Capital Science Communicator Sarah Swenty with husband Aaron enjoying the California coast. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Swenty)
Capital Science Communicator Sarah Swenty with husband Aaron enjoying the California coast. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Swenty)

[Editor’s Note: Sarah relocated to the Minneapolis-St. Paul region in 2016. We’ll miss you, Sarah!]

Sarah Swenty is a Deputy Assistant Field Supervisor of External Affairs for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Swenty can be reached at sarah_swenty@fws.gov and 530-665-3310.

Learn more about the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office at http://www.fws.gov/sacramento.

I’m a Capital Science Communicator because…
Working for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Sacramento Field Office, I communicate science everyday with Members of Congress, the media and the public by sharing information on endangered species issues, environmental contaminants, habitat restoration and much more.

I got started with communicating science when…
I started working in conservation communication after teaching English with the JET Program in Japan for two years. A friend of mine was working for a hunter-supported conservation organization in the area and told me of an opportunity. After interviewing for another position, the president of the organization offered me a PR position that they hadn’t advertised for.

Why is science communication important?
I’m passionate about connecting people with nature and helping them to understand that connection through the food they eat. More than three years ago I helped create the magazine Cooking Wild to do just that. I’m also in love with learning, and working in PR ensures that I learn something new every day. Being able to share that knowledge with others through my work is more than an added bonus. It’s truly why I go to work every day.

People should ask me about…
Endangered species issues, navigating the federal hiring system, brand development and management, intern program creation and management, photography, video production and anything creative.

I’d love to connect with folks who…
Resource sharing, particularly in the photo/video department; increased opportunities to partner on joint events such as press conferences; and a chance to get out of the office, make friends and learn about what others are doing in the field.

Personal scicomm hero/crush?
The person/people behind the Facebook page “I f*%ing love science!” They are inspiring millions to be more interested in our field every day.

Favorite way or place to geek out on science?
For me it’s all about the connections with the world around us, and I’ve found that food is a great way to get people to spend more time outside. I enjoy hunting and fishing, cooking and feasting and through that connecting with those around me.

Favorite way or place to stretch your creative muscles?
Talking through ideas with others, stepping away from the computer and identifying goals for the project through brainstorming work pretty well for me most of the time. When that doesn’t help, I get outside and disconnect from technology for a while to clear the system. If all that fails, well, there’s always the weekend and the break that brings with the company of good friends, food and beverages to get the creative energy flowing again.

Thank you for your time, Sarah!

“Meet a Capital Science Communicator” is a series profiling professionals in our community. Meet the diverse talents communicating science in California’s Capital Region, from long-time veterans to new arrivals!

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One thought on “Meet a Capital Science Communicator: Sarah Swenty

  1. Hello Sarah! It was a pleasure to talk with you both at the CapSciComm get-together last week. I have enjoyed reading about the Jet program, and Cooking Wild looks delicious. I hope we can talk more about solar cooking and travel. Please keep in touch! — Karen

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