Curious about what professional SciComm opportunities are possible for you? Then join us virtually, this Wednesday April 20th where we will be having a SciComm Roundtable. We will be joined by local experts each representing a different SciComm field.
Colin Murphy is the Deputy Director of the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy, where he helps researchers constructively engage with policy makers. He also co-leads the Low Carbon Fuel Policy Research Initiative at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. Originally a biomedical engineer by training, he joined the UC Davis debate team and developed a love for communications and public speaking. After gaining a M.S. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the Rochester Institute of Technology, he returned to UC Davis for a Ph.D. in Transportation Technology and Policy. He has a decade of experience working at the intersection of science, technology, and public policy, primarily focused on climate policy, sustainable transportation, and clean fuels. He led the Fuels section research for the recently released report Driving California’s Transportation Emissions to Zero, which examines how California’s transportation sector can achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. He previously worked on transportation and climate policy research and advocacy for the Nextgen Policy Center.
Rebecca Mackelprang received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology in 2017 from UC Berkeley where she studied plant responses to microbial pathogens. Her enthusiasm for sharing science took her away from the lab bench for a science communication postdoctoral position with Dr. Peggy Lemaux focused largely on agricultural biotechnology. In 2019, Dr. Mackelprang was a 2019 AAAS Mass Media Fellow at Ensia where she wrote about the environment. She then accepted a science policy postdoc at the Engineering Biology Research Consortium, where she is now the Associate Director for Security Programs focused on advancing the responsible development and use of biotechnologies.
Haley Wahl is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Physics at West Virginia University, where she studies rapidly-rotating, highly magnetized neutron stars called pulsars. She works with the NANOGrav collaboration, a group hunting for gravitational waves using pulsars.
Her science communication training began in 2018 when she took on a role as a planetarium assistant at the West Virginia University Planetarium. During her two-year term, she helped develop new shows and new mini lessons on the night sky. In 2019, she joined the staff at Astrobites, a collaboration of graduate students that take published astronomy papers and break them into bite-sized chunks suitable for general audiences, which combined her love of scicomm and writing. In 2021, she was awarded the American Astronomical Society’s Media Fellowship, which allows her to continue science writing and assist the Society with press activities. She’s also very active on Twitter, sharing pulsar science with the hashtag #PulsarFriday, and runs a blog called the Pulsars and Profiteroles Project, which combines baking with pulsar science. After graduate school, she plans to pursue a career in science writing.
Melissa Lutz Blouin
Melissa Lutz Blouin leads the news and media relations team at UC Davis, a group of talented and hard-working individuals who provide the public and the media with the most up-to-date information about campus research and events. She serves as a campus spokesperson and an adviser to faculty and department communicators across campus.
Melissa has more than 20 years of communications experience at institutions of higher education. She began her career as a chemistry major, but decided that she enjoyed communicating about science more than the actual lab work. She attended the science communication program at UC Santa Cruz, then spent six years working in journalism, covering everything from living with HIV to exploring the physiology of hibernation. She founded the science and research communications program at the University of Arkansas, including a research magazine, Research Frontiers, still in publication today. She also led a team of communicators at UF Health, where she was responsible for overseeing science communications, media relations and crisis communications for the health system.