Human Dimensions: Communication and Engagement, Where Ecology and Human Dimensions Meet
As an ecologist who sometimes struggled with seeing ESA as my home professional society, I (K. Schwarz) credit the ESA Communication and Engagement (C&E) Section with pulling me back into the fold. I first came across the section when looking for content while developing a science communication and storytelling course at my home institution. The discovery of the C&E Web site unearthed a treasure trove of resources. However, it was not until my research shifted more intently to community‐led design as a solution to environmental inequity that I fully engaged with the section. Once I did, I found a community of ecologists and science communication professionals who were passionate about, and skilled in, the best ways to share our science and collaboratively find solutions to our most pressing environmental issues.
My involvement (K. Schwarz) with the section has been a great way to engage with the ESA membership more broadly and my favorite way to do that is through our #SketchYourScience activity at the annual meeting. Countless members wander over, nearly all intrigued and often intimidated to put pen to paper. Almost every time their hesitation subsides, and they end up creating something compelling. After all, communication and engagement is not only about creating an engaging visual, or knowing how to distill your message; it starts with a willingness to share your love of science. That pulls us in every time. To me, these experiences really sum up the best of the C&E Section; yes, we are a great resource, a carefully curated list of the best that SciComm has to offer. But, beyond that, we are a community.
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