Amplify is a series of conversations among faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate students who want to explore and engage in science communication and outreach. Bringing together individuals from the College of the Environment and around UW, Amplify events are an opportunity to consider and challenge ideas in science communication, outreach and engagement, to learn how others are addressing issues in these arenas, and to amplify conversations about science in order to better serve society.

Hosted by the College of the Environment, Amplify begins with conversations and networking over a glass of wine and appetizers, followed by a rapid and informative panel featuring three to five faculty with diverse opinions, experience or expertise on the topic of the night. The evening ends with another opportunity to continue the conversation in smaller groups with the panelists and other attendees.

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Previous Amplify Events

Making our science communication inclusive and equitable: a conversation with Sunshine Menezes
February 16, 2021

Many researchers are spending more time thinking about how to make their work inclusive and equitable, including how they communicate about their science. Dean Lisa Graumlich sat down with Sunshine Menezes to talk about inclusive science communication, what it means and how we can build inclusive communication into our everyday practice.

Check out our video of this conversation!


  • Sunshine Menezes, executive director, Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island
  • Moderated by Lisa Graumlich, dean, College of the Environment

What the COVID-19 pandemic tells us about science in society: a conversation with Ed Yong and Liz Neeley
June 4, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every part of our global society, putting science and scientists in the front seat as we navigate this crisis. In this special edition of Amplify, we explore the intersection of science and society, the role of science journalism and science communication and how to make sense of all the information and turn it in to action.

Check out our video of this conversation!


Is science communication best left to the communication professionals?
March 4, 2019

As a researcher there’s already enough on your plate, leaving little time to communicate about your work and why it matters to broader audiences. And that begs the question —  should communications simply be left to the communications professionals? Join us for a discussion about different pathways to communicate about your work, when assistance can be helpful, and how best to work with professionals to make your work shine.


  • Michelle Ma, assistant director, UW News
  • David Montgomery, professor, Department of Earth and Space Sciences
  • Amy Snover, director, Climate Impacts Group
  • Moderated by Molly McCarthy, managing director of marketing and communications, College of the Environment

Where to begin—deciding what’s right for you in science communication
November 12, 2019

SciComm is not one size fits all, and will look different for everyone. Yet sometimes it’s difficult to think about ways that scientists can share their work beyond publishing in the literature or giving a local pub talk.

Join us for a conversation with panelists who think broadly about communication, and how utilizing pathways outside traditional channels can not only broaden the reach of your work, but also increase the impact it has in the world


  • Ryan Kelly, associate professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
  • Andrea Otáñez, senior lecturer, Department of Communications
  • MaryAnn Wagner, assistant director for communications, Washington Sea Grant
  • Moderated by P. Sean McDonald, lecturer, Program on the Environment

Creating fruitful collaborations – leaving the deficit model for the engagement model
May 16, 2019

Science communication is ultimately about making sure science has an even greater impact in our world, especially where it can help solve problems. An often overlooked key to having impact is building relationships with communities that have a stake in the problem being addressed. Without sound relationships, even the best science can fall flat or sit on a shelf unused.

Join us to talk with researchers who have built rich relationships with various communities, and how those relationships shape the questions and science they pursue.


  • Gordon Holtgrieve, assistant professor, aquatic and fishery sciences
  • Meade Krosby, deputy director, Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center
  • Kate Litle, assistant director for programs, Washington Sea Grant
  • Moderated by Ben Packard, executive director, EarthLab

What role does science communication play in creating an inclusive community?
May 24, 2018

Including diverse perspectives from the earliest stages of scientific inquiry helps us advance our understanding and discover solutions that more effectively serve all of humanity. Particularly in fields that have traditionally excluded people of color and other underserved groups, it’s up to scientists to listen before engaging, recognize the limitations of our own individual life experiences, share power and value different systems of knowledge and ideas.

What role does science communication play in creating an inclusive community at the College of the Environment? How can scientists think about and practice being inclusive in their communication efforts? Join us at the next Amplify to explore these topics and more.


Bringing UW research and teaching to K-12 students
February 8, 2018

Sharing our work in classrooms can have a big impact on students – it creates early connections between students and scientists, it can spark ideas about a student’s future, and it can even help students earn credit for a head start in college. But these connections are a two-way street and benefit scientists as well, from showing them a familiar issue in a new light to even spurring new research ideas.

Join us at the next Amplify to explore what motivates scientists and staff to connect with students outside of the university, and how early outreach can help reach a broader audience to drive support and interest in the sciences.


Paintbrushes and Datasets: Connecting Art and Science
November 6, 2017

On the surface, the arts and the sciences can seem like polar opposites. One seems limited only by the doer’s creativity, the other governed by numbers and the constraining laws of the universe. Yet in reality, these two disciplines have lots in common and can in fact learn from one another. Can artists help unlock new creative pathways for scientists to think about their work, and vice-versa? Can they partner to broaden each other’s reach, offering innovative techniques to connect and attract new audiences?

Join us for a discussion about unique partnerships between artists and scientists, how these collaborations come to be and how they can elevate and connect the work we do to new audiences.


Communicating Science in a World with Differing Values

May 9, 2017

When facing a particular societal problem, research findings can help inform public opinion and decision-making. Yet when scientists offer their findings, sometimes they are blindsided by unseen controversies, a panoply of interests and perspectives, and occasionally a well-organized opposition to what science has to say. Join us for a discussion about how science can help shape policy and public opinion and how to navigate the pitfalls and rewards of wading into socially and politically charged discussions.


  • Tim Essington, Professor, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Mary Ruckelshaus, Senior Research Scientist, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Aaron Wirsing, Associate Professor, Environmental and Forest Sciences
  • Moderated by Ryan Kelly, Assistant Professor, Marine and Environmental Affairs

Stepping Up: Students Charting Their Own Science Communication Path

March 1, 2017

More and more resources are becoming available for researchers within the academy to strengthen their science communication skills. And this is good news since more and more scientists are looking to add to this suite of skills to increase their work’s impact. Yet science communication courses and trainings are rarely part of required curricula for graduate students. As a result, they often fill this niche opportunistically through various outlets. Join us to hear from current and recent graduate students about why they spend time and energy building science communication skills, how students are taking the lead to create new opportunities and how faculty and staff can support their efforts.


  • Amy Brodbeck, Master’s Student, Marine and Environmental Affairs
  • Shelley Chestler, Ph.D. Student, Earth and Space Sciences
  • Lauren Kuehne, Professor, Research Scientist and recent Master’s Student, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Moderated by Julian Olden, Associate Professor, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Harnessing the Power of Citizen Scientists

May 24, 2016

In past decades, researchers have seen their ability to collect data increase substantially thanks to advances in technology, new collaborations, better equipment, and streamlined protocols. Citizens play a role too. While not formal scientists, trained citizen scientists can be deployed to increase the spatial and temporal range of data collection, and also help boost science engagement with the public. Working with citizens can make scientific inquiries more robust and expand the scope of what can be accomplished in any given study.


  • Janneke Hille Ris Lambers, Professor, Department of Biology
  • Rick Keil, Professor, School of Oceanography
  • Sarah Reichard, Professor, School of Environmental & Forest Sciences, Director, Center for urban Horticulture
  • Moderated by Julia Parrish, Associate Dean, College of the Environment, Professor, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, Department of Biology

Building Unique Partnerships with Industry

February 24, 2016

Universities and colleges are structured to foster free thinking and generate new knowledge, often within a particular discipline or field of study. Increasingly we see that new perspectives from outside of the academy can shape research questions, bring new resources and lead to more robust outcomes that can result in broader applications of research findings.


  • Joe Casola, Deputy Director, Climate Impacts Group
  • Terrie Klinger, Professor and Director, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
  • John Vidale, Professor, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Director, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
  • Moderated by Tom DeLuca, Professor and Director, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Open Access, Open Science: How Transparent Do We Go?

May 19, 2015

“Open science”—where research results, and even research products like data, methods and grant proposals, are made freely available—is an approach that appears to be gaining momentum. There is a steady increase in open-access journals and in tools for sharing research products. Recently The National Science Foundation (NSF) released its plan to require all NSF-funded, peer-reviewed journal articles be made freely available. And scientists from across UW are developing a policy for public accessibility of peer-review journal articles. Are there drawbacks to freely sharing your research products? And if there are, why do some researchers do it anyway? Join us at this quarter’s Amplify discussion, and explore the ways in which open access and open science are being implemented across disciplines, campuses, and institutions.


  • Felix Chew, Professor of Radiology and Vice-Chair for Academic Innovation
  • Stephanie Wright, Data Services Coordinator at the University of Washington Libraries and a Senior Data Science Fellow at the eScience Institute
  • Steven Roberts, Associate Professor, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Moderated by Ben Marwick, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Communicating With Elected Officials: Sharing Your Science, Strengthening Decision-Making

February 24, 2015

Legislators and other elected officials make decisions every day that affect our lives and environment. Most of these decisions could be strengthened through incorporating science, though often they are not. Scientists have the unique opportunity to connect their research to policy, but in order to be effective the right information must be shared at the right time, with the right people. How can scientists deliver what elected officials need?


  • Brian Baird, President, Antioch University Seattle
  • Tessa Francis, Lead Ecosystem Ecologist, Puget Sound Institute, UW Tacoma
  • Jim Anderson, Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Moderated by Aaron Katz, Principal Lecturer, Health Services and Adjunct Principal Lecturer, Global Health and Law

Engaging Online: Strategies for Scientists

November 18, 2014

Over half of people in the U.S. get their news from digital sources like web pages and email. And yet, less than half of scientists communicate about their research on social media or other online platforms. But if you’re thinking about communicating science, you need to be thinking about communicating it online. What are the pros and cons of talking about science online, and what are the most strategic ways and platforms to do this? Join us to discuss with faculty who have a diverse array of experiences in online science engagement.


  • Trevor Branch, Associate Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Dana Miller, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry
  • Liz Neeley, Assistant Director, Science Outreach for COMPASS
  • Abigail Swann, Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Department of Biology
  • Moderated by Anita Verna Crofts, Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of the Communication Leadership Program

Science Communication and Outreach: Why (and how) do we bother?

April 23, 2014

Grant proposals. Coordinating research. Writing manuscripts. Teaching. Grading. Service activities like peer review and committee work. Even if you want to share your research results outside of academia, who has the time to figure out how to do this? And what about that NSF broader impacts statement?  Are there ways to leverage your work so that outreach and engagement efforts are less of a burden and maybe, even, have a positive impact outside – and even inside – the ivory tower? What options are out there, and how do some people make it look so easy? Is outreach and science communication even a possibility before tenure?


  • Andre Punt, Professor and Director, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
  • Terrie Klinger, Professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
  • Dargan Frierson, Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Moderated by Lisa Graumlich, Dean, College of the Environment