Posts tagged ‘research’

September 24, 2014

Save the Dates: Meet Botany in Action Research Fellows at Phipps this Month!

by Melissa Harding

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meet Phipps’ Botany in Action (BIA) Fellows and enjoy presentations about their adventures as global field scientists studying the relationships between people, plants, health and the planet at this special one-day event, free with Conservatory admission.

Members Only: Peek Behind the Petals
Saturday, Sept. 27:  9:30-10:15 a.m.
 The upcoming installment of Peek Behind the Petals will highlight the work of our Botany in Action Fellows, emerging scientists who are conducting plant-focused field research around the globe and sharing their findings with the public through educational outreach efforts.

Meet the Scientists
Saturday, Sept. 27:  1 – 2:30 p.m.
Tropical Forest Conservatory
BIA Fellows will be stationed throughout Tropical Forest India to display their research tools, answer your questions and offer intriguing details about the work of field scientists.

Visiting Botany in Action Fellows:

aurelie jacquet  Phipps Botany in Action science education researchAurélie de Rus Jacquet
Purdue University, Indiana
Geographic Focus: Nepal
Research Focus: Neuroprotective effects of Nepalese traditional medicine on Parkinson’s disease models

anna johnson  Phipps Botany in Action science education researchAnna Johnson
University of Maryland Baltimore County, Maryland
Geographic Focus: Maryland
Research Focus: Novel urban plant communities: causes and consequences of diversity

jessica turner  Phipps Botany in Action science education researchJessica Turner
West Virginia University, West Virginia
Geographic Focus: West Virginia
Research Focus: The root of sustainability: Understanding and implementing medicinal plant conservation strategies in the face of land-use change in Appalachia

cromulo_headshot2

Chelsie Romulo
George Mason University, Virginia
Geographic Focus: Peru
Research Focus: Working to conserve and sustainably manage the ecologically, culturally, and economically important palm tree Mauritia flexuosa (aguaje) in the Peruvian Amazon (Peru).

Murphy_headshot

Stephen J. Murphy
Ohio State University, Ohio
Geographic Focus: Pennsylvania
Research Focus: Forest landscape change in southwestern Pennsylvania

Read previous posts about BIA Fellows’ research and science outreach work here.

To follow the fellows as their adventures continue, visit phippsbotanyinaction.org.

The above photos were provided by Aurelie de Rus Jacquet, Anna Johnson, Stephen J. Murphy, Jessica Turner and Chelsie Romulo.

September 5, 2013

Save the Dates: Meet Botany in Action Research Fellows at Phipps this Month!

by Melissa Harding

Phipps Botany in Action science education research George Meindl

Meet Phipps’ Botany in Action (BIA) Fellows and enjoy presentations about their adventures as global field scientists studying the relationships between people, plants, health and the planet at this special two-day event, free with Conservatory admission.

Science Stories from the Field
Friday, Sept. 27:  7 – 8:30 p.m.
Center for Sustainable Landscapes

Enjoy entertaining presentations from BIA Fellows about their global research and discoveries in the field. The event will include a cash bar, light refreshments, a photo show, music, and opportunities to meet the researchers and explore the Conservatory.

Science Casual Conversations
Saturday, Sept. 28:  1:30 – 3 p.m.
Tropical Forest Conservatory
BIA Fellows will be stationed throughout Tropical Forest India to display their research tools, answer your questions and offer intriguing details about the work of field scientists.

Visiting Botany in Action Fellows:

aurelie jacquet  Phipps Botany in Action science education researchAurélie de Rus Jacquet
Purdue University, Indiana
Geographic Focus: Nepal
Research Focus: Neuroprotective effects of Nepalese traditional medicine on Parkinson’s disease models

anna johnson  Phipps Botany in Action science education researchAnna Johnson
University of Maryland Baltimore County, Maryland
Geographic Focus: Maryland
Research Focus: Novel urban plant communities: causes and consequences of diversity

george meindl  Phipps Botany in Action science education researchGeorge A. Meindl
University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Geographic Focus: Pennsylvania and California
Research Focus: Assessing the potential for cascading effects of heavy metal soil pollution: plants and pollinators

jessica turner  Phipps Botany in Action science education researchJessica Turner
West Virginia University, West Virginia
Geographic Focus: West Virginia
Research Focus: The root of sustainability: Understanding and implementing medicinal plant conservation strategies in the face of land-use change in Appalachia

anita varghese Phipps Botany in Action science education researchAnita Varghese
University of Hawaii, Hawaii
Geographic Focus: India
Research Focus: Community based ecological monitoring and its implications for conservation in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

Read previous posts about BIA Fellows’ research and science outreach work here.

 And to follow the fellows as their adventures continue, visit phippsbotanyinaction.org.

The above photos were provided by Aurelie de Rus Jacquet, Anna Johnson, George Meindl, Jessica Turner and Anita Varghese.

October 12, 2012

Botany In Action Science Engagement Slideshow

by Melissa Harding

Last week’s Botany In Action Science Engagement weekend was a great success. Fellows spent time with Science Education staff developing the skills to translate their research for the benefit of a general audience, learning better writing, public speaking and multimedia skills. In turn, they were able to engage with the public and put a new face on what a scientist looks and acts like.

Fellows put the focus on interpretation and made their research both accessible and interesting to the general public through tabling and public lectures.

Check out this slideshow to see all the action:

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We look forward to working more with our fellows throughout the year!

The above photos were taken by Amanda Joy and Molly Steinwald.

October 5, 2012

Botany in Action Weekend at Phipps

by Melissa Harding

This article was written by Amanda Joy, Phipps Botany In Action Science Engagement coordinator.

One hurdle to a broad public understanding of science is that a majority of scientific findings are stuck in the scientific community. Discoveries are made and published in scientific journals; these journal articles are read by other scientists, but the information they contain rarely makes it to the general public. According to Suleski and Ibaraki (2010) a mere 0.013–0.34% of scientific journal articles receive coverage by the mass media.  Non-health related research such as ecology and botany receive even less media attention with only 0.001–0.005% of research articles in these fields receiving coverage. Suleski and Ibaraki warn “the scientists are talking, but it’s mainly to each other” and this lack of communication leads to scientific illiteracy among the public.

Phipps Botany In Action fellows are trying to break this pattern by bringing science to the public. The Botany in Action Fellowship (BIA) program at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens fosters the development of a next generation of plant-based scientists who are committed, first, to excellent research, and second, to educational outreach. The fellows are selected from universities across the US and research plants in their local area and around the world. Five of the BIA fellows traveled to Pittsburgh last week to participate in the Phipps Botany In Action Science Engagement from September 27th to 30th.

During the Science Engagement, the fellows attended workshops to help them prepare to translate their research in order to connect to the public. They developed skills in public speaking, multimedia program development, field photography, photo editing, and writing for a public audience. In addition to building skills for working with the public, they shared their experience as researchers with a public audience through several outreach activities.

As part of last Friday’s Eco-Challenge, the fellows were interviewed by 113 area high school students who were challenged with the task of creating a poster to represent the scientists and their work (in just 40 minutes!). The winning posters were then used as part of the BIA fellows’ table displays at Phipps Conservatory. While they displayed their field supplies, the fellows held casual conversation with conservatory visitors, answering visitors’ questions about their research. The fellows were also interviewed for a family radio program, Saturday Light Brigade, which runs out of The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. In addition to interviews, the fellows shared their research with the public by giving lightning talks at Phipps Conservatory. These six-minute talks highlighted their experiences as scientists and the importance of their work. In addition, each of the fellows will be contributing to the Botany In Action website; you can learn more about all of our fellows and follow the progress of their work as it happens.

The Phipps Botany in Action fellows are doing their part to promote scientific literacy by reaching out and sharing their experience with public audiences. However, scientists alone are not responsible for connecting the public with scientific findings. We must meet them half way, by pursuing opportunities to expand our own understanding of science and connecting ourselves to the work of the scientific community.

Here are some great ways to connect with the scientific community where you live and around the world:
1. Join a citizen science project and contribute valuable data to ongoing research; the website SciStarter has lots of great information to help you find a project
2. Check out the free science lectures offered through your local universities
3. Visit your local science institutions, like museums, science centers, zoos,  and botanical gardens
4. Join a local or national science club or organization, like The Sierra Club or The Nature Conservancy
5. Take a free science class online; Coursera offers real college online classes for free to anyone who wants to learn
6. Go outside and learn about your local environment and the plants and animals that live there

Citation:
Suleski, J. and Ibaraki, M. (2012). Scientists are talking, but mostly to each other: a quantitative analysis of research represented in mass media. Public Understanding of Science,  19(1), 115-125.

In what ways do you engage in the scientific community where you live? Tell us in the comments below.

The above images were taken by Molly Steinwald and Amanda Joy.

August 22, 2012

We are busy organizing a Conservation Psychology Institute with Antioch University New England

by Melissa Harding

Another important focus of the Science Education department is developing collaborative programs in education and psychology research relevant to understanding and promoting positive relationships between humanity and the environment.

As part of that initiative, our staff are working with Antioch University New England (AUNE) in jointly running a Conservation Psychology Institute (CPI) this October. Designed for professionals in museum, zoo, aquarium, botanic garden, nature center, environmental advocacy, media, and other sectors with broad public engagement opportunities from children through adults, the CPI will equip participants with knowledge and skills in the fields of conservation psychology, environmental psychology and ecopsychology to effectively bring about environmental behavior change via work in their own institutions and sectors. The internationally recognized faculty team includes Dr. Louise Chawla, Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Dr. Thomas Joseph Doherty, Dr. Carol Saunders, and Phipps Director of Science Education, Molly Steinwald.

You can learn more about the CPI and the faculty at www.conservationpsychologyinstitute.org.

The above photo was taken by Molly Steinwald.
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