Scientists are people too! Using storytelling to connect people to your science.
USGS Science Communicators Hold Special Session at SACNAS
In this workshop, USGS science communicators will showcase diverse science communication careers within the USGS, demonstrating the many paths, skill, and careers science communicators can have within the federal government.
Title: Scientists are people too! Using storytelling to connect people to your science.
Description: From volcanic eruptions to global pandemics, science is a fascinating, integral part of everyday life. And yet talking about science can sometimes feel dry and technical, something that only people in lab coats would care about. Storytelling is a powerful tool for communicating about science to diverse audiences. Stories stick in our minds, help us think about connections to our own lives, and make us care about the people and places within them. Stories help us convey who we are and what we care about, and to build connections through shared experiences. In this workshop, we will explore elements of successful storytelling and how scientists can apply them to their own work, from writing personal statements to giving conference presentations.
We will center our workshop around the narrative framework the MICE Quotient to introduce participants to the four major “types” of stories (Character, Place, Question, and Event). Science communication professionals within the USGS will demonstrate creative applications of each type of storytelling and will lead activities where participants will get to practice applying these lessons to their own work. In this workshop, we showcase diverse science communication careers within the USGS, demonstrating the many paths, skill, and careers science communicators can have within the federal government. We hope that through this workshop, participants will be inspired to expand how they think about their science and will feel empowered to incorporate narratives into their work. We also hope it will demonstrate the viability of science communication as a career path for interested participants.
The Fab Five - Speakers:
Jordan Bush, PhD, MS
Jordan is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow for the USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC). She works on the NCASC communication team, where she writes news and feature stories, website content, social media posts, etc., about climate change impacts on landscapes and wildlife. Jordan received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a master’s degree in journalism and Electronic Media from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Michelle Collier, MS
Michelle has been sharing her love of science and the natural world with anyone in earshot since she was a small child. Although she was first drawn to a career in scientific research, unsurprisingly, her tendency to talk science led her to a career in science communication. Michelle is as a public affairs specialist with the USGS where she tells the stories of scientists who study living things and the interconnected communities they belong to and shares their work with the world.
Peter Pearsall, BA
Peter is a naturalist, writer, photographer/videographer, and public-relations professional with almost a decade of experience working with federal governmental agencies on issues of land use, conservation, and science. While his roles and duty stations have changed over the years, his goal has stayed the same: to play a part in understanding, valuing, and conserving the nation's natural and cultural resources for the benefit of all.
Emily Sesno, MS
Emily has been involved with science education, communication, and the ocean for all her career, living and working internationally as a SCUBA and sailing instructor, marine science and outdoor educator, and research diver. She is currently an outreach biologist with the USGS Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC) working to develop K-12 climate science educational resources and other outreach tools based on USGS and PI-CASC research. Emily’s work seeks to bring science and scientists to life to better connect students, researchers, educators, and the broader community.
Steve Sobieszczyk, MS
Steven - or Sobie - is a scientist and storyteller. At the U.S. Geological Survey, Sobie’s passion is to increase scientific literacy, as well as help fellow scientists communicate better regardless of their background or interests. Due to his insatiable curiosity, he has developed broad expertise, including being a professor, spokesperson, author, videographer, and artist. He is the co-founder of the Association of Science Communicators and is a multi-hazard first responder, where he talks about wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
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