Today, more than ever, society is facing growing environmental pressures – the looming consequences of climate change, freshwater depletion, forest loss, and biodiversity destruction. Scientific understanding is pivotal to resolving these issues, yet, science is only effective if it is understood. This is a challenge the newly formed Trent Research Group for Communicating Conservation Science will tackle head on, equipping researchers with the skills and tools they need to communicate their research with the public.
“Communication is crucial to science, to scientists, and to science graduates,” says Dr. Jim Schaefer, director of the Trent Research Group for Communicating Conservation Science and professor in Trent’s Biology Department. “The goal of our group is to serve a growing community of students and environmental professionals. More and more, they are drawn to learning how to share their research as widely as possible, to help solve environmental issues. We won’t find solutions to these issues without an informed public.”
With a mission to improve researchers’ ability to convey conservation science to the public and policy-makers, the group plans to hold regular on-campus workshops for its members. These workshops are aimed at helping members perfect the craft of compelling storytelling to better communicate research to the non-scientific community.
“Mere data fail to connect with the non-scientists,” explains Professor Schaefer. “By using narratives, images, and conversations to convey research, science becomes interesting and digestible. These workshops will focus on storytelling, to demonstrate how scientific research can be shared. In the end, it will benefit both the public and the scientific community.”
Putting theory to practice, the group will also host a series of “Conservation Cafés” for the public at the Publican House Brew Pub in downtown Peterborough. The monthly event will feature prominent researchers presenting a timely conservation topic. The first speaker is Dr. Marty Obbard, emeritus research scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry. Dr. Obbard will be speaking on the biology and conservation of polar bears, on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome.
Membership in the research group is open to Trent faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. Associate membership from outside the University is also welcome. Those interested in joining can send an email to email@example.com.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Kate Gennings, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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