Science communication course

SC Course OxfordJune 7–8, 2006, the IAN group conducted the two day version of their "Science Communication and Integrated Assessment" course at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. The participants included staff and students from MD DNR Fisheries Service, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, NOAA's National Ocean Service, and the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory.

University of Florida Science Communication Course

Florida course group photoOn July 20 and 21, the Integration and Application Network conducted a Science Communication course at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The 14 course participants came from organizations such as the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, Florida Sea Grant, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, Citrus County Board of County Commissioners, and Charlotte County. Participants plan to use their new skills to promote public awareness and activism.

Science Communication Course at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Title Pursuit GameDr. Margaret Palmer, Director of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL), invited the Integration and Application Network to hold a one-day Science Communication course on July 12, 2007 in Solomons Island, Maryland. Nine participants from CBL gained hands-on experience using graphics software and developing conceptual diagrams and figures for various communications. This course introduced a newly-implemented activity, Title Pursuit, where participants create active, concise titles from the clues given to them in graphs and photos. In conjunction with another of our activities, Conceptionary, we will use this activity to help scientists practice the principles of effective science communication. Instructors for the course were Bill Dennison, Jane Hawkey, and Joanna Woerner.

Science Communication Courses held at Horn Point and Charleston, SC

Students at Science Communication CourseThe Integration and Application Networks annual 'Effective Science Communication Course' was held from April 22-24 at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Laboratory (HPL). Twelve students, staff and faculty from UMCES were joined by eight other participants from federal, state and private agencies, traveling from as far as Hawaii, Seattle and the Sonoran Desert. In addition to the annual HPL course, two additional courses were taught at the beginning of April in Charleston, South Carolina. A 1-day and a 2.5-day course were provided to over 20 NOAA Coastal Services Center and SC Department of Natural Resources staff. The courses provided an engaging opportunity to learn or further develop science communication skills. For future courses, please check the course website or email us to inquire about costs of a custom course.

Science Communication Course for Chesapeake Bay Program staffers

Students at Science Communication CourseThe Integration and Application Network taught their Communicating Science Effectively course to the Chesapeake Bay Program staffers on Tuesday April 29. Jane Thomas and Jane Hawkey, along with Bill Dennison, instructed the course to the 11 staffers in the Annapolis Synthesis Center. The staffers are participating in the three-year Chesapeake Research Consortium's Fellowship Program. The courses provided an engaging opportunity for the staffers to learn science communication skills and techniques. For future courses, please check the course website or email us to enquire about costs of a custom course.

Conceptual Diagram workshop held at the Technical Communication Summit

Antendees of the IAN workshop at the Annual Technical Communication SummitThe Society of Technical Communication (STC) invited IAN to conduct a workshop at their 55th Annual Technical Communication Summit in Philadelphia, PA from June 1-4. Thirty-five conference attendees joined IAN science communicators Joanna Woerner and Caroline Wicks for a workshop called "Conceptual Diagrams: Tools for effective science communication." Professionals from the environmental science, medical, pharmaceutical, computer, financial, and engineering fields learned how to synthesize and integrate data through conceptual diagrams. This workshop, based on concepts presented in the "Effective Science Communication Course," consisted of a brief lecture, group discussion, and conceptionary—an interactive drawing exercise where participants practice using symbols to convey complex information.

Science communication course for Riverkeepers

Participants playing TRADE OFF!IAN has just finished teaching a course in science communication to a group of local riverkeepers and other environmental professionals. Participants represented organizations from areas such as the Sassafras River, the Rappahannock River, and Maryland's Coastal Bays. Many of the groups are developing their own ecosystem report cards so there was a special emphasis on synthesizing and integrating data. An addition to the course was the playing of the new IAN/SeaWeb board game TRADE-OFF!, teaching students about balancing conservation and real-world pressures, and the power of negotiation. We announce future courses via this eNewsletter, or you can email us to inquire about running a custom course.

Science communication course at the University of New England

Group photo of course participantsOn January 12–13, Science Communicators Joanna Woerner and Emily Nauman presented a Science Communication course at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. Twenty-two professionals from organizations such as The University of New England, Wells Reserve, Maine Drinking Water Program, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and Maine NEMO Program explored how to synthesize data in conceptual diagrams, presentations, and print documents. Participants left the course with drafts of science communication products describing a variety of topics including threats to drinking water, benefits of vegetated buffers, endangered species management, and household pollutant minimization. We look forward to seeing how they continue their outreach and communication efforts.

Science communication course for the Ohio Division of Wildlife

Course participantsBill Dennison and Emily Nauman taught a science communication course at Ohio State University (OSU) for a team from the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The group mentioned that one of their biggest challenges involves knowing how to talk to a diverse audience ranging from hunters and anglers to politicians. They came away from the two days with many new tools and approaches for communicating their message to different target audiences. Bill also gave a seminar to OSU students and faculty on ecosystem health report cards.

Science communication course in Canada

Hand drawn conceptual diagramBill Dennison (IAN) and Caroline Wicks (EcoCheck) headed to Toronto, Ontario on May 11th to teach a Science Communication Course with former EcoCheck employees, Ben Longstaff and Emily Nauman. Ben now works for Lake Simcoe Regional Conservation Authority, and arranged for IAN to teach the course to a variety of scientists and communication specialists from local conservation authorities. The 2-day course was taught at Black Creek Pioneer Village, and included lectures, hands-on activities, and software demonstrations. Some topics that participants work on are airplane de-icing impacts on local streams, land use change, and educating citizens about testing their water for nutrients and bacteria.

Annual Science Communication Course held at Oxford Lab, Maryland

Students using IllustratorThe Integration & Application Network's annual Science Communication Course was held at the Oxford Cooperative Laboratory in Oxford, Maryland this year. The course was hosted by EcoCheck, a partnership between IAN and NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. This year's course was an intensive, one-day version that included the principles of science communication, hands-on activities and software instruction. The course was attended by NOAA, DNR, and UMCES employees and students as well as volunteer monitoring organizations working in collaboration with EcoCheck.

Communicating corals and climate change in the Pacific Islands

Coral team membersEarlier this month IAN and COSEE Coastal Trends staff, in partnership with the National Park Service Pacific Island Network, launched the coral reef and climate change scientist-educator team. The team, based in Volcano, Hawai'i, will draw on the diverse skills and backgrounds of its members to create informative and engaging materials that communicate the unique features of coral reefs within the Pacific Island Network. Team members, from across the Pacific Islands of Hawai'i and American Samoa, represent the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, the Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science, and Kahuku High School. Over the course of six weeks, the team will design hands-on and virtual activities, create conceptual diagrams, and develop classroom lesson plans that draw on traditional knowledge and current NPS research.