Science Communication

Thursday, Friday 8-11am PT / 9am-12pm MT / 10am-1pm CT / 11am-2pm ET Online


Beth Bartel, UNAVCO
Wendy Bohon, IRIS Consortium

Note: The information on this page still reflects the face-to-face event description. While the content will remain largely the same, the leaders are currently in the process of adapting the workshop to an online format and will update this information soon.

Participants in this workshop will work to improve their science communication skills through interactive activities that can in turn be incorporated into geoscience curriculum. We will explore general communication skills relevant to all communication channels as well as specific subjects such as social media, contentious topics, and networking. You will leave this workshop with personal goals for applying these skills as well as a plan for incorporating communications training into your classroom. (No classroom experience necessary.)

All workshops will take place online, via Zoom (unless otherwise noted). Participants will be sent links to the Zoom room prior to the workshop start.


Scientists are regularly asked to share their research in informal settings during their careers: a classroom, a museum, a science center, a library, a public conference. But engaging the audiences to really understand sometimes complex notions does not necessarily comes naturally. Gaining some insight and tools from Informal Science Education (ISE) experts will help you better communicate science with a people of all ages and backgrounds. This short course will introduce you to these tools using the Portal to the Public program, as well as materials developed by the conveners. All materials will be available to participants after the course to use with their own students or in their own public outreach. (Some materials require that participants have no prior knowledge of the activity to be effective, so we don't want to spoil the experience by posting materials here in advance.)

This course will cover general communications skills that help us to communicate more effectively. The course will also address specific topics such as social media, misinformation, and elevator speeches, which have proven to be of interests to participants of past short courses run by the conveners.

Workshop Program »


This workshop is designed for any educator interested in more effectively communicating science to the public and/or teaching students to better communicate their science to both peers and the public. Even seasoned communicators and lecturers will find something new to strengthen their skills and broaden their perspective on reaching and connecting with different audiences.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • communicate science more effectively to multiple audiences
  • lead science communication training in their classrooms using a suite of tested activities


Each day will include interactive, hands-on learning, with time for reflection and discussion on each topic. The first day focuses on experiential learning activities addressing general communications skills, with discussion and reflection after each activity. The second day shifts to specific communications channels, with practice, short introductions to various topics followed by open discussion, and time for development and sharing of implementation plans.