#MySciComm: On the @ESA_org blog, Series Editors discuss what #MySciComm is and why it matters

By way of resuming the #MySciComm series after a brief pause for #ESA2017, we’re delighted to share with you a recent commentary from #MySciComm series editors. ESA published a version of this commentary on its EcoTone blog during #ESA2017. In case you missed it, we’re republishing it here.

As of today, stay tuned, every other week, for a great fall series of MySciComm!

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Recent #MySciComm contributors rocking the #scientistselfie; see end of post for image credit.

ESA SciComm Section puts the human element front-and-center in #MySciComm blog series and #ESA2017 workshops and special events 

Science Communication is an emerging career path with diverse entry points and skillsets. Have you ever read about a science writer, filmmaker, or blogger and wondered, how in the world did they get THAT job? Or more importantly, how in the world can I get that job?

The ESA Science Communication (“SciComm”) Section was founded to address these questions and more. The section helps ecologists apply best practices in science communication and empowers ecologists to better communicate the stories of science (including stories about the people doing the science) in creative, compelling, and innovative ways. In addition to resources and workshops, the SciComm Section publishes a blog series – #MySciComm – that addresses two core section efforts.

We are committed to professionalizing science communication efforts within and beyond ESA and providing mentorship to ecologists interested in trying out, or transitioning to careers in, science communication.

The #MySciComm series works toward these goals by providing a platform where science communicators can be candid about their work and what it takes to do it. #MySciComm contributors range from journalists to filmmakers, from those at private institutions to public universities, from trained formally to self-taught. Each post ends with advice and resources for people looking to build a career in science communication.

Continue reading #MySciComm: On the @ESA_org blog, Series Editors discuss what #MySciComm is and why it matters


#ESA2017 Recap: ESA wants your feedback, loads of #SciComm activities, #SciArt, meetings & more

Standing room only at the Section booth during #sketchyourscience! (Image: Bethann Garramon Merkle)

A lot of great opportunities came up during #ESA2017.

These include the Section identifying several volunteer positions and opportunities, looking ahead to #ESA2018 (help us plan and collaborate for next year!), developments in our governance and long-range planning (see our About page for updates), and new officers (meet them here)! You can stay up to date on these topics and many others by subscribing to our newsletter.

ESA is soliciting feedback regarding this year’s conference.

If you have opinions, please complete the survey. Be specific about what you liked to help ensure it happens again. Ditto for things you don’t want to happen again.

We’re curious – which #ESA2017 or scicomm-related hashtags did you use and follow, and why?

The #EngageESA hashtag took off this year, and there was also steady activity for #ESASciComm and #sketchyourscience. Emily Rollinson (@ejrollinson) has run stats of ESA conference tweets for the past few years. Check out the stats for #ESA2017#ESASciComm and #EngageESA. Knowing these trends along with other ways you engaged with conference and Section activities is helpful for us as we plan how the Section can connect with you throughout the coming year. Please let us know via email, at our Facebook Group, or on Twitter (using #ESASciComm and/or #EngageESA to ensure we see your response).

We hosted seven events, and there were more than 50 SciComm/Engagement sessions on the program!

These included a productive Section business meeting, three workshops, a live science storytelling show, and several rounds of networking. And we can’t forget yet another year of lively and informative #sketchyourscience. It’s exciting to be part of the building momentum to celebrate, professionalize, and make more accessible the myriad ways that science communication and engagement efforts are a core part of the work so many ESA members do. We were in great company, with those of you who made it to Portland, and with a lot of other folks who organized communication-related sessions. When we looked through the program, we found 7 social events, 21 workshops, 7 ignite sessions, 6 special sessions, 5 symposia, and at least 7 talks and posters (though we likely underestimated those)!

SciArt or Art-and-Ecology Section

Two back-to-back Ignite sessions focused on art and science stimulated talk of a SciArt or Art-and-Ecology Section. Some folks floated the idea of starting a new section, others the idea of making space for #sciart within the SciComm Section. While current officers were supportive of either approach, members at our business meeting were largely in favor of joining forces and making SciArt part of the SciComm Section. So, we’ll be reaching out to folks this year to explore what that might look like.

Among the many meetings your section officers attended…

We went to the annual ESA business meeting and the business meeting for the ESA Committee on Diversity and Education (CDE). We’re a new member of the CDE, and we look forward to having a voice in the important work of the committee. If you have topics you’d like us to address, Bethann will be on some conference calls and at some meetings with the CDE through the coming year. Please contact her so we can represent you and our section mission in those meetings.

Do get in touch if you have ideas, questions,
and/or want to get involved with the Section!

#MySciComm: taking a break for #ESA2017


We’re taking a break from the MySciComm series while we focus on the ESA annual meeting. If you’re in Portland, check out our awesome list of Section-sponsored and other SciComm happenings.

Whether you’re in Portland or following the conference from afar, we’ll be posting meeting-related updates and session live-tweets in several places:

MySciComm blog posting will resume in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, check out our #MySciComm archives, for posts from journalists, museum workers, illustrators, and all sorts of SciComm folks.

Reminder: SciComm Section biz meeting & meet-up


Please do join us for this meeting!

We’ll be discussing how to spend the section’s money (your membership dues), nominees for next year’s officers, how to engage members (you!) in section projects throughout the year, and more!

The business meeting is planned for Tuesday, August 8, 6:30-8:00 pm, in OCC room E142.

More details: Join us for a brief engaging (we promise!) business meeting where we’ll discuss how to allocate our budget, finalize plans for the next officer election (including accepting nominations for next year’s officers!), and start planning for #ESA2018. Afterward, let’s adjourn to a local watering hole to talk #scicomm, network, and catch up. Looking forward to hanging out with you and getting your input for the direction of the section!

Image: BGMerkle

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]ncsu.edu), 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?