Tania Larson

Biography

Tania Larson is Chief of the USGS Denver Publishing Service Center, where she manages teams of technical writer/editors and visual information specialists to produce USGS science reports, maps, fact sheets, posters, brochures, and other USGS products.

Tania worked as a writer/editor for the USGS from 2004 to 2012, where she focused on writing and editing science for a public audience; internal and corporate communications; researching and providing training on writing, grammar, style, and Web communications; and conducting strategic and editorial planning.

During her time at the USGS, Tania has served on a detail to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program in Oslo, Norway, as a member of the DOI Climate Change Task Force, and on USGS teams for public affairs, the USGS congressional briefing series, internal communications, and Web and social media.

Prior to the USGS, Tania worked as an assistant editor for CDC News, conducted news and market research and mentored new employees for the Gallup Polls, led skiers around Switzerland as a snow-ski and tourist guide for Village Camps, and served as president of the University of Texas Water Ski Team.

She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas and a Master of English with an emphasis on the teaching of writing from George Mason University.

 

Experience:

  • USGS Chief of the Denver Publishing Service Center: manage teams of technical writer/editors and visual information specialists to produce USGS science reports, maps, fact sheets, posters, brochures, and other USGS products; manage center budget; and supervise and mentor staff. February 2012 through present
  • USGS Writer/Editor: Researched, wrote, and edited articles, memos, speeches, publications, and other communication products; developed messages and communication strategies; developed and managed content for internal and external Web pages; conducted research on communication practices, writing and editing, Web development, social media, and usability to help improve or implement new Office of Communication products; and developed and provided training on writing, plain language, and grammar and style to USGS and other government employees. January 2004 through January 2012
    • Internal Communications Team: January 2011 through January 2012
    • Acting Internal Communiactions Officer: January 2011 through February 2011
    • Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program: edited the Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost of the Arctic assessment report. June 2010 through December 2010
    • Internal and Web Communications Team: March 2008 through May 2010
    • Internal Communications Team: Redesigned, wrote, and edited The Communicator, the USGS internal communications newsletter; managed the Office of Communications Intranet Homepage suite; worked with programmer to design the OC Recorder, a custom content management system for nationwide contributors to submit content for multiple reports. October 2004 through February 2008
    • Public Affairs Team: Wrote speeches for the USGS Director and wrote and edited press releases. January 2004 through September 2004
  • Bill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife Volunteer, Communications and Web Site Manager: Designed new logo and promotional items, redesigned Web site, updated Web site content, and added articles and information. September 2003 through April 2006
  • CDC News Associate Editor: Gathered and reported information on local and national construction projects for bi-weekly trade publication, established and maintained contacts, met press deadlines, and created introductory information packet for data-entry position. September 2002 through December 2003
  • Gallup Polls Interviewer, Mentor: Conducted surveys for news and market research. Trained and mentored new interviewers on phone and computer systems. June 1998 through June 2001

Education:

Published Work:

Tania's work has appeared in various publications, including TNT Magazine, UK Edition; People, Land & Water; Soundwaves; the Natural Hazards Observer; the Daily Texan; and Texas Audubon: Creating a Culture of Conservation.

 

Awards:

  • 2010 Blue Pencil Award of Excellence, Brochures/Booklet — USGS Science: Addressing Our Nation's Challenges (Role: Managing Editor, Writer)
  • 2007 Ragan Communications Awards, Feature Article, Top 5 Finalist — Building Safer (Role: Writer)
  • 2007 Ragan Communications Awards, Employee Magazine, Top 5 Finalist — People, Land, and Water (Role: Managing Editor, Writer)
  • 2007 National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil Award, Internal Magazine, Second Place — People, Land & Water (Special Edition): 100th Anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake (Role: Managing Editor, Writer)
  • 2005 USGS Shoemaker Award for Internal Communications Excellence — NeedtoKnow (Role: Contributor)
  • Multiple USGS Star Awards
  • USGS Going the Extra Mile Award
  • Gallup Poll Project Tracker of the Month
  • Gallup Poll Team Member of the Month
  • Gallup Poll Support Superstar
  • Gallup Poll Rookie of the Month

 

Feature Articles

  • Building Safer: How Decades of Earth Science is Helping to Reduce the Biggest Earthquake Vulnerability - Man-Made Structures (pdf) On October 17, 1989, occupants of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco were unnerved as the building started to shake. Sixty miles away, in the forest of Nisene Marks State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Loma Prieta earthquake had struck with a magnitude of 6.9. The seismic waves were channeled - focused by the geological features of the area - toward San Francisco.
  • Raising Crane at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Imagine spending your time feeding, nurturing, and teaching the daily tasks of survival to a baby who could never know your true identity. At the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, employees wear disguises, never use their real voices, and use puppets to deliver food to the baby whooping cranes they care for-all so that these little ones can be released to the wild never knowing they were raised by humans.
  • Preserving Gulf Sturgeon: A Fish Tale of Gargantuan Proportions The weather is beautiful, sunny and warm, perfect for a day outdoors and on the water. It´s hard to imagine a better job than doing fieldwork with the USGS Coastal Ecology crew working to keep tabs on the Gulf sturgeon population. Almost every day in Florida is a great day to be out on the river, but it´s especially nice when it´s a workday and you have the water practically to yourself.
  • La Tomatina: Painting the Town Red It's a simple principle, you've known it since toddler-hood: there's just something rewarding about flinging food hard and fast at a deserving foe. Your mother and grade school teachers didn't appreciate the glory of the game, but somewhere in southern Spain they understand. Over the course of the past 58 years, the food fight has been taken to a new level - La Tomatina, a festival in the small town of Buñol, now gathers roughly 20,000 people from all over the world to bash their fellow man (and woman) with 150,000kg of that delectable, red fruit, the tomato.

Bureau, Product, & Program Profiles

  • USGS Science: Addressing Our Nation's Challenges  With 6.6 billion people already living on Earth, and that number increasing every day, human influence on our planet is ever more apparent. Changes to the natural world combined with increasing human demands threaten our health and safety, our national security, our economy, and our quality of life. As a planet and a Nation, we face unprecedented challenges: loss of critical and unique ecosystems, the effects of climate change, increasing demand for limited energy and mineral resources, increasing vulnerability to natural hazards, the effects of emerging diseases on wildlife and human health, and growing needs for clean water. The time to respond to these challenges is now, but policymakers and decisionmakers face difficult choices. This brochure provides examples of the challenges we face and how USGS science helps decisionmakers to address these challenges.
  • Taking Seismic Science into the Third Dimension (pdf) During the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, 42 people were killed when the Cypress Structure, the freeway approach to the Bay Bridge from Oakland, Calif., collapsed. But it wasn't just the strength of the earthquake that contributed to its fall. There were factors beneath the Earth's surface that made this location particularly vulnerable to earthquake shaking
  • Mass Matters-A Look at the USGS Reston Stable Isotope Laboratory As you walk into the Reston Stable Isotope Laboratory at USGS headquarters, the first thing that hits you is the smell, a pungent aroma suspiciously similar to that of a brewery. The sight of a few bottles of an amber liquid doesn't help to ease the skepticism.
  • Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country (pdf) Earthquakes are scary because they are largely unpredictable. We don't know exactly when, where or with how much force they are going to strike, but we do know they will strike again. It's easy to feel powerless in the face of such information, but there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. In fact, preparedness is key to survival.
  • Forecast of Aftershock Hazard Maps Show Daily Shaking Probability (pdf)Earthquakes are scary because they are largely unpredictable. We don't know exactly when, where or with how much force they are going to strike, but we do know they will strike again. It's easy to feel powerless in the face of such information, but there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. In fact, preparedness is key to survival.

Personnel & Position Profiles

  • Not-So-Silent Spring-Celebrating a Woman of Many Conservation Firsts On Feb. 22, 2007, we lost one the great pioneers of women in science, and as we head into a not-so-silent spring, filled with the songs and chatter of so many twitterpated birds, there is no more appropriate time to remember and celebrate the life and work of Lucille Stickel.
  • Tracking the Invaders: The Work of a Fisheries Biologist Next to habitat loss, nonindigenous species are the largest threat to the Nation's native biodiversity. They threaten native communities, alter habitats, and can significantly impact the economy. As transportation has gotten faster and faster, species that are smuggled on board airplanes or sucked into ships' ballast tanks are more easily surviving travel around the world. Previously established invasive species are spreading and new species are being brought in--both unintentionally and intentionally.
  • What it's Like to be an Earthquake Scientist (pdf)In a field where the work is critical to saving lives, earthquake scientists often operate at a dizzying pace, collaborating with partners around the world as they try to solve the many mysteries of the Earth's processes. And just when they least expect it, they are thrown into the public spotlight, expected to respond to the fear and confusion that inevitably follow natural disasters with answers they may or may not have. It is tough, challenging work; but for most, the rewards of scientific discovery and knowing that they are giving something back to society make it all worthwhile.