Twenty-three scientists with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) spent two days in October with Center for Communicating Science (CCS) faculty for a communicating science intensive.
The set of workshops, facilitated by CCS director Patty Raun, associate director Carrie Kroehler, and faculty fellow Daniel Bird Tobin, were held in Charlottesville October 22 and 23 as part of TNC’s NatureNet Annual Meeting and Research Symposium.
Participants included TNC staff scientists and NatureNet Science Fellows, post-doctoral fellows with TNC. Exchanges during the workshops were enriched by the diversity of participants, with researchers in attendance from the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil, as well as from Duke University, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, Cornell University, Northwestern University, University of Massachusetts, University of Pennsylvania, Portland State University, and TNC chapters, units, and field stations across the United States.
The communicating science intensive included sessions on “The Art of Communicating Science,” “Distilling Your Message,” and “When a Reporter Calls.” For the latter workshop, WDBJ 7 news anchor and Virginia Tech communication department professor of practice Robin Reed and Pamplin College of Business communication director Becky Freemal held mock media interviews with participants. Virginia Tech videographers Chris Valluzzo, Wes Bishop, and Greg Whisenhunt recorded the interviews.
The NatureNet Science Fellows Program was established by The Nature Conservancy in partnership “with a rotating set of the world’s leading universities to create a reservoir of new interdisciplinary science talent that will carry out the new work of conservation,” according to the organization’s website. Fellows and grantees work with both a hosting senior scholar and a Nature Conservancy mentor.
Earlier in October, Raun and Kroehler traveled to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to facilitate a half-day communicating science workshop for the Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers. The October 10 session was part of the organization’s annual conference, held at the National Conservation Training Center.
Fish and wildlife information managers work with conservation-related data and often find themselves being called upon to serve as bridges between field scientists and data users, including community members and policy makers.