The Pepper: Sacramento Region #SciComm News and Jobs, January 10, 2017




Welcome to “The Pepper” — your semi-regular round-up of science communication news, events, and job leads in the Capital Region and beyond. Send tips and leads to us on Twitter at @CapSciComm, or email capscicomm[at]

We’re back! And we’re ready to kick off 2017 for the scicomm community in the Capital Region. Join us for our first event of the year: CapSciComm Networking Social at the Crocker Nuclear Lab, this Thursday, January 12th! Our thanks to the UC Davis Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences for hosting this event, and sponsoring the beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres. Full event info here, and Facebook event page here. RVSP on Eventbrite to help us plan, or just show up with a friend! As always, the CapSciComm events are open to professionals and students who intersect with the need for science communications — be you in journalism, public affairs, creative, policy, public science, or research. See you at the cyclotron on the 12th!

Science cafés in the Capital Region are also in full swing. If you missed the first Science Night Live at the WOW Science Museum in Lodi, check out the great preview by Capital Public Radio’s “Insight with Beth Ruyak” here at the link. Then on this Wednesday, January 10th, head over to the Davis Science Café for the irresistibly titled talk “Tools of the Pornithologist”, featuring UC Davis ecologist Gail Patricelli. And who might be the guest for this month’s Sac Science Distilled? Why it’s none other than local science café pioneer Jared Shaw, sharing billing with fellow UC Davis chemistry professor (and better half) Anneliese Franz. Local science café fans know that both Professors Franz and Shaw are dynamic, engaging translators of science — so be sure to make your plans to see this wife-and-husband scicomm duo in action at Old Ironsides! Info and dates for all January science café at this link.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, California is going through its biggest rain and flooding event in a decade. At our @CapSciComm Twitter account, we’ve been actively retweeting news and public information issued by the National Weather Service Sacramento (@NWSSacramento), Cal OES (@Cal_OES), Caltrans (@CaltransHQ), and a variety of federal, state, local agencies and local media outlets. Check out some of the really great public information tools and techniques some of these organizations are using to communicate timely, technical information, including the use of gifs and Periscope. Lots of scicomm lessons to be learned from this event! (Stay safe out there, everyone!)


The Powerhouse Science Center is premiering a new exhibit, “Eat Well, Play Well, Live Well” this Saturday, January 14th.

The California Climate Change Symposium is this January 25-26 at the Sacramento Grand Sheraton. Info here, but beware that these dates also overlap with the annual California Unified & Grape Wine Symposium. Don’t get crushed (ha) by the hordes of viticulturalists and enologists pouring into the streets of Sacramento, and make sure you wander into the right conference!

Applications for the prestigious Knight Science Journalism Fellowship are due February 28th, 2017. Some of the Nation’s most respected science reporters have gone through this mid-career program offered by MIT — interested local journalists should inquire!

And applications for the renowned AAAS Mass Media Fellowship are due very soon on January 15th! This early-career program specifically recruits undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral scientists for a summer-long newsroom experience — including opportunities at Spanish-language media outlets. Mere days left to apply!

The national outlet Science News has posted two openings for astronomy writer and for biomedical editor/writer, both based in Washington, DC.

“Science Friday” recently highlighted cool panoramic photography work by Turlock area science teacher Ryan Hollister. Check out @Phaneritic‘s virtual geology tour as profiled by Nan Austin in the Modesto Bee.

Finally, we extend a warm welcome to the incoming class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows. Each year, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) recruits PhD scientists to serve a one-year stint in the California State Legislature, working as legislative analysts. Get to know our newest Sacramento region scicomm colleagues here, and don’t forget that applications for the 2018 Class of CCST Science Fellows are due on February 28th!

“Keep Science Spicy, Sacramento!”



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