This course leads students through a series of hands-on science communication experiences and provides practical experience in approaches for engaging both scientific and non-scientific audiences. Students will interact with other students, faculty and researchers working at Shoals Marine Lab. They will have the opportunity to learn from local fisherman and natural resource managers about the challenges facing the Gulf of Maine fishery and how to balance conservation of these resources with economic development in the region. Students will be introduced to video production, podcasts, Wikipedia editing, public science events, social media platforms, blogging, and press release writing. They will receive feedback from their peers and the instructors with the goal of helping all members of the class to become effective science communicators.
Students will be able to: Evaluate potential media information sources using critical thinking skills and gain a deeper appreciation for how information is produced and consumed.
Use digital communication platforms and prepare information suitable for those platforms about scientific discoveries effecting the ocean and marine environments.
Collect information in the field by interviewing marine biologists, government regulatory agencies, and fishermen, and produce written articles, video and voice podcasts.
Translate dense scientific information, including journal articles, into easily consumable content for the public and for policy makers, using both oral and written communication skills.
Engage the public and policy makers in a scientific dialogue, and assess and organize public science events, similar to the Rock talks at Shoals.
Design a science communication strategy plan based on the research conducted at Shoals Marine Laboratory on marine ecology, fisheries management, and sustainable use of marine resources.
Fill their science communication "tool box" and develop skills necessary for today’s education and tomorrow’s employment.