Club Spotlight: Science communications

The Science Communication Club is a newly formed club on campus. The club is going to be focused on trying to better communicate scientific discoveries and work being done on campus and across the world to the broader community and schools. Margret Cysewski, a fellow with the Changing Alaska Science Education program at UAF, started the club.

“What I was hoping for this club was to practice and encourage practicing science communication,” said Cysewski, who is working on an interdisciplinary PhD in permafrost engineering. Cysewksi recalled, “I went to a workshop over the summer and realized that other campuses have clubs [for science communication]. Why don’t we have a club?”

The Science Communication Club was a natural fit for Cysewski, who does a lot of outreach for her job at a project called “Hot Times in Cold Places: Permafrost During Climate Change,” which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

“We [UAF] are partnered with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to make a museum exhibition that’s opening next month in Portland,” Cysewski said.

The initial meeting of the club was to introduce potential members to each other and to brainstorm ideas about what directions to take with regards to communicating science to the UAF and Fairbanks communities. Some thoughts presented by members included a pub trivia science night and some K-12 outreach ideas.

The first gathering of the club included: Lindsey Heaney, science communications lead at the International Arctic Research Center, Karen Taylor and Lisa Drew, associate professors with the UAF Department of Communications and Journalism, Joshua Knicely, a PhD student working on volcanism on Venus, Abby Vandenberg, an undergraduate student studying evolutionary biology, and Robin Andrews, a graduate student with the Department of Biology and Wildlife.

Matt Mertes

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