and only 8 pots of coffee
You might be wondering what the above list is for. Well, it is what you need for a marathon-- a science communication marathon! Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens hosts a four day scientific communication workshop for the graduate students in their Botany in Action (BIA) program each year. The BIA program funds fieldwork for plant focused graduate student research and enables graduate students to focus on developing skills for communicating their research with the public.
The BIA fellows this year study a wide range of topics, from how to remove arsenic from contaminated soils using ferns to understanding how garlic mustard affects native plants. The posters above are student representations of some of our research. Our first order of business was explaining our research to middle school students, and they created the works of art above. In addition to speaking with middle school students, we attended workshops about how to blog effectively, create signs and posters that are visually appealing, generate infographics using free online tools, and communicate concepts with scientific illustrations.
I hope that more graduate students and early career scientists are able to have these types of experiences. Thank you to Phipps Conservatory and the other BIA fellows for a great weekend!