On Sunday I will be travelling to Munich, Germany, to join a group of National Geographic Explorers for a science communication workshop! One of the benefits to being part of this international community has been the motivation to continue learning and improving. I have been able to complete five of their online courses introducing me to videography and social media communication, as well as helping me apply my writing, public speaking, and photography more effectively.
Science communication is something that the National Geographic Society has made it its mission to excel in and I think they’ve succeeded. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t know who they are or hasn’t seen their iconic black and yellow magazine covers. I am incredibly lucky to have been selected for a grant, not only because of the research I was able to conduct with it, but also to be able to learn from some of the best and make my work more meaningful.
I knew from the age of about 15 that marine science was my passion. Almost a decade later and that hasn’t changed, but my ideas about what I want to do with that passion and the other tangential interests I have, evolved numerous times in the last nine years. Making what I do useful gives it meaning for me, and hopefully for others. My career goal may be to work at sea, in a lab, on policy, and within communities, but joining all of those areas together requires excellent communication.
It doesn’t matter what jobs or volunteering I do while I work towards my goals and tick achievements off my list, I will always prioritise communicating my work and enhancing my ability to do so. To that end, I am delighted that I have the time and understanding from my employer, allowing me to attend next week’s workshop. Hopefully, I will be able to bring back useful skills to apply in my current role, as well as explore new ways of using my NGS funded research. As someone who doesn’t like physical clutter and messiness, I am learning to enjoy a cluttered career and the blurring of lines between roles which may not look connected from the outside. I love when I can connect the dots and show people how my various roles are related to one another. I believe that’s one of the main goals in communication; someone who works at a family owned corner shop should be able to understand how a severe weather event halfway across the world might affect them and I want to fill that role of go-between.
The culmination of the workshop will be Thursday afternoon when myself and the other explorers in attendance will give three-minute presentations explaining the work we have been involved in. The showcase is open to anyone and if you happen to be in or near Munich please come* and learn about all the amazing, hard work NGS funds. I will be talking about community resilience in Uummannaq, Greenland and would love to see you there‼
*Please register your attendance here.