Professional Development

Part of what has made my career as a scientist so enjoyable has been several scientific interactions with colleagues and members of the public in a less formal setting. In my work I make a big effort to actively reach out to a broad audience. For example, I have recently given several webinars on my research to diverse audiences (see the NOAA Climate Stewards webinar from May 2017 and the Restore America's Estuaries webinar from February 2017), been interviewed about coastal blue carbon for a radio show, and I have been part of two Capitol Hill briefings about my work on improving coastal resilience using natural and hybrid infrastructure (see the COMPASS "Shoring Up" blog). It is really important to me that I communicate both my love of science but also how science can and should be a part of the discussion when we are trying to solve environmental problems.

screen shot of me on set I have also had a number of other unique communication experiences. For example, in the spring of 2011 I had the opportunity to be the Earth Science content specialist for a series of elementary school science education films to help teachers prepare for science units on topics ranging from climate and weather and the water cycle to soils and plants. This experience has given me concrete on camera training and was also a lot of fun. (Photo credit: G. Zaidan)

Ariana, V, Soph, and Sarah in Pocosin wetlandIn the fall of 2006 I had the opportunity to be part of a PBS kids' science show called DragonflyTV. I was part of an episode on wetlands of N.C. and I got to work with three wonderful young women scientists, V, Soph, and Sarah (right). We were part of a SciGirls episode and I served as their mentor. The Duke paper featured me in an article right before the show aired in N.C. I also wrote up our experience for the Duke University Wetland Center Newsletter, Fall 2007 (p.6).  

I also really enjoyed being the Chair of the Events committee for the Duke Chapter of Sigma Xi for two years. We held a number of successful events including a "Science of Chocolate" event that was featured in the local newspaper. And more recently I participated in the Smithsonian's "The Expert Is In" sessions at the Natural History Museum in downtown D.C. Leading or participating in these types of events that connect me with the public are some of the most rewarding parts of my career.

Creative Commons License Title Photo: M. Ho     This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.