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Stories, SciComm, and Symposia at IMCC5

By Heather Mannix

Jan 16, 2019


2 Minute Read


It’s hard to believe, but summer is getting started in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means it’s almost time for the fifth International Marine Conservation Congress! This year, it takes place in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Communication is usually an important theme at this conference, and I’m really excited for COMPASS to be a part of it, and offer opportunities for skill building.

I’m looking forward to co-leading the “Tales from the Sea” workshop again with Kirsten Grorud-Colvert and Stephanie Green and working with a new group of scientists to shape and share their marine conservation stories. We’ve shared clips and stories from years past, and it’s really inspiring to watch their skills grow and then hear the final stories at our live event! If you are attending the conference or live near Kuching, we hope that you will come on Monday the 25th at 6:30 PM to the free performance at the Opera House to listen!

In addition to the “Tales from the Sea” workshop, I’ll also be part of a new workshop led by Dr. Kelly Biedenweg and Dr. Ana Spalding—“Finding and Communicating the Human Dimensions of your Marine Conservation Research or Project.” This day-long workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to think through how their research affects people and communities, and how they can better connect and communicate with them.

I’ll also be leading two lunchtime workshops during the conference—“Communicating Your Science” and “Becoming An Agent Of Change.” Part I, “Communicating Your Science,” gives participants hands-on practice in sharing what they do, what they know, and why it matters in clear, lively terms. Part II, “Becoming An Agent Of Change,” is being coordinated with the Society for Conservation Biology Marine Policy committee. We’ll explore some tools and frameworks for thinking about how scientists can bring about change through their work and have some time for networking with policy folks. If you’re attending the conference, you can take both or either, though it’s helpful to already be familiar with the Message Box tool that we teach if you only plan to take Part II.

You may also want to watch out for the session “Linking ‘Social Science’ with ‘Policy Windows’: Lessons from implementing research at the right time, in the right place,” organized by Dr. Ana Spalding and Dr. Kelly Biedenweg. This symposium will be exploring the need for a strategic vision for how human dimensions science and marine policy needs can be brought together for evidence-based policy making and policy-relevant research. This should be a fascinating conversation!

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