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Scientists are increasingly being asked to become more involved in communicating the “broader impacts” of their work. To help scientists answer this call and better integrate their education and research activities, three COSEE centers (California, OCEAN, and Ocean Systems) led by COSEE NOW, have collaborated to create the Gears Professional Development Workshop for advanced graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and early career professors. The Gears workshops, which have been held around the country, explore a variety of communication techniques that are organized into four interconnected Gears or areas: Deconstruct Your Science, Understand How People Learn, Build Effective Communication Techniques, and Broaden the Reach of Your Science. Participants practice concept mapping and storytelling and participate in hands-on activities focused on learning how people understand science, sharing their message with a non-science audience, and constructing broader impact statements.
Although there is no single approach for a successful integrated research and education plan, this workshop will build the foundation for attendees to think creatively about how their research will impact their education goals and, conversely, how their education activities will feed back into their research. When research and education are effectively interconnected, the process of discovery can help stimulate learning and the resulting research can be communicated to a broader audience. Current evaluation results indicate that the Gears structure is a valuable way to present the skills used to communicate science effectively and the majority of participants indicated that the four Gears assisted them in thinking about how they communicate their science.
COSEE NOW is an online network of scientists and educators focused on increasing ocean literacy and fostering collaborations.
The goal of COSEE California is to connect ocean scientists and educators to promote ocean literacy nationwide. COSEE California develops tools, programs, and courses that are in widespread use throughout the National COSEE Network.
COSEE OCEAN's mission is to leverage and connect existing networks and communities to reach ocean scientists and under-represented minority students in urban school districts.
COSEE-Ocean Systems, with a team of researchers and other experts from the University of Maine, New England Aquarium, and the Institute for Broadening Participation, was established to implement several integrated activities, each designed to improve COSEE's impact on rural and inland communities.
COSEE NOW Janice McDonnell Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences Rutgers University
COSEE California Cheryl Peach Scripps Institution of Oceanography
COSEE-Ocean Systems Annette deCharon School of Marine Sciences University of Maine
COSEE OCEAN Bob Chen University of Massachusetts Boston