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Steven Sobieszczyk

"Hello and welcome"

Steven Sobieszczyk is a scientist and spokesperson. While "Sobie" spent most of his career researching landslide hazards, flooding, sediment transport, and stream ecosystems, he now focuses more on science communication and promoting scientific literacy. In addition to his 20-year career with the USGS, Steve has also worked for NASA, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and Department of Interior Office of Wildland Fire.


  • USGS Western Region Public Affairs
  • DOI Office of Wildland Fire - Public Information Officer
  • DOI Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team - Hydrologist & Public Information Officer

Professional Experience

  • Public Affairs Specialist • U.S. Geological Survey • 2019 – Present

    Develop, create, and execute national-level Bureau communication content (e.g., news releases, social media posts, videos), events (e.g., open houses, press conferences), and media & science communications training. Writer. Illustrator. Videographer. Webmaster. Instructor. Public Speaker.

  • Public Information Officer • U.S. Department of Interior • 2017 – Present

    Multi-incident first responder. Create talking points, press releases, videos, social media content, online story maps. Coordinate community meetings and press conferences.

  • Communications Lead & Outreach Hydrologist • U.S. Geological Survey • 2003 – 2019

    Study debris flow, flooding, and sediment transport-related issues. Professional background in GIS, including runoff modeling and bathymetric surveys. Advised Leadership on strategies and methods to achieve better public understanding of science content.

  • Adjunct Professor • Portland State University • 2011 – 2017

    Instructed hydrology-related classes in the Geography Department (GEOG 514 “Hydrology” & GEOG 594 “GIS for Water Resources”) and Environmental Professionals Program (EPP 223 “River Restoration Site Evaluation and Assessment”).

  • Deputy Director of Communications • U.S. Bureau of Land Management • 2016 (90-day Appt.)

    Served as principal advisor to Director of Communications, State Director, and State Leadership Team on news media and public affairs matters. Responsible for planning, developing, and implementing BLM CA's news media program.

  • GIS Specialist • U.S. Geological Survey • 2001 – 2002

    Compiled, revised, and analyzed geographical and statistical data. Made maps.

  • Research Assistant • NASA Lunar & Planetary Institute • 1999

    Mapped, analyzed, and compiled database of crater impacts on Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter, using Galileo and Viking satellite images.

Education and Certifications

  • Portland State University – M.S., Landslide Engineering Geology/Hydrology (2010)

  • Portland State University – GISP, Geographic Information Systems (2005)

  • University of Wisconsin – B.S., Geology (2000)

Affiliations and Memberships

  • Science Talk (2017 – Present)

  • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

  • USGS Diversity Council (2011-2015)

  • Geological Society of America (GSA)

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)

  • Amer. Water Resources Assoc. (AWRA)

Honors and Awards

  • USGS Shoemaker Award for Communications Excellence – Category, Audio/Visual (2008)

  • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Award of Excellence -- Category, Electronic and Digital Communications Skills (2008)

  • National Association of Government Communicators Gold Screen/Blue Pencil Award -- Category, Podcast (2008)

  • USGS Shoemaker Award for Communications Excellence – Category, Social Media Product (2010)

Science and Products