The College of the Environment’s intranet is primarily intended for faculty and staff, and covers topics related to Human Resources, Academic Affairs, Committees & Councils, Research Information, and Communications & Events. The primary contacts listed on each page maintain the information included in this section, but questions can also be directed to coenv@uw.edu.

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Invitation to Improv class on science communication for faculty, postdocs and research staff

RSVP to join us! We have a unique opportunity for you to sharpen your science communication skills through a special improv course in the spring. The course is taught by ComedySportz Seattle’s Dave Bogan and Alex Grindeland, and our very own Tim Essington from Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. The focus is on building your improvisation skills, and the instructors say “once you get out of your head, you free up your mind so you can better engage with the audience and judge their interest and comprehension, and speak like a human being, not a robot.” Join us for a “sneak peek” of what the course will offer on April 14th from noon-2 p.m. 

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Setting your science communication goals – what are you really trying to do?

These days, many scientists are rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work to sharpen their science communication skills. All sorts of reasons are motivating them to do so: some simply want to share why they study ocean chemistry with a curious neighbor; others see how their work can support better decisions about using natural resources; and still others see that communicating passionately about their work can ignite similar passions in students, helping to recruit the next generation of STEM professionals. 

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Five takeaways from the Sackler Colloquium on Science Communication

At the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., a community of scientists, journalists, and communication practitioners gathered for the third Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication. Participants shared new ideas and strategies to help science have an even greater impact in the public sphere. Check out our top five takeaways that will help your work resonate with new audiences. 

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A new year, a new chance to sharpen your communication skills

The work you do matters. It is not only critical to advancing research and understanding the particulars of your field, but it also has an impact to people and communities beyond the walls of academia. Whether its informing natural resource policy, securing funding for new research or getting people fired up about science, fine-tuning your communication skills will help your work go even further. 

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Connecting with journalists: tips to say what you want and give them what they need

Engaging with journalists can help build your reputation and connect your work to society by providing relevant information about your research. It is an opportunity to speak up for your own work, serve as a credible source of information and help others develop a positive outlook about science in general. By cultivating relationships with journalists, you can join the public discussion and help shape the role of science in our world. 

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Fact checking fish tales: how to avoid falling for false stories hook, line and sinker

Vetting media requests If you have concerns about a person or outlet that has contacted you for a story, you don’t need to handle it alone. Rather than feeling pressured into answering questions, it is always okay to ask someone what their deadline is and let them know that someone will follow up in a timely manner. Any of the following people can work with you to verify that the request comes from a legitimate news organization: College of the Environment Meg Matthews (megmm@uw.edu, 206-616-5727 or ext. 

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Communicating science at the College of the Environment

More and more, researchers are looking for ways to help their work and message stick with audiences outside of academia. The College of the Environment offers numerous resources to help scientists fine-tune their science communication skills, running the gamut from personalized coaching to one-page handouts on best practices when pitching stories to the media. You can find all of our resources centralized on the College of the Environment’s website. 

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Liz Van Volkenburgh named Interim Director of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Professor Liz Van Volkenburgh has agreed to serve as the Interim Director of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, beginning January 1, 2017. Van Volkenburgh is a Professor in the Department of Biology and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. She is the principal investigator of the Plant Growth Lab in Biology and has a longstanding relationship with the School, most notably through her work with the UW Botanic Gardens and service on Environmental and Forest Sciences graduate student advisory committees. 

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Provost's Task Force seeks feedback on UW health and safety issues

A Health & Safety Governance Task Force, charged by Provost Baldasty, is seeking input from UW students and employees on how the UW is doing with respect to keeping faculty, staff, students, patients, and visitors in our research labs, classrooms, residence halls, offices, hospitals, and clinics safe and healthy. They are also interested in health and safety issues related to university activities in the field and at sea. 

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Safer Zone Training May 26

The College is hosting a Q Center Safer Zone Training on May 26, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Ocean Sciences Building 425. All faculty, staff, and students are welcome, but space is limited to 40.  Please sign up here. What is Safe Zone? The Safe Zone Project, through education, advocacy, visibility, and skill development, supports faculty and staff to become allies for glbtqtqi (Q) students and colleagues. 

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