Moray-ming for Engagement

Last Friday marked the halfway point for our Summer Scholars. In honor of the occasion, we hosted a check-in event in Newport. With five short weeks remaining, we wanted to see their personal and professional progress so far, and (as you may not be able to tell from my poorly-punned title) aim for more engagement between them. The morning consisted of a science communication workshop, spectacularly led by Sea Grant’s Miriah Kelly. The morning included a quick opportunity for students to present their work so far. They also drew their interesting and diverse mental models of scientific communication (#scicomm), which are now on display in the Sea Grant office in Corvallis.


Some of the mental models on display in the Sea Grant office

After the presentations and a quick feedback session over lunch, the scholars headed to the aquarium to see some science communication in action (and have a little fun on the side). Austin got a kick out of the giant green moray eel in the new shipwrecks exhibit.


Austin with Banner, the giant green moray eel.

We rounded out the day with a delicious BBQ at Beverly Beach, and left the scholars to camp overnight in the park.


The fire- and grill-masters

The day seemed to be a hit with the scholars. It was a long one, but it was a nice balance of productivity and learning with fun and relaxation. The students got quite a bit out of the communication workshop- we had some great discussions about advocacy on social media and the purpose of communication, among other things. Some highlights of what I learned:

  • Figure out who your receiver is. Knowing their values will help you frame your message.
  • Get feedback from your receiver. This is just as important as the message.
  • Provide multiple layers of information so that people can get to their own desired depth of knowledge.
  • The end goal of science communication is a behavior change. Focusing your message will help achieve this.

You can follow the scholars here on the blog and/or on Twitter at #OSGscholars. You can follow me @SarahLHeidmann.

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About Sarah Heidmann

I was an undergraduate Summer Scholar in 2013, working with the USDA-ARS on recording GoPro footage of fish and invertebrate use of estuarine habitats in Yaquina Bay and Willapa Bay, WA. I am now coordinating the 2015 program, mentoring the students and using Twitter as an engagement tool. I am a recent graduate of marine biology at Oregon State University, and will begin a Masters of Marine and Environmental Science degree at the University of the Virgin Islands in the fall of 2015.

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