scientist engagement


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Policy During a Pandemic: How to Make Research Accessible for Policymakers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gary W. Kerr, Ph.D., Lecturer in Festival & Event Management and Erin Heath, Associate Director of Government Relations, , UCS

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of effective science communication – in particular, the vital importance of making research accessible for policymakers. Here, we present our top tips for researchers on how to write for policymakers.

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Photo: Gage Skidmore

6 Ways to Make Your Science Advocacy Effective at the State and Local Levels

Cassandra Barrett, Ph.D., , UCS

I’m a huge believer in the idea that to make a difference, you should start where you’re already at. For me, that’s a graduate student studying bioengineering in Arizona. Many of us start graduate school with grand plans that inevitably are cut to size by our advisor. It takes time to learn the tools to make an impact, so we start small by learning to be the best scientists and community members we can be in our own labs. Ultimately these small steps help us to leave graduate school with the skills and confidence to make that big impact we wanted to when we first started.

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Photo: Gage Skidmore
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Climate Change Is Strengthening Typhoons, Hurricanes and Cyclones. The US Isn’t Paying Attention.

Alyssa Frederick, Ph.D. candidate; Steven Mana`oakamai Johnson, Ph.D. student, , UCS

On October 25th, one of the worst storms to strike US land hit the islands of Saipan and Tinian, killing two people and destroying thousands of homes. Because of Super Typhoon Yutu, the islands remain without power, and likely will for the months to come. Fresh water is scarce, and recovery efforts are hindered by lack of access and resources. (Read more about this here.)

Typhoons and hurricanes, or more generally, tropical cyclones, are all spinning storms of high winds (sustained winds of 73 miles per hour or greater) and intense weather like thunderstorms. The only nominal difference is the ocean basin where they originate. The most alarming factor they all share is that intensity and frequency of these cyclonic super storms is increasing with climate change. Read more >

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Photo: Mike Olliver/UCS

Students, Don’t Forget to Vote. You Too, STEM Majors

Annalise Blum, Postdoctoral Fellow, , UCS

When I was 17, I set up an ironing board on the side of Market Street in downtown San Francisco. I wore a brand new shirt with straight-out-of-the box creases, which read: “Ask me to help you register to vote.” Panicked about the possible re-election of George W. Bush (remember him?), I had convinced four friends to spend the day with me trying to register distracted shoppers. Read more >

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So, What Does the Endangered Species Act Mean to Me?

Cody Ernst-Brock, , UCS

I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, a land of extremes. Temperatures could drop below -50ᵒ Fahrenheit in the winter and the darkness would seem to stretch out endlessly, while the summers provided radiant sunshine for months that infused a sense of magic into our town. Certainly, for me, the most charmed experiences from my childhood all happened in the Alaskan wilderness. Read more >

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