This semester, several University of Maryland (UMD) faculty members, including ESSIC/CICS Associate Research Professor Dr. Melissa Kenney, lead a 6-week workshop to expose graduate students to communicating their research outside of an academic setting. Tilted “SCoPE it out: Graduate Workshop on Fundamentals of Scholarly Communication and Public Engagement”, Kenney’s co-instructors included Dr. Karen Lips, professor in the Department of Biology, Dr. Kathleen Vogel, associate professor in the School of Public Policy, and Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, research professor in the School of Public Policy and Roy F. WestOn Chair in Natural Economics.
The interdisciplinary workshop offered insight from professionals across the UMD-community. Science Writer Matthew Wright, of UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, led a session on media training and conducting interviews. Bierbaum shared her unique experiences working with science policy decision makers while working in the White House.
Throughout the course, students were exposed to a diversity of communication and engagement approaches including presentations, role-playing, writing for specific non-expert audiences, and developing a personal SCoPE plan. The workshop culminated in a professional networking event in Washington, D.C. where the students mingled with stakeholders and decision-makers working in the field.
In addition to her role as an Associate Research Professor with ESSIC / CICS-MD, Kenney is an affiliate at the Department of Geographical Sciences. Her research focuses on participatory processes and tools to advance environmental decision support science by integrating scientific knowledge and societal values into decision-making under uncertainty.
This workshop was sponsored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), UMD Graduate School, Graduate School Government, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences (BSOS), College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS), and the School of Public Policy.