SS 13 - Introducing ESA’s Guidebook on Effective Communication and Policy Engagement

Tuesday, August 9, 2011: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
18D, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Nadine Lymn
Co-organizers: Katie Kline and Terence Houston
The Austin Annual Meeting theme of Earth Stewardship underscores the strong desire of the ecological community to make a positive difference in the trajectory of our planet. One way some may choose to contribute is to share ecological information and engage in the policy realm. A new publication of the Ecological Society of America, produced by ESA’s Public Affairs Committee and Office, provides ecologists with guidance on opportunities to connect ecological information to public policy issues. The guidebook lays out numerous ways for ecological scientists to participate in policy issues. Methods for participating include interacting with a local zoning board, federal agencies at the state level or with Congress, and crafting opinion editorials in local newspapers and contributing to science blogs or working with the media to increase the saliency of ecological issues. Featuring several speakers with experience in policy and science communication, this session will showcase key elements covered in the ESA handbook, including opportunities to: engage in policy at local, state, and federal levels; provide timely input to environmental laws; interact with federal agencies; and effectively communicate in meetings, written correspondence, and in the media. After the presentations, participants will be invited to “speed date” by rotating from table to table and interacting with speakers and other experts to gain additional insights on interacting with decision makers, resource managers, and members of the press. Interested graduate students are especially encouraged to participate. All will receive a copy of ESA’s guidebook. A cash bar and snacks will be available.
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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.