LTER site communicator training workshop set for June

Network News Spring 2013, Vol. 26 No. 1
Network News

Science communication is an issue that is rapidly gaining attention throughout the LTER network. So this summer we are taking LTER science communication to a new level with a custom designed training workshop for LTER site communicators. The site communicators are people at each site who are charged with overseeing communication and information exchange between the sites and those with whom they wish to share information.

The LTER Network Office is sponsoring the June 2-4, 2013, workshop at its training facilities at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Lead Organizer Susan Dailey (FCE) and co-organizers, Julie Doll (KBS), Clarisse Hart, (HFR), and Marcia Nation (CAP) have been working together since October planning the workshop.

The workshop is one of hopefully many training opportunities to develop LTER’s capacity for science communication. The recent explosion of communication technologies and the development of new types of media, including social networking, requires that we adopt new knowledge and embrace entirely new virtual avenues for sharing LTER science and important discoveries.  Since knowledge is neither finite nor static, it is imperative that we stay current with these new developments through regular training in these less familiar public digital arenas while continuing to develop our science communication skills. 

The goal of the June workshop is simple: to improve our LTER science communication. During the training workshop we will work as both a group and as individual site representatives to develop each site’s science communication plans, tools, and materials. In order to do this we will have trainers working with us to help participants learn useful science communication skills in 4 main areas:

1. LTER science for policy makers—led by Steve Davis, Ecologist, Everglades Foundation

2. LTER science to mass media—led by Scott Montgomery- Geologist, author of Communicating Science, University of Washington, Seattle

3. LTER science to social media—led by Rebecca Gill with Web Savvy Marketing who worked with the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) LTER to redesign the KBS website (

4. LTER science communication materials—led by Susan Dailey, Communications Coordinator, Florida Coastal Everglades LTER, Florida International University

Participants will walk away from the workshop with new communication skills and a unique science communication plan that prioritizes their site’s needs. The group will also develop a ‘Best LTER Science Communication Practices’ document, based on lessons and experiences from each of the participating LTER sites, and post it on the LTER intranet for easy access and reference.