The College of the Environment strives to build a community that shares its work and impacts outside of academia by providing resources to support our faculty, staff, and students who want to sharpen their science communication, engagement, and outreach skills.
Faculty & staff science communication training
Each year the College of the Environment provides a day-long, intensive training for faculty and research staff across the College. This retreat-style training focuses on core concepts and on real-world application so that scientist’s work will resonate strongly with their intended audiences. Attendees dig into the challenges of outreach and science communication, through presentations, individual work, small-group scenarios, and in-depth discussions.
Graduate student science communication workshop
Learning the core concepts of science communication, practicing those skills and understanding how they plug into the real world is critical for graduate students. The College offers half-day graduate student workshops that can supplement a successful science career by boosting communication competence. There are numerous other ways to strengthen your science communication skills too–check out opportunities with Engage and other course offered throughout UW (see below).
The College offers short, half-day workshops for faculty, research staff, and postdocs that provide the opportunity to dig into specific challenges of outreach and engagement. These workshops are designed to be hands-on, offering the chance to practice and to solicit feedback from peers and other professionals in the field.
Engage: The Science Speaker Series and Seminar
Graduate students in the sciences at the University of Washington receive training in cutting edge research, but rarely in how to explain their research to non-specialists. Engage is a quarter-long graduate course designed to help graduate students learn to convey important information in an engaging and accessible way. The Engage Series culminates in students giving public talks at Town Hall in Seattle.
Courses and seminars across UW
Beyond Engage, there are numerous other opportunities to strengthen your science communication skills as an undergraduate and graduate student across UW. The College of the Environment has compiled a list intended to give a snapshot of courses across campus that will help budding communicators fine-tune their skills. Courses range from producing videos about biology to creating “beautiful graphics” in R and everything in between. Check out the Science Communication Course Listing to see what might work for you.
Communicating climate science
Through the Program on Climate Change, graduate students completing the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science have the unique opportunity to engage in communicating climate science for their capstone project.
If you find yourself preparing for an interview with a journalist, or planning on giving testimony in Olympia or Washington, D.C., or getting ready to give a big public lecture, the College can help. We work on numerous projects with our faculty, staff, and students to find the right communication pathway and message that will allow you to successfully connect with your intended audience.