American Association for the Advancement of Science - The World's Largest General Scientific Society en Salman Hameed: Spiral Galaxies and Spirituality <span>Salman Hameed: Spiral Galaxies and Spirituality </span> <span><span>cjenning</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/07/2018 - 11:50</span> <div class="aa-contact-info" > <div class="aa-contact-info__inset"> <h3 id="">Author</h3> <div class="aa-contact-info__body"> <h4 itemprop="">Matt Smith</h4> <p itemprop=""></p> <ul> </ul> </div> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info --> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="206" src="/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/2018-11/Hameed-480x480.png?itok=GH-qjfBi" title="Hameed-480x480.png " width="220" /></article><figcaption>Salman Hameed. Credit: Andrew Hart</figcaption></figure><p>Salman Hameed started his career peering into the stars. Now, he’s bridging the gap between astrophysics and metaphysics. </p> <p>The Pakistani-born astronomer leads the <a href="">Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies</a> at Hampshire College, in western Massachusetts. He teaches courses on integrating science and the humanities, with a special focus on the relationship between science and Islam. And he’s been a guest speaker for the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Program, most recently <a href="">in January</a>. The dialogue between scientific and religious communities can be enriching to both sides, he said. </p> <p>“We often think that it’s only the scientists who are imparting their wisdom to the crowd or to the public,” Hameed said. “But one of the things that we wanted to emphasize was that it would be a better experience if we think of it as a two-way street, meaning to say that we also learn a lot from others …Sometimes they have a really interesting way of thinking about issues that you may not have thought about before.” </p> <p>Like other contemporaries in his field, Hameed was inspired by the best-known astronomer of his day: Carl Sagan, whose television show “Cosmos” aired in Pakistan in 1984. </p> <p>“I was in ninth grade at the time, and after watching the first episode, I wanted to be an astronomer,” he said. “The first episode of Cosmos featured a cosmic calendar at the end that compressed the timeframe of the whole universe into a calendar year, and my jaw just dropped.” </p> <p>He started going to a planetarium in Karachi, where he grew up, but there was a catch: There was no university-level astronomy department in Pakistan at the time. That led him to the United States, where he got a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy at Stony Brook University in New York and then graduate school at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where he earned his Ph.D. examining how stars form in spiral galaxies.</p> <p>New Mexico is also the home of the Roswell incident, the genesis of <a href="">tales of “flying saucers”</a> that fascinated Americans after World War II. Hameed said he was “intrigued” by how many of his students believed in UFOs. That led him to work as a teaching assistant for a class on how scientific ideas evolved —and how they crossed paths with religion sometimes. He eventually taught the course himself.</p> <p>“That got me interested in these interactions beyond simply astronomy,” he said. Later, at Smith College, he developed a class on astronomy and public policy that delved into issues like searching for extraterrestrial life or planetary protection from asteroids, but also whether astronomers should build telescopes <a href="">on Hawaiian mountains</a> that native people hold sacred. “I had the freedom to explore questions that are at the intersection of science and humanities.”</p> <p>Jennifer Wiseman, DoSER’s director, said Hameed is “a wonderful speaker” with a knack for communicating discoveries to a largely religious audience. </p> <p>“I think that was very helpful for our workshop,” she said. “The scientists are helped by knowing practical things like what kinds of environments you can set up in the classroom that welcome people who are coming from diverse backgrounds, including devoutly religious backgrounds, or what kinds of environments you can create that welcome people in.” </p> <p>Much of Hameed’s work now focuses on how science is embraced by modern Muslims, especially younger Muslims. He’s tried to foster that embrace by communicating science in a religious context, giving public lectures in Pakistan and making videos about astronomy in Urdu. </p> <p>Today, most majority-Muslim countries teach Darwin’s theory of evolution in high schools with little question, and universities study the field of genetics that stems from it. There is a strain of Muslim creationism that rejects human evolution, he said, though it doesn’t embrace the belief that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. </p> <p>So Islam “is a really friendly religion to science,” he said. But there’s a flip side to that friendliness: There’s a trend of looking to the Quran as a science book, “and if you interpret it in certain ways, then you can find, for example, a mention of relativity or quantum physics or other types of things.” It’s comparable to best-selling books in the 1990s that argued that hidden messages about current events could be found in the Bible, he said. </p> <p>“That is another place where young, aspiring minds can be diverted into that kind of an endeavor, which actually doesn’t lead to any scientific development,” Hameed said. </p> <p>A bigger concern, especially for Muslim scientists working in the United States, Europe and other Western countries, is that Islamophobia and the anti-religious truculence of some scientists can drive a wedge between researchers in the lab. </p> <p>“There are a lot of scientists who are religious and have no problem with religion, or they are not religious and have no problem with religion,” Hameed said. “But active hostility can turn off some students, in particular if they think that pursuing science would mean a choice between their religion or science.” For many of those students, their faith “is not just a doctrine — it’s their life. It’s the society that’s formed around that, the culture that is formed around that, your family that is formed around that.” </p> <p>And what’s often lost in those discussions is the diversity of the adherents of a religion that includes more than 1.5 billion people across the globe. </p> <p>“People oftentimes when they are talking about Saudi Arabia, that’s the stand-in for Muslims. They don’t think about, for example, Dave Chappelle or <a href="">Mahershala Ali</a>, who recently won an Oscar, or Muhammad Ali,” Hameed said.</p> <p>“Where are Muslims? They’re everywhere, in fact, and they’re shaped as much by their culture and their society, and religion is only one of their identities.”</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-11-07T12:00:00Z">Wed, 11/07/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <h3>Related Focus Areas </h3> <ul class="aa-list--sidebar-nav" > <li class=""> <a href=/focus-areas/human-rights-law-ethics role="menuitem" class=" "> <span class="">Human Rights, Law & Ethics </span> </a> </li> </ul> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/philosophy/science-philosophy/science-and-religion" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Philosophy/Science philosophy/Science and religion</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/membership/member-spotlight" hreflang="en">Member Spotlight</a></div> </div> Wed, 07 Nov 2018 16:50:53 +0000 cjenning 74051 at William P. Brown Explores Science and Religion <span>William P. Brown Explores Science and Religion</span> <span><span>cjenning</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/07/2018 - 11:44</span> <div class="aa-contact-info" > <div class="aa-contact-info__inset"> <h3 id="">Author</h3> <div class="aa-contact-info__body"> <h4 itemprop="">Delia O&#039;Hara</h4> <p itemprop=""></p> <ul> </ul> </div> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info --> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="220" src="/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/2018-11/Brown%20Bill%202-480x480.jpg?itok=EWabPePW" title="Brown Bill 2-480x480.jpg " width="220" /></article><figcaption>William P. Brown</figcaption></figure><p> William P. Brown, a Presbyterian minister, scholar, teacher, author and AAAS member, works diligently to bridge the perceived gap between science and religion. </p> <p>Brown is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary (CTS)<span lang="DE" xml:lang="DE" xml:lang="DE"> in Decatur, Georgia, one of ten theological seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (USA). From 2015 to 2017, he oversaw CTS’s participation in the three-year pilot program that launched <a href="">Science for Seminaries,</a> a project of the <a href="">AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER)</a>, which promotes an ongoing conversation between scientists and religious communities. The project’s goal is to support future members of the clergy in their efforts to comfortably talk with their congregations about issues that fall at the nexus of science, ethics and religion.</span></p> <p> “I’ve always thought there’s no conflict whatsoever” between theology and religion, said Brown. “Theology has nothing to fear and everything to gain from science.” </p> <p>Brown’s father was a “farm boy” from Washington who taught dairy science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Brown himself was “fortunate to have been raised in a strong Christian home” outside Tucson, and to have belonged to a Presbyterian congregation that was “next door” to the university. “I grew up on the desert, surrounded by stars, away from the city lights,” Brown said. It was there, in high school, with the aid of a six-inch telescope he’d built himself, that theology began to prevail in his life. “Just trying to comprehend the vastness of the universe,<span lang="DA" xml:lang="DA" xml:lang="DA"> for me, was a spiritual exploration of God’s creation.”</span></p> <p>Originally an engineering major at the University of Arizona, Brown switched to philosophy in his junior year and transferred to Whitman College in Washington, “much to the dismay of my parents.” He holds a master’s degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, and a Ph.D. in Old Testament studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduation, he taught Old Testament and Biblical Theology, first at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Virginia and then at CTS in Georgia. Brown’s courses connect “the use of scripture in the life of the church and the world, particularly in the context of ecology and justice.” </p> <p>The majority of CTS students come into the seminary with liberal arts degrees like English, philosophy or religion. Those who do have solid science training seem somewhat “sheepish” about it, Brown said, but he encourages them to keep that flame burning. He quotes British astrophysicist Martin Rees to the effect that science is our “one truly global culture.” Members of the clergy can’t afford to ignore the bond of “inquisitive awe” shared by both scientists and theologians.</p> <p>In 2012, CTS was one of 10 seminaries that participated in the pilot program for Science for Seminaries. As part of the project, Brown brought a number of top scientists to CTS to talk about their work, including Yale astrophysicist <a href=""><u>Priyamvada Natarajan</u></a>, who spoke about how cosmology has changed over the centuries; Emory University primatologist <a href=""><u>Frans de Waal</u></a>, who considered in his talk whether humans are smart enough to appreciate animals’ intelligence; microbiologist and geneticist <a href="">Claire M. Fraser</a>, who discussed human identity as individuals and as microcosmic worlds; and NASA engineer <a href=""><u><span lang="DE" xml:lang="DE" xml:lang="DE">Christine Darden, </span></u></a>one of the African-American mathematicians featured in <a href=""><u>“</u><u><span lang="NL" xml:lang="NL" xml:lang="NL">Hidden Figures”</span></u></a> (the book, that is; Darden’s character is not in the movie).</p> <p> At the end of its participation in Science for Seminaries, CTS followed up with students to assess the program’s effectiveness. “We measured statistically and saw a dramatic rise in their familiarity with science. Now when there is a scientific discovery in the news, they are more interested than they were before, and attend to that with greater appreciation. For us, this was a very successful grant-funded program from the AAAS,” said Brown.</p> <p> Brown believes that in recent years, “mutual distrust, fear and the demonization of dissent have fueled a social and political divisiveness” that has alienated some communities of faith from science. “Climate change is classic case in point,” with our current administration supporting depictions of legitimate science as a hoax. “[The ‘hoax’] is hogwash, but that’s where we are.”</p> <p> Brown was one of 100 scholars from different religious traditions tapped to send letters to President Donald Trump as part of an independent national campaign “to articulate core American values.” These letters, titled <a href=""><u>“American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days. 100 Letters,”</u></a> will be <a href="">published this December</a>. In his letter to President Trump, Brown focused on humans’ obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation. He wrote, in part:</p> <p>Today I worry about our world as ecological crises continue to mount. Make no mistake: these are not hoaxes. As we enter into what some are calling ‘the long emergency,’ we are at a crossroads that requires wise and courageous leadership, the kind of leadership that has the long term in view and strives to preserve the health of the planet and ‘all that is in it.’ The only way forward begins with trusting science and acting accordingly.</p> <p> Brown has also written several books of his own, including <a href=";lang=en&amp;"><u>The Seven Pillars of Creation,</u></a> which uses a deep understanding of the Old Testament to investigate, and seek to heal, the supposed dichotomy between theology and science.</p> <p>Despite the current negative discourse, Brown believes conversations can – and are – changing. “Wonderful, mutually respectful conversations are happening between scientists and theologians under the radar.”</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-11-07T12:00:00Z">Wed, 11/07/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <h3>Related Focus Areas </h3> <ul class="aa-list--sidebar-nav" > <li class=""> <a href=/focus-areas/human-rights-law-ethics role="menuitem" class=" "> <span class="">Human Rights, Law & Ethics </span> </a> </li> </ul> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/philosophy/science-philosophy/science-and-religion" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Philosophy/Science philosophy/Science and religion</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/membership/member-spotlight" hreflang="en">Member Spotlight</a></div> </div> Wed, 07 Nov 2018 16:44:02 +0000 cjenning 74050 at How to #SciComm and #StayCalm <span>How to #SciComm and #StayCalm</span> <span><span>gphilippe</span></span> <span>Tue, 09/18/2018 - 09:42</span> <div class="aa-contact-info" > <div class="aa-contact-info__inset"> <h3 id="">Author</h3> <div class="aa-contact-info__body"> <h4 itemprop="">Gemima Philippe</h4> <h5 itemprop="">Communication Associate</h5> <p itemprop=""></p> <ul> <li class="aa-contact-info__list-item--cta"> <a href="" itemprop="">Send a message</a> </li> </ul> </div> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info --> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <p>Post written by Jessica Chen</p> <article class="embedded-entity align-left"><article><div> <a href=""><img src="/sites/default/files/2018-09/Jessica%20Chen-%20How%20to%20SciComm%20and%20StayCalm-FINAL-FINAL%20headshot%20square%20web.jpg" width="333" height="444" alt="Jessica Chen" /></a> </div> </article></article><p>I have found that both scientists and non-scientists (almost) universally agree that <a href="">educating the public</a> and being more involved in policy-making are of great importance. Interestingly, I am frequently met with gratitude for what others assume to be a noble, yet tedious, cause. I am often told “I don’t know how you do it… I couldn’t have the patience for that.”</p> <p>A common misconception about “science communication” (SciComm) is that it always involves getting into a heated argument with someone who is blatantly opposed to science and logic. Understandably, due to the very visceral reactions that can be elicited in such situations, the most frustrating interactions become the most memorable, and the most memorable interactions can drive behavior. However, it’s important to note that those interactions are the extremes, and that it’s erroneous to draw conclusions based off of the outliers. Like how it takes time to troubleshoot an experiment, it takes some trial and error to find a method that fits your style of communication. There are many different ways to achieve a fulfilling and impactful experience.</p> <div class="image right third"> </div> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"><article><a href=""><br /><article><div> <a href=""><img alt="Jessica Chen teaching a child about Newton’s Laws." height="200" src="/sites/default/files/2018-09/Jessica%20Chen-%20How%20to%20SciComm%20and%20StayCalm-Teaching%20Activity%20smaller_0.jpg" width="300" /></a> </div> </article><p></p></a></article><figcaption>Author teaching a child about Newton’s Laws. Photo by Iridescent Learning</figcaption></figure><p>So how can you SciComm and stay calm?</p> <p>First, <strong>know yourself</strong>. Know your strengths and weaknesses and your area of expertise. Use what you’re good at as your method of communication. If you like writing, then try blogging. If you like talking, then go talk to people. However you choose, make sure you are familiar with the topic you’re communicating and its counterarguments. Discussing something in which you’re not an expert but attempting to assume the persona of an expert can do more harm than good. For me, written communication is a more comfortable medium (i.e. blogs &amp; tweets), because it allows me time to think. Whereas oral communication can be tricky, because I’ll sometimes find myself stumped by a question I cannot answer immediately. In such flustering situations, know that it’s okay to say, “I don’t know, that’s not my field of expertise,” but always follow-up with “let’s figure it out together.” That’s a wonderful way to show your human side, to show others how you learn, and to show people that it’s okay to be wrong and to question.</p> <div class="image left third"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="286" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/content_files/Jessica%2520Chen-%2520How%2520to%2520SciComm%2520and%2520StayCalm-Poster%2520Session.jpg" title="Jessica Chen poster session" width="382" /></article><figcaption>Jessica Chen shares a poster session. Photo courtesy of author</figcaption></figure></div> <h6> </h6> <p>Second, <strong>know your audience</strong>. You cannot effectively deliver and encourage info retention without knowing the preexisting base of knowledge upon which you are building. I have found that polling questions are very effective for probing baseline knowledge in big audiences. For smaller audiences, try asking opinion questions and paying attention to the type of language used in their responses. I cannot stress enough how important it is to recognize that lack of exposure to terminology doesn’t mean lack of ability to understand. An audience, unfamiliar with a topic, can neither identify important info, nor follow a storyline because gaps in their knowledge were not addressed. So, invest time in getting to know your audience and building trust, the most important aspect of successful communication. Understand that telling someone you’re a “PhD in blah blah” is not going to earn his or her trust, because credentials mean nothing if your audience doesn’t know what you’re saying. A common source of failure is forgetting that communication is a two-way street, and assuming a “lecture style conversation.” Info-dumping is very ineffective outside of the classroom. Instead, aim to have a real conversation. Know that a goal to modify and add to someone’s knowledge is much more achievable than overwriting it. Then, by guiding your audience to make their own connections, using what they already know, the knowledge you deliver will be more easily accepted.</p> <p>Third, <strong>set limits</strong>. Your time is valuable, so understand that if a person’s mind is made up, a single conversation is unlikely to change it. Learning comes more easily when people want to learn. You will not reach everyone, so narrow your focus to the people who have not yet established a position. This target audience is still looking to gain information, so be their trustworthy source. Know that there are people out there who will take and take, but you have a limited supply to give. Give wisely. Unless you’ve decided to make a career of SciComm, you still need to do what pays the bills. Know what you want out of an experience, be it money, satisfaction, connections, etc., and set your time commitments beforehand. SciComm is my hobby and it benefits others, a win-win situation. You need not martyr yourself for the sake of SciComm. Do it only if it calls to you and make sure you gain from it too.</p> <p>So basically, the secrets to a successful and rewarding SciComm experience are to <strong>know yourself</strong>, <strong>know your audience</strong>, and <strong>set limits</strong>.</p> <p> </p> <p>About Jessica Chen</p> <p>Jessica Chen is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan with interests in regeneration, stem cells, and translational medicine, science communication, education volunteering and increasing diversity/equity/inclusion in STEM. Did you enjoy today’s blog? Do you have any questions about how to #SciComm and #StayCalm? Reach out to Jessica on Twitter at <a href="">@BluntDrJChen</a></p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-sidebar"> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--link paragraph--view-mode--default"> <ul class="aa-list--unordered-with-icons" > <li > <a href=/programs/center-public-engagement-science-and-technology/reflections > <span>Public Engagement Reflections Blog</span> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-09-21T12:00:00Z">Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <h3>Related Focus Areas </h3> <ul class="aa-list--sidebar-nav" > <li class=""> <a href=/focus-areas/public-engagement role="menuitem" class=" "> <span class="">Public Engagement </span> </a> </li> </ul> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-communication" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science communication</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/written-communication" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Written communication</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/mass-media/blogs" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Mass media/Blogs</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/educational-attainment/science-degrees/doctoral-degrees" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Educational attainment/Science degrees/Doctoral degrees</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/political-science/government/public-policy/science-policy" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Political science/Government/Public policy/Science policy</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/psychology/behavioral-psychology/human-behavior" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Psychology/Behavioral psychology/Human behavior</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/educational-methods/teaching" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Educational methods/Teaching</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/physics/mechanics/classical-mechanics/kinetics/newtons-laws" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Physics/Mechanics/Classical mechanics/Kinetics/Newtons laws</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/psychology/cognitive-psychology/cognition/attention" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Psychology/Cognitive psychology/Cognition/Attention</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/engineering/transportation-engineering-5" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Engineering/Transportation engineering/Transportation/Transportation infrastructure/Streets</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/educational-facilities/educational-institutions/universities" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Educational facilities/Educational institutions/Universities</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/engineering/bioengineering/biomedical-engineering-18" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Engineering/Bioengineering/Biomedical engineering/Regenerative medicine</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/cell-biology/cells/stem-cells" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Cell biology/Cells/Stem cells</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/health-and-medicine/clinical-medicine/translational-medicine" hreflang="en">Health and medicine/Clinical medicine/Translational medicine</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/mass-media/social-media" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Mass media/Social media</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/programs/center-public-engagement-science-and-technology/reflections" hreflang="en">Public Engagement Reflections</a></div> </div> Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:42:22 +0000 gphilippe 73860 at How being a AAAS Leshner Fellow changed how I #SciEngage! <span>How being a AAAS Leshner Fellow changed how I #SciEngage!</span> <span><span>gphilippe</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:15</span> <div class="aa-body-text aa-text--summary"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <p>University of Kentucky Professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikovaow on how being a AAAS Leshner Fellow enlightened her on new ways to engage/communicate with scientists and non-scientists alike and pushed her to grow as both a scientist and a communicator.</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="480" src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/s3fs-public/blog_media/Sylvie%2520Garneau%2520Tsodikova%2520-%2520Leshner%2520Fellowship%2520Blog%25202.JPG?itok=RAdVwN1k" title="Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikva" width="480" /></article><figcaption>Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova| Photo by Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova</figcaption></figure><p>If I told you that one short week of orientation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was all it took to change the way I think about and promote science (#SciEngage), would you believe me? Well… let me tell you how being a AAAS Leshner Fellow enlightened me about new ways to engage/communicate with scientists and non-scientists alike and pushed me to grow beyond my wildest dreams both as a scientist and communicator.</p> <p>My journey began in September 2016 when I learned I could apply for a 2017-2018 <a href="">Leshner Leadership Institute Fellowship</a>. The Leshner Fellowship aims to help scientists learn about different ways to engage with the public, train and mentor other scientists, and promote institutional change as it relates to public engagement. I honestly did not think I stood a chance of being selected as one of the 15 fellows, In my mind, I didn’t have much to offer. But, my motto in life is “If you don’t try, you for sure don’t get it!”, so I applied. The <a href=""><em><strong>application process was so simple</strong></em></a>: a short personal statement, a letter of recommendation and some engagement samples.</p> <p>In December 2016, to my greatest surprise I was informed that I was selected. I was elated and felt privileged to have been chosen to be part of this very engaged cohort of 15 scientists focused on Infectious Disease (Note: every year the scientific focus changes).</p> <div class="image right half"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="667" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/content_files/LLI%25202017-18%2520Group%2520Photo%2520Outdoors%2520web_0.png" title="2017 AAAS Leshner Fellows" width="1000" /></article><figcaption>2017 AAAS Leshner Fellows</figcaption></figure></div> <h6>2017 AAAS Leshner Fellows | AAAS</h6> <p>In June 2017, I arrived in Washington, DC, ready for our week-long Leshner Fellowship orientation at the AAAS headquarters. This is where the magic began! Before orientation week, my public engagement work was focused almost exclusively on giving scientific talks at conferences and bringing weekly hands-on experiments to K-12 school in my city via the <a href="">SciCats</a> (<strong>S</strong>cience <strong>C</strong>ultivates <strong>A</strong>cademically <strong>T</strong>alented <strong>S</strong>tudents) outreach program that I created in 2013 at the University of Kentucky with the help of a graduate student.</p> <p>During my week of orientation, I met journalists, storytellers, social media experts, and the other 14 amazing Fellows. I was opened to a world of new possibilities to #SciEngage, and just like a kid in a candy store, I wanted it all. I wanted to learn it all and do it all! And, this is what I did and keep on doing. After my week at AAAS, during which I made a new #SciEngage plan (Note: My plan keeps on growing and evolving), here are a few #SciEngage activities I have completed:</p> <ul><li><strong>Course on public engagement</strong>. After being blessed with all the new insights I gained at AAAS, I needed to share it. My college was very supportive and right away allowed me to create a course on public engagement. The students in the class wrote blog posts (you can find them <a href="">here</a>, <a href="">here</a> and <a href="">here</a>) participated and <a href="">won national #scicomm contests</a>, created <a href="">YouTube videos</a>, podcasts, and much more. I can’t wait to see what this year’s class will do.</li> <li><strong>EiS “Everything is Science” Festival</strong>. I fell in love with science storytelling during the orientation week after a presentation by <a href="">Shane Hanlon</a> from the American Geophysical Union. So much so that I decided to create, organize, and run a yearly city-wide science festival called <a href=""><em>Everything is Science</em></a> (EiS). I even <a href="">went on TV</a> <a href="">twice </a>to promote the event (another thing we practiced during orientation week). Last year was a success! This year the EiS Festival will start with a full day of hands-on experiments for kids followed by a whole week of science evenings with two events per nights where adults will enjoy learning about science in a way they can relate to in local bars and restaurants.</li> <li><strong>Social media</strong>. From total inertia to full speed! I used to be scared of social media and didn’t see how it could bring value to my scientific life. Believe it or not, I couldn’t identify any common social media platforms. But, as part of my Leshner Fellowship, I was asked to at least try one, Twitter. AAAS had given me so much, the least I could do was try. While at the airport on my way home from orientation, I posted a tweet asking for supplies for my SciCats outreach program. Literally two minutes later I was offered <a href="">thousands of dollars’ worth of lab supplies</a> for free! From that point on I was hooked on Twitter. I now even use it to teach chemistry (<a href=";src=typd">#PHR912_2018</a>). I have curated for other accounts such as <a href="">@realscientists</a> and <a href="">@MeetAScientist</a>. More recently, I joined Instagram and am now also using it in my classroom. Social media has changed the way I teach!</li> <li><strong>Opinion pieces/blogs</strong>. I also started writing blog posts (you can find them <a href="">here</a>, <a href="">here </a>and <a href="">here</a>) and opinion pieces (<a href="!divAbstract">here </a>and <a href="!divAbstract">here</a>). Our voice needs to be heard and I find opinion pieces and blogs to be great ways to talk about scientific topics and career related topics in a way that people can easily relate. I use social media polls to interact with others and include what I learn in my articles.</li> <li><strong>Interaction with policymakers</strong>. I am still learning about this, but as a first step I wrote a letter to my senator to talk to him about the importance of funding research on antimicrobial resistance. Interaction with policymakers is something that I am working on. I still have a lot to learn here.</li> <li><strong>SciCats and new outreach to K-12</strong>. I of course keep my SciCats program running strong. I have even added Skype A Scientist and speaking at middle school career days to my list of K-12 outreach activities.</li> </ul><p>Is there more I can do? Of course! I am inspired every day by amazing people doing #SciEngage. For example, inspired by one of the Leshner Fellow in my cohort, Ina Park who had on her plan to write a book, I am currently writing a role-playing children’s book about fungi. I am also working on creating a YouTube channel called “Science with Sylvie”.</p> <p>Through my Leshner Fellowship I got to meet 14 of the most amazing and impactful scientists and promoters of science you will ever meet as well as the truly engaged and knowledgeable AAAS staff. It is important to note that I continue to interact with my Leshner Fellow family. Once a Leshner Fellow, always a Leshner Fellow!</p> <p><a href="">AAAS is now accepting applications for the next Leshner Fellow cohort, focused on Human Augmentation</a> through October 1. I hope that all of you interested in reaching out to the public and creating changes in your institution will apply. I can guarantee you that a Leshner Fellowship will change your life for the better! It surely changed mine.</p> <p>Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about my journey or the application process.</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> <article> <div><div class="video-embed-field-provider-brightcove video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src=""></iframe> </div> </div> <div><p>Video courtesy of Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova</p> </div> </article> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <h6><a href="">Sylvie welcomes the 2018 cohort of AAAS Leshner Fellows.</a></h6> <p>About Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova</p> <p>I am a medicinal chemist (Professor) at the University of Kentucky. My research focuses on understanding and combating infectious diseases, particularly bacterial and fungal infections. I am also the founder of the SciCats (Science Cultivates Academically Talented Students) outreach program. You can follow me on Twitter <a href="">@GTsodikova</a>, on Instagram <a href="">@gtsodikova</a>, and on <a href="">Facebook</a>.</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-09-14T12:00:00Z">Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <h3>Related Focus Areas </h3> <ul class="aa-list--sidebar-nav" > <li class=""> <a href=/focus-areas/public-engagement role="menuitem" class=" "> <span class="">Public Engagement </span> </a> </li> </ul> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/mass-media/social-media" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Mass media/Social media</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Representative Image Caption</div> <div>Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova| Photo by Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova<br /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/programs/center-public-engagement-science-and-technology/reflections" hreflang="en">Public Engagement Reflections</a></div> </div> Thu, 13 Sep 2018 20:15:29 +0000 gphilippe 65286 at Erin Heath: How the ‘Golden Goose’ was Hatched <span>Erin Heath: How the ‘Golden Goose’ was Hatched</span> <span><span>cjenning</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/06/2018 - 20:47</span> <div class="aa-contact-info" > <div class="aa-contact-info__inset"> <h3 id="">Author</h3> <div class="aa-contact-info__body"> <h4 itemprop="">Matt Smith</h4> <p itemprop=""></p> <ul> </ul> </div> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info --> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="242" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/erin-horizontal.jpg" title="Erin Heath Horizontal" width="310" /></article><figcaption>Erin Heath</figcaption></figure><p>Some things are easy to ridicule at first.</p> <p>Who would ask taxpayers for money to spend on massaging rats? Or peering into the sex lives of bugs? Or how mussels stick to rocks?</p> <p>Yet those studies led to breakthroughs in how we <a href="">save the lives of premature infants</a>, beat back <a href="">farm pests</a> and <a href="">make plywood</a> more environmentally friendly. And they have another thing in common: The researchers behind those discoveries are all winners of the Golden Goose Award, which recognizes scientists whose obscure-sounding, federally financed studies have led to significant and sometimes surprising findings.</p> <p>AAAS is one of the backers of the awards, first handed out in 2012. The event has grown over the years, with about 500 people turning out for the presentation in 2017.</p> <p>This year’s awards are scheduled to be handed out Sept. 13 at a ceremony at the Library of Congress. And one of the key people behind the show is Erin Heath, who co-chairs the award’s steering committee. A former journalist, Heath joined the AAAS Office of Government Relations in 2006. She’s the office’s associate director, and she’s heavily involved in efforts to get members engaged with policymakers and the public. Here, she talks a bit about the history behind the award and what’s involved in picking the winners.</p> <p><strong>How did the Golden Goose come to be? </strong></p> <p>The idea was hatched – yes, I said that – by Congressman Jim Cooper, of Tennessee. It was somewhat inspired by the Golden Fleece Awards, given out by Sen. William Proxmire in the 1970s and 1980s. Those awards were meant to highlight what he considered to be wasteful government spending. Sometimes those awards would go to scientific research, among other things.</p> <p>Jim Cooper wanted to turn this narrative on its head and tell the stories of the unexpected benefits of science. And in 2012, a handful of organizations, including AAAS, got together and made that happen. We awarded three teams of researchers that first year, and have done so ever since.</p> <p><strong>What’s the response been to the awards, both among the scientific community and policymakers? </strong></p> <p>We’re grateful to have the support of a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives and senators, including Congressman Cooper. Each year, they speak at the ceremony about the importance of federally funded research. The ceremony is a chance for government leaders and members of the scientific community to get together and celebrate scientific success stories.</p> <p>We now have a collection of inspiring stories about the unexpected benefits of science and the sometimes-serendipitous nature of science.  Sometimes these stories highlight Nobel Prize winners or famous scientists, but just as often they highlight researchers whose stories haven’t yet been widely told. Those are the really gratifying stories for me.</p> <p><strong>Proxmire has been gone a long time, but you still hear similar rhetoric today. What can AAAS members do to counter it?</strong></p> <p>One thing we would love for AAAS members to do is to <a href="">submit a nomination for the Golden Goose Award</a>. We accept nominations year-round on our website. It’s very easy to do.</p> <p>We want to hear these stories. There are more stories out there. And we’d like to hear these stories from all fields of science.</p> <p><strong>Tell me a little bit about how the winners are selected. </strong></p> <p>Early each calendar year, the crop of nominations we’ve gotten the previous year are evaluated by a selection committee made up of scientists, university leaders, science communicators and science policy professionals. They look for three things. First, the research has to have been funded by the federal government. It has to have had a demonstrated impact on society. And it has to have what we call that “goosey” nature, which is to say it may have sounded odd or obscure to start or feature some element of serendipity..</p> <p><strong>Do former winners play any role? </strong></p> <p>We continue to stay in touch with them; some previous award winners have been able to join us at subsequent award ceremonies or work with us on media outreach. Another thing we’ve done in the last few years is bring teams of researchers to the AAAS annual meeting for a session that tells their story, that talks about their research.</p> <p><strong>How does the award fit in with the AAAS mission? </strong></p> <p>This is a great way for AAAS and its partners to share the stories of the science and illustrate the value of investing in scientific research.</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-09-14T12:00:00Z">Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <h3>Related Focus Areas </h3> <ul class="aa-list--sidebar-nav" > <li class=""> <a href=/focus-areas/advocacy-evidence role="menuitem" class=" "> <span class="">Advocacy for Evidence </span> </a> </li> </ul> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-communication" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science communication</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/economics/macroeconomics/market-economics/money" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Economics/Macroeconomics/Market economics/Money</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/animals/invertebrates/mollusks/bivalves/mussels" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Animals/Invertebrates/Mollusks/Bivalves/Mussels</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/demography/age-groups/infants" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Demography/Age groups/Infants</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/scientific-approaches/discovery-research" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Scientific approaches/Discovery research</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/economics/economics-research" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Economics/Economics research</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/social-studies-science/science-history/nobel-prizes" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Social studies of science/Science history/Nobel prizes</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/verbal-communication/rhetoric" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Verbal communication/Rhetoric</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/plant-sciences/horticulture/agronomy/crop-science/crops" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Plant sciences/Horticulture/Agronomy/Crop science/Crops</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/political-science/government/public-policy/science-policy/research-6" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Political science/Government/Public policy/Science policy/Research management/Research funding/Government research</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/membership/member-spotlight" hreflang="en">Member Spotlight</a></div> </div> Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:47:23 +0000 cjenning 65285 at Featured Teacher: Amy Sheck <span>Featured Teacher: Amy Sheck</span> <span><span>cjenning</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/06/2018 - 20:27</span> <div class="aa-contact-info" > <div class="aa-contact-info__inset"> <h3 id="">Author</h3> <div class="aa-contact-info__body"> <h4 itemprop="">Chris Spitzer</h4> <p itemprop=""></p> <ul> </ul> </div> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info --> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="465" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/sheck2017a-310x465.jpg" title="Amy Sheck Blog Image" width="310" /></article><figcaption>Amy Sheck. Credit: V. Kirby </figcaption></figure><p>Amy Sheck teaches and is head of the Science Department at the <a href="">North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics</a> (NCSSM), which was founded in 1980 as the nation’s first public residential science and math high school. Her classes include Research in Biology and a seminar in Science Communication. She created outreach events to encourage girls in STEM (<a href="">Lean In, Women in Science</a>) and to promote interdisciplinary interaction with the community (<a href="">TEDxNCSSM</a>). Outside of NCSSM, she leads the <a href="">NC Student Academy of Science</a>, supporting and providing recognition for student research projects across the state. She holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from North Carolina State University.</p> <p><strong>What are you most proud of in your work?</strong></p> <p>The secret curriculum of my Research in Biology class is the emotional growth that comes from jumping into the unknown, enduring setbacks, and facing uncertainty.</p> <p><strong>What topic do you find hardest for students? How do you teach it?</strong></p> <p>It is hard for students to analyze data from their own experiments; they have to be disciplined about addressing their original hypotheses but also be open-minded to what the data are telling them. I lead them through an exploratory process of looking at their data descriptively followed by a more formal process that brings them back to their experimental design before analyzing their data statistically.  </p> <p><strong>What you do to remain current and bring the latest science into the classroom?</strong></p> <p>Among other things, I attend the <a href="">AAAS Annual Meeting</a>! As director of the North Carolina Student Academy of Science, I travel each year with a group of high school researchers to the AAAS meeting where they present their posters, attend talks, and meet students from other states. I bring the latest science into the classroom by holding a weekly ‘journal club’ with my research students. We start by reading and discussing the Science Times section of the New York Times and work our way up to reading the primary scientific literature.</p> <p><strong>Share a resource that you’ve used in the classroom that really excited your students. What makes it most compelling?</strong></p> <p>I was very excited that a former student of mine published a <a href="">research paper on genetic adaptations in a human population of sea nomads</a>. It includes a video and graphical abstract that makes accessible what would otherwise be a complex and intimidating paper. This is compelling for several reasons: first, the connection to an adventurous alumna from our school; second, high school students love to learn about the human body; and third, the international travel, language learning, and diving that my former student accomplished as part of the project.</p> <p><strong>Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.</strong></p> <p>I enjoy long-distance hiking, which started with the Appalachian Trail many years ago. Currently, I am walking the 600-mile Southwest Coast Path in England — that will take me four years to complete. It’s a wonderful way to spend time outside, meet people, and get to know a landscape.</p> <p> </p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-09-14T12:00:00Z">Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/science-education/science-teaching/high-school-teaching" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Science education/Science teaching/High school teaching</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-communication" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science communication</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/information-science/information-processing/data" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Information science/Information processing/Data analysis</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/science-education/science-curricula/high-school-science" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Science education/Science curricula/High school science</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/educational-levels/high-school-education" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Educational levels/High school education</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/scientific-method/scientific-data/experimental-data" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Scientific method/Scientific data/Experimental data</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/applied-mathematics/statistics/statistical-analysis" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Applied mathematics/Statistics/Statistical analysis</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/educational-facilities/science-classrooms" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Educational facilities/Science classrooms</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/students/high-school-students" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Students/High school students</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/psychology/cognitive-psychology/cognitive-development/learning" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Psychology/Cognitive psychology/Cognitive development/Learning</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-careers/scientific-workforce/women-science" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science careers/Scientific workforce/Women in science</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/entomology" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Entomology</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/educational-methods/teaching" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Educational methods/Teaching</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/applied-mathematics/statistics/descriptive-statistics" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Applied mathematics/Statistics/Descriptive statistics</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/scientific-organizations/scientific-conferences" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Scientific organizations/Scientific conferences</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/genetics/human-genetics" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Genetics/Human genetics</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/anthropology/anthropogenesis/human-evolution/human-adaptation" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Anthropology/Anthropogenesis/Human evolution/Human adaptation</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Representative Image Caption</div> <div>&lt;p&gt;Amy Sheck. Credit:&amp;nbsp;V. Kirby&lt;/p&gt;<br /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/membership/member-spotlight" hreflang="en">Member Spotlight</a></div> </div> Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:27:09 +0000 cjenning 65284 at Frogs were Mysteriously Dying Across the Globe: Joyce Longcore Cracked the Case <span>Frogs were Mysteriously Dying Across the Globe: Joyce Longcore Cracked the Case</span> <span><span>cjenning</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/05/2018 - 20:34</span> <div class="aa-contact-info" > <div class="aa-contact-info__inset"> <h3 id="">Author</h3> <div class="aa-contact-info__body"> <h4 itemprop="">Delia O&#039;Hara</h4> <p itemprop=""></p> <ul> </ul> </div> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-contact-info --> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="242" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/Joyce-Longcore-horizontal.jpg" title="Joyce Longcore Horizontal" width="310" /></article><figcaption>Joyce Longcore. Courtesy of the University of Maine </figcaption></figure><p>Joyce Longcore’s unorthodox career as a mycologist peaked in a stunning burst of achievement in 1997, which later resulted in a <a href="">Golden Goose Award</a>. Longcore, Associate Research Professor at the University of Maine in Orono, nailed the mysterious organism that was decimating frog populations all over the world as a chytrid, an obscure aquatic fungus, and devised a way to isolate it into pure culture so it could be studied by other researchers.</p> <p>Two veterinary scientists at the Smithsonian National Zoo, Don Nichols and Allan Pessier, found Longcore while trying to figure out what was killing the zoo's blue poison dart frogs. They saw her ultrastructural photos of chytrids on a website of zoosporic fungus that University of Maine mycologist Mel Fuller maintained. So they sent images of the organism they were dealing with.</p> <p>“I could tell by looking at it it was a chytrid,” Longcore said.</p> <p>The Smithsonian scientists soon sent her fresh samples of infected frog skin. Longcore was a dab hand at isolating chytrids, her specialty, into pure culture. This strange new type took a couple of tries, but on her birthday, over the long Columbus Day weekend, Longcore went into the lab and saw that the liquid medium she had put the culture in had turned opalescent: something was growing there. Under the microscope, she could see it was a fungus. She had found a way to get the chytrid to proliferate.</p> <p>“That meant we could do research on the organism,” she said.</p> <p>Those were heady days, Longcore recalled, as research teams around the world raced to match the newly named <em>Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd</em>) with their own local die-offs. Ever since her groundbreaking discovery, Longcore has been included in research teams and invited to teach isolation techniques and participate in conferences. When the grant money was flowing (and only then, because she wasn't salaried), she even got paid.</p> <p>“<em>Bd</em> is the big thing publicly, and it was a lot of fun, getting frogs in the mail every day, but I liked the systematics of the group”— mycologists, that is, other scientists who love the strange creatures of this discrete kingdom of living things — “figuring out the amazing diversity.”</p> <p>Longcore grew up in rural southwestern Michigan. She was an impressive mycologist even in her undergraduate days at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and she spent an additional year there after graduation working for Frederick Sparrow, a leading authority on aquatic fungi.</p> <p>She got her master’s degree from Indiana University, and then married Jerry Longcore, who worked as a field biologist with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and, later, the U.S. Geological Survey. After the birth of their first child in 1967, Joyce didn’t work in the lab for 18 years. For much of that time, the family lived in Orono.</p> <p>“I kept house. We gardened in the summer. Jerry was gone a lot and I ran the place,” Longcore recalled. “I didn't pine for this science business, though. I couldn’t flirt around the edges. I had to have a project.”</p> <p>When her older son went to college, Longcore considered getting a part-time job in a grocery store. Then Joan Brooks came calling with that aforementioned project. Brooks, a biologist at Orono who later developed a <a href="">peat-based sewage filtration system</a>, needed a mycologist for a study of aquatic systems. Another Orono professor remembered Longcore from college at Ann Arbor and recommended her.</p> <p>“Once I got back behind the microscope, I thought, 'Oh, yes, this is what I do,'” Longcore recalled. Her most valued tool still is the light microscope she got in order to work with Brooks in the 1980s.</p> <p>When that project ended, Longcore went back for her Ph.D. at the University of Maine. The logical progression then was to get a grant and do research, but “I didn't get a grant,” she said. However, with space in a colleague’s lab and her trusty microscope, Longcore did her own research and published it.</p> <p>“I haven't been paid for years and years, but my department has been very supportive,” said Longcore, who is presently in the process of moving her frozen chytrid collection to the University of Michigan, and “trying to plan ahead a little bit” as she approaches her 80th birthday.</p> <p>Chytridiomycota, the chytrid group, are ancient, water-loving fungi; even types that live in soil need free-running water to disperse their motile spores, equipped with flagella to help them swim. <em>Bd'</em>s parasitism is a departure from the chytrids’ usual habits (though a different chytrid also preys on salamanders).</p> <p>Amphibians rely on their skin for breathing. The disease <em>Bd</em> causes, Chytridiomycosis, thickens frogs’ and toads’ skin to the point where that function ceases. The disease has mortality rates that approach 100 percent in some populations. <em>Bd </em>appears to have arisen only <a href="">within the past century</a> on the Korean peninsula, and dispersed around the world in just a few decades.</p> <p>Advances in technology and genomics make it possible now to see the differences among various fungi at the cellular level. When Longcore was starting out, morphology was the chief method for categorizing them.</p> <p>Scientists are only beginning to understand the role fungi play in biology, she said. Fungi may help trees to talk to one another in a field, for example. Orchid seeds depend on fungus to get started. Some fungi work in decomposition, clearing away detritus; we use some, like mushrooms, as food; still others are parasites.</p> <p>Asked if fungi are important, Longcore said, “Oh my goodness, yes! Fungi hold the world together.”</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-09-12T12:00:00Z">Wed, 09/12/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/animals/vertebrates/amphibians/frogs" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Animals/Vertebrates/Amphibians/Frogs</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/anatomy/integumentary-system/skin" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Anatomy/Integumentary system/Skin</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-policy/research-management/research-funding/biomedical" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science policy/Research management/Research funding/Biomedical research funding</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/engineering/environmental-engineering/environmental-12" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Engineering/Environmental engineering/Environmental management/Nature reserves/Zoos</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/educational-facilities/educational-institutions-2" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Educational facilities/Educational institutions/Universities</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/educational-facilities/educational-institutions/colleges" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Educational facilities/Educational institutions/Colleges</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/research-methods/microscopy/optical-microscopy" hreflang="en">Research methods/Microscopy/Optical microscopy</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/demography/population/world-population" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Demography/Population/World population</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/research-methods/laboratory-procedures/tissue-cultures/organ-cultures" hreflang="en">Research methods/Laboratory procedures/Tissue cultures/Organ cultures</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-careers/science-job-market/academic-job-market/academic" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science careers/Science job market/Academic job market/Academic researchers</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/biochemistry/pharmacology/bioactive-compounds/poisons" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Biochemistry/Pharmacology/Bioactive compounds/Poisons</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/health-and-medicine/diseases-and-disorders/infectious-diseases/fungal-infections" hreflang="en">Health and medicine/Diseases and disorders/Infectious diseases/Fungal infections</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/research-methods/laboratory-procedures/cell-cultures/culture-media" hreflang="en">Research methods/Laboratory procedures/Cell cultures/Culture media</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/scientific-approaches/discovery-research" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Scientific approaches/Discovery research</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/educational-methods/teaching" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Educational methods/Teaching</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/education/students/college-students/undergraduate-students" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Education/Students/College students/Undergraduate students</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/ichthyology" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Ichthyology</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/animals/wildlife" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Animals/Wildlife</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/economics/business" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Economics/Business</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/sociology/society/human-relations/family/sons" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Sociology/Society/Human relations/Family/Sons</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Representative Image Caption</div> <div>&lt;p&gt;Joyce Longcore. Courtesy of the University of Maine&lt;/p&gt;<br /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/membership/member-spotlight" hreflang="en">Member Spotlight</a></div> </div> Thu, 06 Sep 2018 00:34:13 +0000 cjenning 65283 at Science conversation, not communication <span>Science conversation, not communication</span> <span><span>gphilippe</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/29/2018 - 13:25</span> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="429" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/blog_media/Laura%2520Carter%2520-%2520Science%2520conversation%2520blog-%2520group%2520of%2520kids.jpg" title="Laura Carter group of kids" width="600" /></article><figcaption>Showing Camp Spark students how to drop Mentos in Diet Coke without getting caught in the eruption fallout! | Photo credit: Melody Tan </figcaption></figure><div>by Laura Carter</div> <div> </div> <div><em>This blog was originally posted on the AGU Blogosphere. We have re-posted it here, with permission</em></div> <div> </div> <div> <p>What gets you to pay attention to the news? Probably a relation to your life in some way, right? That’s how advertising works and products are sold. At its core, science communication is essentially the selling of information. And it’s something scientists do constantly! What they sometimes fail to do is consider the feedback, the review, or the exchange with their buyers, which is necessary, as importance to the general public is why grant foundations are rapidly requiring outreach.</p> <p>For scientists, “publish or perish” is a very real threat. To become accepted, a hypothesis must be published in a reputable journal, requiring the scientist to first convince the journal editor and peer reviewers. Then it must become widely read and cited, requiring them to convince other researchers via conference presentations and collaboration. Finally, it needs to become consensus or basic knowledge, requiring them to convince students via textbooks and lectures.</p> <p>In other words, the success of a scientist’s career relies heavily on strong communication skills, contrary to popular misconception that scientists are “bad communicators.” But that’s all one-way and it’s directed at one type of audience: other academics.</p> <p>It may be tempting, then, to call this process an echo chamber—scientists interacting only with each other within the walls of academia, constantly amplifying or reinforcing their own beliefs. But, the only way hypotheses get thoroughly tested, improved, and eventually agreed upon as theories is if there are arguments, contradictions, corrections, and retractions—the converse of reinforcement.</p> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div class="image right half"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="451" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/content_files/Laura%2520Carter%2520-%2520Science%2520conversation%2520blog-%2520presenting.jpg" title="Laura Carter presenting" width="600" /></article><figcaption>Laura Carter presenting</figcaption></figure></div> <h6>Explaining to refugee high schoolers at Rice University’s CampSpark in Houston, TX how bubbles of volcanic gasses, like carbon dioxide, cause violent eruptions in the same way Mentos causes a foam eruption of the carbon dioxide dissolved in Diet Coke. | Photo credit: Melody Tan</h6> <p><em>That’s the scientific method; it’s how science progresses.</em></p> <p>So, if it’s not a communication problem, is miscommunication caused by a knowledge gap between those with terminal degrees and “the general public”? That is like asking a French local for directions to the Eiffel Tower in English. The non-English speaker isn’t the problem. It’s the tourist, loudly repeating their incomprehensible statement, expecting to get different results. The message is not incomprehensible because of the content of the statement, rather the method of communication.</p> <p>The “gap” between scientists and the public is more a language barrier.</p> <p>When publishing in technical journals is key and the audience of those journals are other technical speakers, then learning how to translate into plain (universal) language is not a priority. Why learn French when you are only there 1 week of your years of life?</p> <p>Well, because if you want to get your message across—and get your Eiffel Tower Instagram picture—then science communication must be a two-way conversation. Like any language course, immersion is important, often achieved through conversation practice.</p> <p>When I started my career in geology, I had to learn to speak science in the first place from others fluent in it. My advisor would send back drafts of my early publications slathered in red marks adorned with comments about “flowery, non-scientific language.” There are even different dialects of science; I’ve seen jargon-related misunderstandings between two Earth Scientists who differ only in the geologic location of the rock type they study. Recently, at ComSciCon-Houston, I was taken aback by biology graduate students informing me, another science graduate student, that I needed to clarify the word “magma,” just as I baffled them with my uncertainty of the meaning of “protein.”</p> <p>As a geologist whose research aims to better understand Earth’s climate variations, I am conscious of climate-change denial. Typically, rejection is the result of a contradiction with a previous belief or understanding, instilled by parents, politics, or religion. How is that any different than scientists amongst themselves, with contrasting arguments or contrarian suspicions? In that situation, we seek resolution by studying the opposing side so as to effectively connect and address all points.</p> <p>In order to reach that last step of the scientific process, ereryone from academics to the public, needs to accept the new hypothesis. If we as scientists want to reach the public or affect policy, or even understand and support each other, forget #scicomm. Let’s all start more #sciconv: science conversations.</p> <p> </p> <p>About Laura Carter</p> <p>Laura Carter is a recent doctoral graduate from the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science at Rice University. A version of this article was written and edited as part of <a href="">ComSciCon-Houston 2018</a>. </p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-08-30T12:00:00Z">Thu, 08/30/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-communication" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science communication</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/psychology/social-psychology/interpersonal-skills/communication-skills" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Psychology/Social psychology/Interpersonal skills/Communication skills</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/agriculture/agronomy/crop-science/crops/rice" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Agriculture/Agronomy/Crop science/Crops/Rice</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/students/college-students/graduate-students" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Students/College students/Graduate students</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/climatology" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Climatology</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/space-sciences/planetary-science/planetary-systems/solar-system/solar-terrestrial-1" hreflang="en">Space sciences/Planetary science/Planetary systems/Solar system/Solar terrestrial planets/Planet Earth</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/mass-media/blogs" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Mass media/Blogs</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/mass-media/advertising" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Mass media/Advertising</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/systems-theory/feedback" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Systems theory/Feedback</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/academic-publishing/peer-review" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Academic publishing/Peer review</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/political-science/government/public-policy/science-policy/research-1" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Political science/Government/Public policy/Science policy/Research management/Research funding</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/academic-publishing/textbooks" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Academic publishing/Textbooks</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/educational-assessment/educational-testing" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Educational assessment/Educational testing</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/geology/physical-geology/volcanology/volcanic" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Geology/Physical geology/Volcanology/Volcanic eruptions</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/physics/condensed-matter-physics/soft-matter-physics/soft-matter-16" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Physics/Condensed matter physics/Soft matter physics/Soft matter/Foams</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/philosophy/science-philosophy/scientific-method" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Philosophy/Science philosophy/Scientific method</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/science-education/science-curricula/high-school-science" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Science education/Science curricula/High school science</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-careers" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science careers</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/mineralogy/petrology/rocks" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Mineralogy/Petrology/Rocks</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/geology/physical-geology/volcanology/magma" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Geology/Physical geology/Volcanology/Magma</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Representative Image Caption</div> <div>&lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: rgb(39, 43, 51); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);&quot;&gt;Showing Camp Spark students how to drop Mentos in Diet Coke without getting caught in the eruption fallout! | Photo credit: Melody Tan&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<br /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/programs/center-public-engagement-science-and-technology/reflections" hreflang="en">Public Engagement Reflections</a></div> </div> Wed, 29 Aug 2018 17:25:37 +0000 gphilippe 65250 at When preparation meets opportunity <span>When preparation meets opportunity</span> <span><span>gphilippe</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/17/2018 - 10:03</span> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="679" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/blog_media/Kathleen%2520Hefferon%2520-%2520Reflections%2520on%2520the%2520Speaking%2520Science%2520Workshop-%2520Profile%2520pic_edited.jpg" title="Kathleen Hefferon - Profile" width="530" /></article><figcaption>Kathleed mid-interview with the Syntalks podcast. Photo used with permission from author. </figcaption></figure><p>by Kathleen Hefferon</p> <p>The Alliance for Science’s inaugural “Speaking Science” workshop took place this past June at Cornell University and was a big step for many of us who want to brush up on our communication skills and be more involved with public engagement. Many of the attendees were students and researchers who focus on the plant sciences, including the generation of genetically modified (GM) crops.</p> <p>It is clear that as scientists, we need to engage more than ever with the public, but often we do not know where to begin. This workshop taught us how to write engagingly for a public audience and gave us opportunities and tools to practice communicating our personal research. We learned how to build a professional social media presence. On the last day, we put it all together and applied what we had learned to create a public message using our favorite media form (eg video, talking to a reporter, social media, blogging, op ed). I chose as my media experience something I had never done before, an interview with a reporter on camera. I found it a challenge to get over my shyness and talk about my research on plant-made pharmaceuticals and the controversies associated with them.  I left the workshop feeling well practiced and ready for anything.</p> <div class="image right half"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="1634" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/blog_media/Kathleen%2520Hefferon%2520-%2520Reflections%2520on%2520the%2520Speaking%2520Science%2520Workshop-%2520Workshop%2520Pic%25202.jpg" title="Kathleen Hefferon - Certificate" width="1440" /></article><figcaption>Kathleen Hefferon - Certificate</figcaption></figure></div> <h6>Kathleen receives her Speaking Science certificate of completion. | Photo used with permission from author.</h6> <p>Imagine my surprise when I found an invitation to practice these skills in my inbox the next morning! It came from a student member of the <a href="">International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM)</a>, asking me to be on a podcast about my own research! I couldn’t believe the good timing and jumped at the opportunity. iGEM is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to education and competition, the advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of an open community and collaboration. The podcast was run by a student design team and was to be part of a series called “<a href="">Syntalks</a>”, in which local scientists involved in the field of synthetic biology are interviewed about their research. The students were nice enough to send me their questions beforehand, so that I could prepare.</p> <p>A few extra queries came my way as well during the recording session. Questions ranged from “How did I define synthetic biology” to “What ethical issues are associated with my research?” and even to “What advice would you give students who want to get involved in this type of research?” The atmosphere was friendly, and the interviewers gave me a signal I could use if I wanted to stop midway through. That way, I could take a second stab at answering a question and the tech team could edit out any slips or blunders on my part. It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed collecting my thoughts into a format that would be clear to an audience of students as well as the general public.</p> <p>As scientists in this day and age, you never know when you may be asked to step outside the box and engage with the public on issues that some may consider to be controversial. Many of us find the prospect of explaining the ethical sides of our research to be uncomfortable at best. Thanks to the Speaking Science workshop, I could not have been better prepared! If you want to hear my episode of the Podcast, you can listen to it on <a href="">Soundcloud</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p>About Kathleen</p> <p>Kathleen Hefferon received her PhD  from the University of Toronto and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Food Sciences and Technology at Cornell University. Over the past academic year, Kathleen has been awarded the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Her research interests include food and energy security, public health, agricultural biotechnology and science communication.</p> <p> </p> <div> <blockquote><p>AAAS offers Communicating Science workshops much like the one attended by today's author. Workshop goals include building scientists’ communication skill and confidence in engaging with public audiences and providing best practices for use of different communication methods and mechanisms. Visit our <a href="">website</a> to learn more!</p></blockquote> </div> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-08-23T12:00:00Z">Thu, 08/23/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-communication" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science communication</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/mass-media/social-media" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Mass media/Social media</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/engineering/bioengineering/biotechnology/synthetic" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Engineering/Bioengineering/Biotechnology/Synthetic biology</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/philosophy/ethics/academic-ethics/research-ethics" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Philosophy/Ethics/Academic ethics/Research ethics</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/food-science/food-resources/food-security/global-food" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Food science/Food resources/Food security/Global food security</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/psychology/social-psychology/interpersonal-skills/communication-skills" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Psychology/Social psychology/Interpersonal skills/Communication skills</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/political-science/government/public-policy/science-policy/research" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Political science/Government/Public policy/Science policy/Research management</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/psychology/social-psychology/public-opinion/controversy" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Psychology/Social psychology/Public opinion/Controversy</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/educational-attainment/postdoctoral-work" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Educational attainment/Postdoctoral work</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/science-careers/science-job-market/academic-job-market/academic" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Science careers/Science job market/Academic job market/Academic researchers</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/engineering/bioengineering/biotechnology/plant-0" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Engineering/Bioengineering/Biotechnology/Plant biotechnology/Transgenic plants</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/plant-sciences/horticulture/agronomy/crop-science/genetically-modified" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Plant sciences/Horticulture/Agronomy/Crop science/Genetically modified crops</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/plant-sciences/plant-genetics" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Plant sciences/Plant genetics</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/plant-sciences/horticulture/agronomy/crop-science/crops" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Plant sciences/Horticulture/Agronomy/Crop science/Crops</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/written-communication" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Written communication</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/applied-physics/applied-optics/optical-devices/cameras" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Applied physics/Applied optics/Optical devices/Cameras</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/scientific-community/research-programs/drug-research" hreflang="en">Scientific community/Research programs/Drug research</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/health-and-medicine/pharmaceuticals" hreflang="en">Health and medicine/Pharmaceuticals</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/engineering/bioengineering/genetic-engineering" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Engineering/Bioengineering/Genetic engineering</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/students/postdoctoral-fellows" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Students/Postdoctoral fellows</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Representative Image Caption</div> <div>&lt;p&gt;Kathleed mid-interview with the&amp;nbsp;&lt;a href=&quot;; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Syntalks&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;podcast. Photo used with permission from author.&lt;/p&gt;<br /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/programs/center-public-engagement-science-and-technology/reflections" hreflang="en">Public Engagement Reflections</a></div> </div> Fri, 17 Aug 2018 14:03:01 +0000 gphilippe 65236 at Walking with Wildflowers: citizen science along the Pacific Crest Trail <span>Walking with Wildflowers: citizen science along the Pacific Crest Trail</span> <span><span>gphilippe</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/10/2018 - 15:25</span> <div> <div> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--rich-text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="aa-body-text"> <div class="aa-body-text__inset"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="1385" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/blog_media/Nic%2520Kooyers%2520-%2520Walking%2520with%2520Wildflowers%2520logo.jpg" title="Walking with Wildflowers logo" width="1327" /></article><figcaption>Walking with Wildflowers logo | Used with permission </figcaption></figure><p>by Nic Kooyers</p> <p>My personal limits are pretty clear – I only have two hands, two feet and can only be in a single location at a given time. Ditto for all the field assistants, graduate students, and other colleagues that I work alongside. Unfortunately this can make collecting the large-scale datasets that we need to address our scientific questions somewhere between difficult and impossible.  Luckily we live in the age of citizen science, where passionate members of the public contribute time and effort to collect and analyze scientific data to assist professional researchers. For example, citizen scientists have made over 370 million bird observations in <a href="">eBird</a> and 14 million observations for the <a href="">USA National Phenology Network</a> leading to discoveries of shifting patterns in phenology, or the timing of critical life events, in bird migration and plant reproduction that are associated with recent climate change.</p> <p>Citizen scientists are extremely important to my research examining the ability of plant species to respond and adapt to climate change. In the last few years, I, along with colleagues Benjamin Blackman and Jack Colicchio at UC-Berkeley and Katharine Gerst and Erin Posthumus at USA National Phenology Network, have developed a citizen science program called <a href="">Walking with Wildflowers</a> to determine which subalpine and alpine plant species may be most at danger from shifting growing seasons associated with global warming. As average temperatures have steadily increased and more precipitation falls as rain rather than snow, growing seasons in mountainous regions now start noticeably earlier. To cope with these changing conditions, plant species must be able to shift the timing of basic life events including flowering, fruiting, and setting seed to successfully reproduce.</p> <div class="image right half"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="346" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/content_files/Nic%2520Kooyers%2520-%2520Walking%2520with%2520Wildflowers%2520identifier%2520and%2520site%2520images.JPG" title="Walking with Wildflowers collage" width="775" /></article><figcaption>Walking with Wildflowers collage</figcaption></figure></div> <h6>Walking with Wildflowers identifier and sites | Photo by Nic Kooyers</h6> <p><a href="">Walking with Wildflowers</a> helps me determine which species may be vulnerable to shifting climatic conditions by utilizing hikers along one the nation’s longest and most famous trails, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), as volunteers to survey plant flowering patterns in remote mountainous regions.  The concept is pretty simple – my colleagues and I have gone out and marked plants at several designated sites along the trail and ask that passing hikers make simple observations such as whether a given plant is flowering and/or how many open flowers are on a plant. The participants record these observations on their smartphones with the <a href="">Nature’s Notebook mobile app</a>, and the stored data is later transmitted to the USA-National Phenology Network’s database via wireless or cellular networks. This entire process takes a hiker less than 15 minutes per site, but provides us with stream of data that researchers and park personnel could not hope to collect by ourselves.</p> <div class="image left third"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" height="3264" src="/sites/default/files/s3fs-public/content_files/Nic%2520Kooyers%2520-%2520Walking%2520with%2520Wildflowers%2520LyellCanyon.jpg" title="Walking with Wildflowers Lydell Canyon" width="2448" /></article><figcaption>Walking with Wildflowers Lydell Canyon</figcaption></figure></div> <h6>Lydell Canyon, an area ripe for Walking with Wildflowers data capture | Photo by Nic Kooyers</h6> <p>Although a single hiker may observe a given plant at a particular site just once, different hikers along the PCT will record observations on the same plants over time, producing a season-long and multi-year data set. This crowd-sourced information resource will be extremely valuable for allowing researchers to answer important questions about how plant species are responding to climate change. For instance, the flowering observations that are generated by hikers participating in <a href="">Walking with Wildflowers</a> will be used to identify which species are able to shift the timing of flowering to thrive in ever earlier, warmer, and drier growing seasons. Furthermore, by examining year-to-year variation in flowering patterns, researchers will be able to compare different species’ responses and better understand why certain species are able to respond while others are not. </p> <p>This is the first year that volunteers can start recording observations and this season’s efforts will focus on 20 plant species along segments of the PCT within Inyo National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and North Cascades National Park. The most challenging part of this work to date has been recruiting hikers and backpackers as volunteers. We have found hikers are far more willing to take observations after having face-to-face interactions with us, and we are currently working to expand our social media presence <a href="">via Facebook</a> and get the word out to those who frequent the trail.</p> <p>If you are planning a trip to Inyo, Yosemite, or North Cascades or have friends who may be hiking the PCT this summer or next, definitely get in touch! The PCT crosses diverse environmental conditions that are inhabited by spectacular wildflower, shrub, and tree communities, and being a citizen scientist with Walking with Wildflowers is a fantastic way to enrich your knowledge of these fascinating plants while also advancing much needed conservation research. To get involved, please visit the <a href="">Walking with Wildflowers website</a>, interact with us on Facebook (<a href="">Walking with Wildflowers</a>) or email us at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p> </p> <p>About the author </p> <p>Dr. Nic Kooyers is an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette whose research examines how plants adapt to current and future environments in the age of climate change. He is particularly interested in understanding how plants can cope with stressful conditions such as droughts, drastic seasonal variation in climate, and herbivores. Walking with Wildflowers combines two of his passions – the biology of subalpine plants and backpacking.</p> <p>Did you enjoy today’s blog? Please let Nic know what you thought by reaching out to him at <a href=""></a>, visiting the <a href="">Walking with Wildflowers website</a>, or following <a href="">Walking with Wildflowers on Facebook</a>.</p> </div><!-- .aa-body-text__inset --> </div><!-- .aa-body-text --> </div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Date</div> <div><time datetime="2018-08-10T12:00:00Z">Fri, 08/10/2018 - 12:00</time> </div> </div> <div> <div>Disciplines</div> <div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/mass-media/social-media" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Mass media/Social media</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/climatology/climate-change/climate-change-adaptation" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Climatology/Climate change/Climate change adaptation</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/ecology/ecological-dynamics/phenology" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Ecology/Ecological dynamics/Phenology</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/climatology/climate-variability/seasonal-changes" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Climatology/Climate variability/Seasonal changes</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/climatology/climate-data" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Climatology/Climate data</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/information-science/data-sets" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Information science/Data sets</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/plant-sciences/plants/angiosperms" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Plant sciences/Plants/Angiosperms</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/philosophy/science-philosophy/scientific-method/scientific-data-1" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Philosophy/Science philosophy/Scientific method/Scientific data/Observational data</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/research-methods/environmental-methods" hreflang="en">Research methods/Environmental methods</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/anatomy/legs/feet" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Anatomy/Legs/Feet</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/education/students/college-students/graduate-students" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Education/Students/College students/Graduate students</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/information-science/information-processing/data" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Information science/Information processing/Data analysis</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/computational-biology/network-science" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Computational biology/Network science</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/organismal-biology/ethology/animal-migration/bird-migration" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Organismal biology/Ethology/Animal migration/Bird migration</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/plant-sciences/plant-physiology/plant-reproduction" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Plant sciences/Plant physiology/Plant reproduction</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/atmospheric-science/meteorology/weather-0" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Atmospheric science/Meteorology/Weather/Precipitation/Rain</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/physical-sciences/earth-sciences/atmospheric-science/meteorology/weather-2" hreflang="en">Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Atmospheric science/Meteorology/Weather/Precipitation/Snow</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/life-sciences/plant-sciences/plant-anatomy/seeds" hreflang="en">Life sciences/Plant sciences/Plant anatomy/Seeds</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/social-sciences/communications/telecommunications/smartphones" hreflang="en">Social sciences/Communications/Telecommunications/Smartphones</a></div> <div><a href="/disciplines/applied-sciences-and-engineering/information-science/data-storage/databases" hreflang="en">Applied sciences and engineering/Information science/Data storage/Databases</a></div> </div> </div> <div> <div>Representative Image Caption</div> <div>&lt;p&gt;Walking with Wildflowers logo | Used with permission&lt;/p&gt;<br /> </div> </div> <div> <div>Blog Name</div> <div><a href="/programs/center-public-engagement-science-and-technology/reflections" hreflang="en">Public Engagement Reflections</a></div> </div> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 19:25:13 +0000 gphilippe 65154 at