Meeting Abstract

S4-10  Friday, Jan. 5 14:00 - 14:30  BIOTA: A mixed-media, symbiosis in action approach to science communication UL-HASAN, S*; CHENG, H; DOVE, NC; HAGERMAN, L; MONTERROSA, J; PEREZ, T; BIOTA non-profit; BIOTA non-profit; BIOTA non-profit; BIOTA non-profit; BIOTA non-profit; BIOTA non-profit

BIOTA centers on the scientific definition of symbiosis to both educate and learn from its followers in real time. A non-profit in progress, BIOTA is a team of young professionals from a myriad of backgrounds across the world who have “symbiotically” come together to deliver stories focusing on the environments of our own backyards. We merge art and science to publicly distribute these stories online through short film, pictures, and literature. The Central Valley, for example, is an underrated and underappreciated bioregion of California and yet accountable for most of America’s agricultural economy. We spotlight its unique vernal pools and the symbioses of wildlife therein to inform and empower Californians in these locales. With each new story, each new environment, we ourselves gain new knowledge on how to better support these communities. Attendees of this talk can anticipate a new and transferable perspective on strengthening science communication, one that is mindful of social justice and application while promoting critical thinking for a given audience. BIOTA sets a tone for shifting the balance between academics, researchers, and their surrounding neighborhood communities. This approach has awarded our team recognition from Kickstarter, UC Merced’s Resource Center for Community Engaged Scholarship, the Leonardo Museum, the Passion in Science “Science Mentorship and Advocacy” Award from New England Biolabs, ValleyPBS, Merced Educational Television, and the University of California Television. The quality of our research as scientists is enhanced when well understood by our public.