Notes: 2016 SciComm section meeting


The ESA SciComm Section’s annual meeting took place during the ESA annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

You’ll see, as you read the meeting notes, that there are a number of initiatives and ideas in the works for #ESA2017 as well as programming throughout the year. 

Please contact us if you are interested in contributing, time, funding, expertise, or networking capacity to any of these activities.

#SciComm resource round-up

#ESA2016 is in full swing, and #ESASciComm is a big topic this year. Between our smashing success #upgoESA Ignite session….

…and our dynamic interactive scicomm workshop…

…inspiration and discussion about #scicomm is trending. And, there’s more scicomm to come throughout the week! Continue reading #SciComm resource round-up

Wanted: SciComm Section Officer Nominations

Looking for a way to enhance your scicomm skills while contributing to others?

Then, nominate yourself for an #ESASciComm officer position!

Officer nominations are now open and we’ll hold elections in October.

If you are interested in running for section chair, chair-elect or secretary, please review the section by-laws for information about officer duties.

Feel free to email current Section Chair, Dr. Holly Menninger, (hlmennin[at], connect with her on Twitter (@DrHolly) or catch her at the meeting with any questions you have.

#ESASciComm at #ESA2016

Connecting and communicating about the conference via social media? Here are our hashtag recommendations: #ESASciComm & #ESA2016.

Next, the following email newsletter was recently sent to all #ESASciComm Section members, along with non-members on our mailing list. If you’ll be/are at #ESA2016, please connect with us! Continue reading #ESASciComm at #ESA2016

Wanted: Ecologists Up for the Ultimate (Plain Language) SciComm Challenge


Can you interpret this graphic? What would make it more accessible? More interesting to look at? More reader-friendly? The same questions are key for how you plan communication efforts for audiences you want to engage with your science.

*Spoiler alert: we want you to sign up to do this at ESA 2016! Scroll to the bottom for details.

**NEW SPOILER ALERT: You all are awesome and we had an overwhelming response of volunteers (more than we have slots!)! Thanks for your continued support and interesting in sci comm!

Post by Holly Menninger

My family sat in the front row of the auditorium for my dissertation seminar. While I can barely recall the organization or content of the presentation, one memory that does stick with me is my dad furiously typing on his Blackberry. No, he wasn’t distracted by calls from work or being rude; he was googling my words, trying to grasp meaning in the jargon I used, words like ‘allochthonous’ and ‘autochthonous.’ Continue reading Wanted: Ecologists Up for the Ultimate (Plain Language) SciComm Challenge

#Sketchyourscience a hit at #ESA100…so what?

At ESA’s annual conference/meeting (#ESA100) our section had a booth at which we encouraged folks to sketch their science.

We were blown away by how many people enthusiastically did so.

Continue reading #Sketchyourscience a hit at #ESA100…so what?

Advancing Ecology SciComm: A Resource Guide from ESA’s SciComm Section

Bison ecologists, Saskatchewan; copyright 2011, Bethann G. Merkle

Looking to expand your toolbox? Curious to test the waters of science communication for the first time?

Either way, you’ll want to tap into the wide-ranging SciComm Resource Guide curated by ESA’s SciComm Section. Continue reading Advancing Ecology SciComm: A Resource Guide from ESA’s SciComm Section

#ESA100 SciComm Socializing

Next week’s theme: mmixxx, mix, mix, and mingle!

If you aim to connect with fellow SciComm buffs and advocates, you will have loads of opportunities at #ESA100. Of course, there’s the SciComm Section workshop, “Communicating Science Vividly.” We’re also curating a list of SciComm-related activities being held throughout the annual meeting. And on an informal note, there are a few SciComm-specific social sessions lined up.

Here are those socializing-specific highlights:

  • SciComm Section Business meeting: Monday, August 10, 2015: 6:30 PM; Stone, Hilton
  • Joint mixer with Policy Section: Mixer will follow business meeting and will be held at Alewife; 21 N Eutaw St; 410.545.5112. If you’re at the business meeting, we’ll all plan to walk over to the mixer location as a group.
  • Happy Hour with ESA Communications Team and DC Science Writers Association: The DC Science Writers Association and ESA Comm Team have invited us to join their happy hour. Tuesday, August 11, 2015; 6:00-8:00 PM at Peter’s Pour House; 111 Mercer Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 (Corner of Water & Grant Streets) MAP.

Details: ESA Communications Officer Liza Lester will heading over at about 5:45 and folks are welcome to gather at the press room and walk as a group. The press room is to the right (north side) of the exhibition hall entrance, off the ground floor Charles Street Lobby (which is also where the registration booths will be set up). The lobby entrance is at the corner of Pratt and Charles.

Make a difference in ESA SciComm! Volunteers needed for…

In anticipation of the Baltimore meeting, we’re seeking volunteers for three SciComm efforts.

1. Help us staff the Science Communications Section booth in the exhibit hall (shared with the Education and Policy sections). Please email Clarisse Hart ( with a 1-hour time slot you are willing to contribute during exhibit hours (Monday through Thursday 11am-1:30pm; 4-6:30 PM).

2. Are you interested in serving on the Sci Comm Section leadership team? Toss your hat in the ring by sending Holly Menninger ( an email stating your interest.

3. Contribute to our blog! Send Bethann Merkle ( a 1-paragraph (or 150-word) pitch on the theme of our 2015 workshop: Communicating Science Vividly.

#SketchYourScience takes off after ESA 2014 workshop

What ecologists think of drawing (09.2014)

It’s happening! Multimedia SciComm is catching on, and our workshop participants are chief vectors for distributing the bug.

Our last post was about Johanna Varner and the research she does on pikas. Inspired by Johanna’s own sketches, produced during our workshop, the Pikas on Ice post featured some delightful pika sketches by Jennifer Landin.

Now, Johanna and her colleagues Nancy Huntly and Erin Gleeson have taken the idea of #SketchYourScience well beyond themselves and their own study species.

Continue reading #SketchYourScience takes off after ESA 2014 workshop