This weekend, some 1000 scientists, managers, practitioners, agency and activist organization leaders will come together in Missoula, Montana for the North American Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB). They are the investigators and observers of what is happening to our land, water, and biodiversity. This is their opportunity to connect with their colleagues and to share new research and developments in conservation science and practice. The meeting’s theme is “Challenging Conservation Boundaries” and COMPASS will be there to help scientists build the skills and relationships they need to bring their new insights and evidence to bear on environmental decision-making across the continent.

At NACCB this year, we are facilitating the attendance and integration of journalists so that reporters and scientists can dive deeply into discussions of the broader context of conservation issues and the latest relevant research. We are delighted to be hosting an outstanding group of 16 journalists in our Journalist Fellowship—be sure to check out our updated post and read up on the impressive work they do. We’re also kicking off the meeting with a fast-paced “Conservation Tapas: Small Bites of Big Conservation Issues” discussion panel moderated by Nancy Baron. “Tapas” will briefly introduce all the Journalist Fellows to the attendees, and will feature six leading environment and policy reporters discussing urgent questions, real-world challenges, and emerging opportunities for conservation. The Tapas panelists are… • JEFF BURNSIDE Senior Investigative Reporter with KOMO television, Seattle’s ABC station, and Vice President for the Society of Environmental Journalists.
 • CORAL DAVENPORT Covers energy and environment policy for the New York Times. In 2010, she was a fellow with the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting.
 • CHRISTOPHER JOYCE Correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR’s news programs, including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.
 • DAVID MALAKOFF Science writer with Science Magazine in Washington, D.C. where he covers the politics of science and writes about research discoveries in a wide range of fields.
 • MICHELLE NIJHUIS Writes for National Geographic and many other publications. She is a contributing writer for Smithsonian and a longtime contributing editor of High Country News.
 • ED STRUZIK Author, journalist and a Fellow at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University.

You can read more detailed bios of the panelists here. The Tapas panel will help the NACCB community bridge boundaries to the wider world by sharing their insights about what their audiences—from NPR to National Geographic—might want to know, as well as perspectives on the political context of the new EPA climate rules and new developments related to the Endangered Species Act. Some of the top issues of interest for them include how conservation strategies are responding to a changing climate, the myths and realities of ecosystem restoration, new advances in renewable energies, and what’s happening with our water.

While it is not traditional to kick off a scientific conference with journalists, it is one of our favorite things to do. Journalists sharing their perspectives can help scientists find the “so what” of their science – and encourage them to seize the opportunity to discuss the relevance of their science to society. Our aim is for the science, stories, and connections from the conference to ignite conversations that have an impact in the world.
 Next week we’ll hear more from Chad English and Heather Mannix about how COMPASS staff sleuth the science at a conference to better understand emerging science and identify opportunities to help scientists inform upcoming or ongoing policy dialogues. Stay tuned, and if you’re attending the conference or invested in these issues, we want to connect with you. The COMPASS team, journalist fellows, and many meeting participants will be living-tweeting the conference on the hashtag #NACCB2014. Liz Neeley worked at COMPASS from 2008-2015. This post was transferred from its original location at www.compassonline.org to www.COMPASSscicomm.org in 2017.

#LizNeeley #NancyBaron #NACCB #conferences #journalists #perspective #story #Twitter

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