The Virginia Sea Grant Communication Center is pleased to welcome two Virginia students for summer Science Communication Internships.
Eric Olson will be working as the graduate intern for communication research, where he will study the information needs and communication preferences of policy makers and resource managers. A native of Yorktown, Virginia, Olson earned a master’s in communication at Virginia Tech and a graduate certificate in science communication at George Mason University this spring.
Olson recognizes that effective science communicators are as much connectors of people and resources as they are writers or speakers. “Virginia Sea Grant’s purpose is to decrease the distance between science information and citizens, by making information easily accessible and broadly usable. I hope to find a place to do just that, and utilize my background in media education in the process.”
Olson is particularly interested in the intersection of science communication and informal education, particularly the promotion of science outside the classroom. “I am often in awe of so much of the natural world that scientists observe and study,” he says. “The more time I spend in this field, the more that I realize that these are some of the most important endeavors in which I could possibly take part.”
As the Sea Grant science communication intern, Erika Lower will work with the Communication Center to bring scientific and technical information to non-scientists and decision makers. Her duties will include covering research projects and fellowships supported by Sea Grant – a task that sometimes involves a little field work. “I’m pretty excited about the chance to get out on a boat or two,” she says.
Lower is enthusiastic about the importance of translating scientific information for a number of different audiences. “Whether they’re government officials, business owners, or citizens who just want to be more informed about their environment, it’s crucial to provide people with scientific resources that are accessible and easy to understand,” says Lower.
A rising senior at Virginia Tech, Lower will graduate with a degree in Humanities, Science & Environment in 2014. She plans to pursue graduate work in science communications with a focus on conservation biology or energy policy.
Bios by Erika Lower.