituals of indigenous populations. They also provide food, shelter, and support livelihoods (through fishing and ecotourism) of many people around the world. Charles Darwin’s 1842 map of coral reef distribution. Current coral reef distribution. Credit:


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Caroline Donovan facilitating the workshop (top) and the workshop participants working on conceptual diagrams (bottom).

Salt marshes and Superfund sites – a trip to coastal Georgia

Caroline Donovan ·
23 December 2014
Environmental Report Cards | 

Alex Fries and I traveled to Brunswick, Georgia to facilitate a workshop on a coastal Georgia report card for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division. Where is Brunswick, Georgia, you ask? Brunswick is approximately 1 hour north of Jacksonville, FL off the I-95 corridor. Caroline Donovan facilitating the workshop (top) and the workshop participants working on conceptual diagrams (bottom).


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Picturesque landscapes are all around in the Scottish Highlands

Failte gu Alba! (Welcome to Scotland!)

Caroline Donovan ·
11 September 2014
Science Communication | Applying Science | Learning Science |     3 comments

Participating in the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) 3rd Annual Conference, August 14-18 2014 at Glasgow, Scotland … Picturesque landscapes are all around in the Scottish Highlands … I traveled to the International Marine Conservation Congress' (IMCC) conference in Scotland in part because I wanted to visit Scotland - land of Scottish brogues, whisky, and wild, mountainous landscapes!


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Conservation Ontario website

Science Communication Course in Toronto, Ontario

Caroline Donovan ·
25 May 2010
Science Communication | 

Several times each year, IAN teaches a course on effectively communicating science. On May 12-13th, Bill Dennison (IAN) and Caroline Wicks (EcoCheck) traveled to Toronto, Ontario to teach the course to scientists and communication specialists who work for local conservation authorities. Conservation Ontario, the umbrella organization that oversees regional and local conservation authorities, helped provide funding for the course. The website states:


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