COMPASS Communication Workshops for Wildfire Specialists

COMPASS, in conjunction with the Federation of American Scientists, is excited to announce a workshop series for wildfire specialists!  Due to a combination of factors—including the Wildland Fire Management and Mitigation Commission’s report and the ever growing visibility of wildfire and its impacts across the world—the time is right for strategic engagement around wildfire, and we are excited to support this community in sharing its work to advance solutions and ideas that will help us adapt to and mitigate wildfire and its effects on our communities.  

This series will take place in two parts:  a virtual workshop in January, and two days of workshops in Washington, DC, over February 7 and 8, 2024.  Please see below for more details.

Date | Location
Session 1: January 19 | Virtual
Session 2: February 7 | Washington, DC
Session 2: February 8 | Washington, DC
These workshops are free for participants. Please note that we are able to offer travel assistance if necessary to attend sessions in Washington, DC.

Session Details

Session 1: Introduction to Strategic Science Communication with the Message Box Workshop (Virtual, via Zoom) — Friday, January 19, 2024

This introductory session will introduce tools and strategies for strategic science communication, including the Message Box, COMPASS’s fundamental tool for breaking down complex topics into digestible messages. We strongly recommend attending this session to prepare for the in person workshop and make the most of your time while in Washington DC.

Participants will receive a registration code for access to the workshop at no cost. If participants can’t attend the workshop or have recently received a similar training through the FAS Accelerator or another opportunity, alternate arrangements can be made in anticipation of the in-person workshop in February.

Session 2: Communicating Your Science with Journalists Workshop (in person, Washington, DC) — Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Building off of the Message Box training, COMPASS will hold a Communicating with Journalists training on the first day in DC. In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to get real-time feedback from journalists in order to further refine your messages for media audiences ranging from local to national, and beyond. You will also learn from journalists about how to share the story of your research in compelling, clear ways and will practice and build relationships with journalists through a panel discussion and feedback. This in-person workshop will also serve as a community-building and networking opportunity, with a small post-workshop reception for journalist experts and workshop participants.

Session 3: Policymaker Engagement Workshop and optional meetings with Policymakers (hybrid—virtual coaching and in person, Washington, DC) — Thursday, February 8, 2024
Session includes coaching and support in leadup to Washington event

To make the most of your time in Washington, COMPASS and FAS staff would love to support you to schedule your own policy meetings, either with legislators on the Hill or with other policy makers in DC. This is the perfect opportunity to put the skills you’ll learn in our workshop into practice! If you are interested in this opportunity or would like more information please let us know—we are happy to talk through options. This process includes: 

  • Small group or individual coaching calls to work with you to identify your policy targets
  • Coaching and templates to support participants making meeting requests 
  • Support to develop a one-pager about your work, including templates and feedback
  • A half day policy engagement workshop the morning of second day to prepare you for upcoming meetings, outreach and engagement on wildfire, including a panel discussion with policy makers and small group practice and feedback.


Since 1999, COMPASS has supported over 10,000 scientists to communicate about their work and engage beyond lab and field. We’ve connected them with journalists, policymakers, community leaders, and beyond, when and where it matters, ensuring science has a seat at the table. COMPASS pairs fundamental skill building with strategies and connections to drive impact. Working with us, you’ll gain communication tools you can use right away and the confidence to speak about your work.