Opening Keynote: Monday July 18th, 2016, 10:30am - 12:00pm, Exhibit Hall B


Communicating science at the nexus of policy and action

Emerging science in the U.S. often triggers highly divisive societal debates.  Genetically modified organisms, stem cell research, and fracking are just a few examples of technologies that have sparked public debate about environmental impacts, what is natural, and other policy-relevant facts. This talk provides an overview of empirical work in fields, such as science communication, social psychology, and political science, and what that work tells us about more effective communication among different stakeholders.  Why does the same scientific facts mean different things to different people? Why can the labels we use for emerging technologies (and their applications) have tremendous impacts of how those technologies are perceived by different publics?  Finally, what are the most effective ways of connecting with audiences in online environments that make more information available to broader audiences than ever before, but also allow all of us to only attend to information that fits our pre-existing values and beliefs?

Dietram A. Scheufele is the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Morgridge Institute for Research. Scheufele's research deals with the public and political interfaces of emerging science. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, and a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering. He currently vice-chairs the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's committee on The science of science communication: A research agenda, and also serves on their Committee on human gene editing: Scientific, medial and ethical considerations and the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) Advisory Committee.

Moderated by Volker Radeloff, SILVIS Lab, Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology, UW Madison 
Opening Remarks by Paul Robbins, Director of The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW Madison
Q&A/Discussion to follow.
See Dietram's recent contribution on science communication to the COMPASS blog.

Plenary Panel: Tuesday July 19th, 2016, 10:30am - 12:00pm, Exhibit Hall B

Science Communication: Speaking Everyone's Language

This panel will draw on the expertise of seasoned researchers and science communicators to extract lessons on how best to communicate science to a variety of audiences.

Moderated, and remarks by Dominique Brossard, Chair of the Life Sciences Communication Department at UW-MadisonDominique Brossard is Professor and Chair in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an affiliation with the Morgridge Institute for Research and the UW-Madison Center for Global Studies. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a former Board member of the International Network of Public Communication of Science and Technology.  Brossard in an internationally known expert on questions related to public understanding of science, with a specific emphasis on public opinion dynamics related to controversial scientific issues. She has published numerous research articles on these topics in outlets such as e, Science Communication, the International Journal of Public Opinion, Public Understanding of Science and Communication Research and has co-edited the book “The Media, the Public, and Agricultural Biotechnology” (2007, CABI/Oxford University Press). She teaches courses in strategic communication theory and research, with a focus on science and risk communication.

DREW LANHAM: The Uncomfortable Elephant in the Room--Addressing the Coming Changes In Conservation

J. Drew Lanham is a nature-phile. He spends most of his time thinking about nature and trying in some way to make it matter to others. In his nineteen years as a Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University he’s spent a large portion of his career trying to understand how what humans do impacts birds and other wildlife. As a Black American he’s intrigued with how ethnicity—whether color or culture, bends perceptions of nature and how it should be cared for. To that end one of his missions is to broaden the audience of those who see, love and care for nature. He calls this “coloring the conservation conversation”. With his B.A. and M.S. in Zoology (Clemson) and PhD in Forest Resources (Clemson), Drew is an accomplished scientist who was recently named a Clemson University Master Teacher and an Alumni Distinguished Professor. He strongly believes that conservation must be a blending of art and heart. He is active on a number of conservation boards included South Carolina Audubon and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He is widely published as a nature writer and his first solo work, The Home Place-Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed Editions) will be published in 2016. Drew and his family live in Seneca, SC. 

NADINE LYMN: Engaging with Policymakers

Nadine Lymn has over 20 years’ experience building and leading external affairs programs for scientific organizations. She has her Masters degree in Environmental Studies from the Nelson Institute at UW-Madison. Many conservation biologists know her for her long tenure as the Director of Public Affairs for the Ecological Society of America. She has been an advisor to top executives and member of senior leadership teams and has formulated and executed strategic plans. She is an action-oriented leader and manager of communications initiatives and programs, with passion for science and the environment. She derives great satisfaction from connecting people and enabling others to achieve their goals. Since 2014 she is the Communications Director at National Science Foundation’s National Science Board. The NSB governs NSF and is an independent advisory body to the President of the United States and the US Congress. She is responsible for communicating complex science issues to national policy makers and the public. She and her daughter live in Reston, Virginia where they enjoy natural history and pollinator gardening.


Plenary Panel: Wednesday July 20th, 2016, 10:30am - 12:00pm, Exhibit Hall B

Conservation Action: Amplifying Voices from the Community 

Conservation impact can best be achieved if actions are led by and resonate with local communities. Our panelists will discuss how engagement of community members and locally relevant narratives can enhance conservation action using both national and international examples.

Moderated by Catherine Woodward, President of the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation

Catherine Woodward is a tropical ecologist, and the President of the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation, an international non-profit conservation organization based in Madison, WI and Quito, Ecuador.  She has over 20 years experience in international conservation, works with local landowners to protect tropical forests on private lands, and link conservation with economic development and experiential education in Ecuador.  She also has developed and leads a variety of accredited study abroad programs including the Tropical Conservation Semester, Water for Life Service-Learning Course, and Conservation Internships.  Catherine received her PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005, during which she studied the population genetic impacts of forest fragmentation on tropical understory trees. She currently is a faculty associate at UW-Madison, teaching a variety of courses that blend online and classroom content with field-based research and service experiences.  Catherine received a Globally Engaged Scholarship Award in 2013 and a Service-Learning Award in 2016 for her work in international education. She lives in Madison, WI and in Quito, Ecuador.

JAMES MILLS: Over the Adventure Gap: Bridging the Divide between Communities of Color and the Natural World

James Edward Mills is a freelance journalist and an independent media producer. In a career that spans more than 20 years he specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living. He currently leads The Joy Trip Project, a newsgathering and reporting organization that covers outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living. The Joy Trip Project produces regularly occurring online content audio feature or podcast on topics related to a sustainable active lifestyle. Working in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer and photographer his experience includes a broad range of expeditions that include mountaineering, rock climbing, backcountry skiing and kayaking. He is a contributor to several outdoor focused print and online publications, including: National Geographic Adventure, Rock & Ice, Alpinist, SUP Magazine, Paddle Sports Business, Sporting Goods Business, Elevation Outdoors, Women’s Adventure, WEND Magazine, The Clymb, and High Country News. With skills in audio storytelling, James’ radio production credits include: the Wisconsin Public Radio, the Public Radio Exchange, American Public Media’s Marketplace, and the Public Radio International programs To The Best of Our Knowledge. He is a 2014 Fellow of the Mountain & Wilderness Writing Program of the Banff Centre in Alberta Canada. James and his family lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

EDUARDO SANTANA: Rural to Urban Contexts in Nature Conservation and Community Development

After earning his bachelors and master’s degrees at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Eduardo Santana Castellón went to the University of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, where he championed the creation of the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve. Considered one of the most significant conservation areas in Latin America, the reserve harbors an amazing richness of life found few other places in the world, including a species of wild corn that was believed to have gone extinct. After completing his Ph.D. at UW-Madison on the dynamics of bird communities in western Mexico’s cloud forests, Santana Castellón returned to the University of Guadalajara faculty, where he has received national and international distinctions for his conservation work. Since 2012 he has been directing the creation of a new public engagement institute in Guadalajara, the Museo de Ciencias Ambientales. The new center is aimed to engage the growing community of Mexico’s second largest city on questions of sustainability and the relationship between their city and the natural world around it. He and his family live in Guadalajara.


CHRIS SCHELLPFEFFER: Communicating the value of conservation on private, working land 

Christine Schellpfeffer is the Vice President for External Relations with Sand County Foundation, a non-profit conservation group headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin.  There she oversees programs that bring diverse communities of private landowners together to pursue voluntary conservation projects that exemplify Aldo Leopold’s land ethic. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, strategic communications and public relations. She was formerly managing editor for the Wisconsin Radio Network. She covered government, public policy and politics as a member of the capitol press corps at the Wisconsin State Capitol. As a partner in an advertising agency, she consulted with organizations across the U.S. on challenging communications issues and led successful public relations programs that attracted national media coverage. She is experienced in strategic communications relating to science, conservation, environment, health care, law, and public policy. She and her sons live in Madison.


Closing Keynote: Wednesday July 20th, 2016, 5:30pm - 6:30pm, Exhibit Hall B


The World We Create: Taking Action in an Era of Climate & Landscape Change

Frances Beinecke will speak about the linkage between climate action and the role of science in understanding climate impacts. She will discuss opportunities to connect the worlds of conservation and policy and work together to create greater resilience. Drawing from her experience as a climate advocate, she will share insights on the types of communications and citizen action that can influence the policy arena. She will identify openings to advance climate action in the coming years. Beinecke has been on the frontlines of the climate fight for decades, as the former president and executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a leading nonprofit environmental group that works to preserve clean air and water, protect people’s health, preserve wild landscapes, and foster vibrant and sustainable communities. Using legal and scientific expertise, NRDC creates and enforces the laws that protect our environment. Prior to becoming the president in 2006, Ms. Beinecke served as the organization’s executive director for eight years. She currently serves on the boards of the World Resources Institute, the Energy Future Coalition, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Conservation International's Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. She previously served on the boards of the Wilderness Society, the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development, and the New York League of Conservation Voters. Beinecke received a bachelor's degree from Yale College and a master's degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 2007, Ms. Beinecke has received the Yale Medal from Yale University. She was awarded an honorary degree from Lehman College, as well as an honorary degree from Vermont Law School. Beinecke has received the prestigious Rachel Carson Award, which honors distinguished female leaders impacting the environmental world.

Moderated by Adena Rissman, Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology, UW Madison

Dr. Rissman is an associate professor of the Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Management in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.She is an affiliate faculty of the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, and Agroecology program.

Her interdisciplinary research investigates the relationships between society and the environment in ecosystem management, conservation, and sustainable use. She investigates institutional approaches to conservation and new models of environmental governance. Her research employs mixed quantitative and qualitative methods including spatial analysis, surveys, and interviews.

Dr. Rissman received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Before graduate school, she worked as a forest planner for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Photo Credit: cc Richard Hurd

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