You know your research is valuable outside of academia, but communicating the importance of your research with non-scientists can be difficult. Resource managers, watermen, community planners, and policymakers can seem as though they speak different languages. How can you translate the importance of your work to people who need to know?

The Advanced Science Communication Seminar is a semester-long professional development opportunity for graduate-level marine scientists who want to develop their skills in communicating to non-scientists.

2017 Seminar Timeline

  • Wednesday, August 30 – Enrollment deadline
  • Tuesday, October 17 – First Seminar Event: Learn about the science of science communication, and receive briefing on the Seminar requirements.  Andrews Hall, Dominion Room 326, VIMS, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Friday, October 27 – One-page proposal uploaded to course website.
  • Monday, November 13 – Feedback from all instructors on proposal sent by email to participants.
  • Monday, December 11 – First version outreach product uploaded to course website.
  • Friday, December 15 – Second Seminar Event: Peer and stakeholder feedback on first versions of outreach product at VIMS. Andrews Hall, Dominion Room 326, VIMS Campus, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, January 26 – Final version outreach product (or a link to the product) uploaded to course website.
  • Friday, February 9 – Third Seminar Event: Presentation of final outreach products to peers, faculty, potential employers, and representative stakeholders at the 2018 Graduate Symposium.

Seminar Faculty

Katherine Rowan, Professor, Director of Science Communication Graduate Program, George Mason University — Rowan conducts research and teaches courses on science communication, risk communication, and crisis communication. She is interested in evidence-based steps for sharing science, particularly science about physical hazards such as nutrient levels, sea-level rise, climate change, dwindling species, and other concerns.

Ian Vorster, Communications Program Manager for Virginia Sea Grant — Vorster has degrees in photography and geography, and holds a master of science with emphasis in environmental communications. He guides strategic decisions about sharing marine and coastal science with community stakeholders, regulatory, educational and commercial audiences. Prior to VASG, Vorster worked as a photojournalist, a senior designer and as the director of communications for the Woods Hole Research Center. His interests focus on the power of narrative for the communication of science, to which end he manages a summer internship to research the topic.

Julia Hathaway, Graduate Student, George Mason University — Hathaway has a substantial track record of effective environmental communication nationally and internationally. She currently is a Doctoral student and Dean’s Fellow in Climate Communications with GMU’s Center for Climate Change Communication.

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