Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

CEOAS Publishing and Outreach

May 17, 2012

Faculty publishing and outreach is part of the work of a faculty member. This might include publishing an article in a peer-reviewed journal, presenting at a scientific conference, giving a radio interview, speaking to a classroom or the public, creating educational materials, briefing US or state legislators, developing a web site, or participating in a documentary.

In 2011, CEOAS researchers published over 160 articles in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals. Articles look at aspects of topics such as present-day climate simulation, global ocean circulation, storm surge magnitude and frequency, geospatial information, stream nutrient uptake, ice clouds, microbial distribution in sediments, ice shelf collapse, vulnerability of water supply, marine reserve networks, arc volcanoes, ocean acidification, jellyfish distribution, permafrost, Western climate change, paleomagnetism near the North Magnetic Pole, seismicity at the Cascadia plate boundary, and many more.

Outreach encompasses a wide range of possible activities to take research science out into the world. For example, outreach might be to the following audiences.

Elementary Schools. Outreach for this age group might mean designing an interactive presentation and exercise for a class, speaking at a school assembly on bottled water and the environment, giving a tour of the mineral collection to school groups, or donating a geological tour of Mount Hood for a school fundraising auction.

Middle and High Schools. Many CEOAS faculty, graduate students, and staff participate with the annual Salmon Bowl for high-school students; other grad students and faculty assist with SMILE high school challenge programs. Individual faculty may develop lessons or activities, give tours of the OSU Marine Geology Repository, or present science concepts to a class or larger group.

Community Groups. Presentations or workshops might be held in conjunction with a Rotary Club or City Club meeting, environmental film festival, museum opening, or other event. For example, Kelly Benoit-Bird spoke at the public symposium, Song for the Blue Ocean. Christoph Thomas presented "Climate Change 101" as an opening lecture or keynote for a range of environmental stewardship programs in Eugene, Portland, Newport, and Corvallis.

Professional Workshops. Scientists regularly share results with peers in their specialty, e.g., through journal articles and conferences. Faculty and students also present findings and discuss topics with professionals from other disciplines, such as when Roy Haggerty met with CH2M Hill engineers and geologists to discuss numerical modeling of solute transport in groundwater contaminants.

Assistant Professor Christoph Thomas

General Public. Faculty engage the public directly through open talks, websites, and other platforms. For example, Kathie Dello spoke in venues across the state on the Oregon Climate Assessment Report and other topics. Shanaka de Silva created the outreach site, Volcano World. Mike Kosro published daily maps of ocean surface currents to the web, of interest to fishers, boaters, and others.

Mixed Audiences. Oftentimes, a self-selected audience of interested parties will span a range of backgrounds, such as the audience for George Waldbusser's invited talk at the Heceta Head Coastal Conference, which included the general public, coastal resource stakeholders, marine science graduate students from various institutions, and other scientists.

Media. Faculty are called upon by the media to explain their science. For example, Andreas Schmittner gave interviews to 18 outlets—from Der Tagesspiegel in Berlin to USA Today—after his November study in the journal Science suggested that the global climate may be less sensitive to carbon dioxide fluctuations than predicted by the most extreme projections. Faculty also regularly work with Oregon State University news writers to present their findings to the public, such as Angelicque White's press release about the nature of plastic debris in the surface ocean for a general audience.


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