The College of the Environment strives to build a community that shares its work to have greater impact outside of academia by supporting our faculty, staff and students who wish to sharpen their science communication, engagement and outreach skills.

Faculty and research 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 workshops

Learning the core concepts of science communication, practicing those skills and understanding how they plug into the real world is critical. The College offers half-day graduate student workshops quarterly 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).

Focused workshops

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.

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.

One-on-one coaching

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. Send a note to coenvcom@uw.edu if we can help.

Practice telling your science story

Practice makes perfect’ish, right? If you’d like to try your hand at telling your science story, we’ll set up a short session to explore what you study, why it matters and what you love about it. Through this exercise, you’ll get to try different ways of talking about your work that will resonate with various audiences. College staff will then write a short story for you to post on your lab website. This is a low-stakes way to get a feel for being interviewed so you’re ready to go when its the real thing! Send a note to coenvcom@uw.edu to set up a time if interested.

Fellowships

There are numerous fellowships available within and outside of UW that can help sharpen your science communication skills.