Career Goals in Science and Climate Change Outreach

I am pursuing a PhD in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Cincinnati with an emphasis on climate change. As I begin my fourth and final year at UC, I have started to reflect on my past experiences here, not only my research and studies but also the interdisciplinary work I have been a part of with the Center for Public Engagement with Science, or PEWS. I am passionate about science outreach and bridging the gap between scientists and the public. Working with PEWS has allowed me to continue to pursue this passion during my time at UC and has shaped my career interests.

Meg Corcoran, PEWS Social Media and Website Coordinator 21-22, collecting lake sediment to study past climate.

As an undergraduate and masters student, I was able to work in a high school chemistry classroom, aiding students in a college-level research project while sharing my background in biogeochemistry. Upon moving to Cincinnati for my PhD, I was initially unsure how to get involved in public outreach. Prior to my second semester, I found out there was an interdisciplinary class being offered through the UC Department of Philosophy and PEWS, Public Engagement with Science. I registered right away for the class, and I am very glad that I did. Through this class, I met others at the university who share a passion for science engagement and learned about the best practices surrounding public outreach.

I stayed involved with PEWS as I interned as the social media and website coordinator last year.  I spent time writing posts about upcoming science engagement events and sharing them on social media platforms. I also worked on editing and updating the PEWS website including launching the resources page. This experience has helped develop my science communication skills, which are important for any scientist hoping to share their work with the public.

Future plans

As I begin looking for jobs and post-docs, I am excited to pursue a career focused on public engagement with science. Working with PEWS has helped solidify my sense that science outreach and communications is the direction I would like to follow. I hope to help make science, and in particular climate change research, more accessible for the general public. Overall, my experience with PEWS has been very rewarding and I highly recommend to current and future UC students looking for opportunities to participate in the Center for Public Engagement with Science.