Career Academy for Natural Resources: Communication Skills

Speaking for the Resource presents best practices for effective science communication through written, oral, and digital media. It prepares the learner to provide technical information to diverse audiences to inform science-based natural resource decisions. Classes are available through DOI Learn.

Modules of the Foundational Series Link to Orientation Module Link to Interdisciplinary Resource Protection and Law module Link to Program and Project Management Module Link to Collaboration Module Link to Park Science module Link to Planning module Link to Communication module

 

Courses in the Communication Skills Module

Science Communication Workshop for Natural Resource Professionals
(3-day class)

NPS-NRS3801

See the Events page for upcoming classes

During this three-day workshop, presented by the Alan Alda Center for Science Communications, participants will learn how to communicate about science more effectively with people outside their field, including the general public, policy makers, the media, and prospective collaborators in other disciplines. Through discussion and practice, the workshop will focus on fundamental skills – knowing your audience, connecting with your audience, and speaking clearly and conversationally about our work and why it matters. Participants will then work on applying these skills productively in challenging settings.

Target Audience:
Employees in natural resources, natural resource scientists, and science communication specialists

Prerequisites: None

 

Science Communication Workshop for Natural Resource Professionals
(2-day condensed class)

NPS-NRS3802

See the Events page for upcoming classes

This course is a condensed, two-day, practical, hands-on workshop presented by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. It will cover the content of the three-day session (NPS-NRS3801) in less depth. Participants will learn how to communicate more effectively about science with people outside their field, including the general public, policy makers, the media, students, potential funders and prospective collaborators in other disciplines. Through discussion and practice, the workshop will focus on fundamental skills; knowing your audience, connecting with your audience, and speaking clearly and conversationally about your work and why it matters. Participants will practice applying these skills productively in challenging settings

Target Audience:
Employees in natural resources, natural resource scientists, and science communication specialists

Prerequisites: None

 

The following non-NPS resources address the competencies in this module.

Scientific Writing Resource

Duke University

This web site contains three self-paced, on-line lessons designed to improve the quality and readability of scientific writing. The lessons cover subjects/actions, cohesion/emphasis, and simplicity. One lesson takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. There is no cost associated with this writing resource.

Each lesson presents three or four principles. The intent is to explore the reader's expectations and enable the writer to communicate clearly by meeting those expectations. The author illustrates each principle with examples of poorly-written scientific prose and suggests ways to make the examples clearer. After reading the lesson, the learner can download a worksheet and try their hand at revising awkward writing.

Target Audience:
The lessons are geared towards those who engage in technical writing to communicate with other scientists, but the principles of clearer and more cohesive writing can also lead to better communication with non-scientific audiences.

Prerequisites: None

 

Writing in the Sciences

Stanford University

This free, self-paced, on-line class presents simple rules of style that can significantly improve written communication. It is organized into eight learning units consisting of video lectures, quizzes and editing exercises. Each unit should take between two and six hours to complete. After finishing all the units, learners take a multiple-choice final exam. There are also two optional writing exercises which provide opportunities to give and receive feedback from other participants in the course.

In the first four units, learners review principles of effective writing, look at examples of good and bad writing, and receive tips for making the writing process easier. These units can also benefit writers from outside the scientific fields. The second half of the course focuses on topics specifically relevant to scientific writers, including authorship, peer review, the format of an original manuscript, and communicating with non-scientific audiences.

Target Audience:
Employees in natural resources, natural resource scientists, and science communication specialists

Prerequisites: None

Additional learning opportunities for this module are being researched. Please check back for future updates.

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