UC Davis graduate students organized an energetic series of science communications events this past week, featuring freelance journalist Ari Daniel, who is based in the Boston area. The training and career workshops, together with the customary CapSciComm networking social, attracted strong attendance and gave further evidence to the growing interest in science communication careers in the Capital Region.

Ari Daniel’s research background in biological oceanography resonated with current graduate students. At the Wednesday night public lecture, his many colorful and poignant radio reporting examples gave attendees insight on how to bridge science with story telling, to connect the listener with the scientist.

“Scientists are like life-long kids,” said our guest. “Ask the right question and the kid bursts out.”

The Thursday night CapSciComm networking social drew record attendance and a broad spectrum of scicomm practitioners. Journalists, public information officers, bloggers, graduate students, state legislature staffers, and science educators filled the back room at de Vere’s Irish Pub in Davis. Associate Professor Jared Shaw of UCD Chemistry also drew attention to the ongoing Davis Science Café public lecture series.

The happy hour followed a scicomm career panel session on campus, featuring CapSciComm colleagues Ryder Diaz, Andy Fell, Becky Oskin, Justin Pressfield, and guest Ari Daniel, showcasing a cross section of scicomm professionals working in Davis and Sacramento.

The event planning and logistics credit go to CapSciComm colleagues and UCD graduate students Katharina Ullmann (Entomology), Jackie Ailperti (Ecology), Ben Waitman (Ecology), and Candace Spier-Bever (UC Davis Superfund Research Program). The week’s events were additionally organized by Shahla Farzan (Ecology), Erik Porse (Environmental Engineering), Lindzi Wessell (Neuroscience). Event sponsors include GradPathways (Graduate Studies), UCD Graduate Student Association, College of Engineering, Davis Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, Center for Watershed Sciences, CCWAS-IGERT, Postdoc Union – UAW 5810, CREATE IGERT, John Muir Institute for the Environment, Entomology Graduate Student Association, Dept of Entomology and Nematology, and the UC Davis Superfund Research Program.

— Ben Young Landis

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