SICB Annual Meeting 2018
January 3-7, 2018
San Francisco, CA

Symposium: Science in the Public Eye: Leveraging Partnerships

This symposium offers scientists the opportunity to consider a powerful way to connect with the public, one that multiplies and amplifies their outreach efforts. An extensive network of informal educators in museums, protected lands, and zoos can capture/galvanize the public’s interest in scientific research. The speakers will describe relevant, inspiring, and doable projects, cases, and models.

The symposium speakers will describe the role of visualizations, professional development, exchange of stories, and agreements that support collaborations between scientists and informal educators like park rangers successful in making cutting-edge scientific research on public lands visible and interactive for their visitors.

The goals of the symposium sessions are to:

  1. Highlight the expectations, expertise, and artifacts that need to be brought to the table for effective partnerships.
  2. Describe partnership opportunities
  3. Equip academic advisors and mentors with additional strategies for guiding peers or grad students at their institutions in establishing partnerships with the potential for success.


Sponsors include, the iSWOOP Project, Interpreters and Scientists Working on Our Parks, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. iSWOOP is a collaboration of TERC, a STEM teaching and learning think-tank in Cambridge, MA and Winston-Salem State University as well as the Center for Design Innovation. The following divisions of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Research have generously supported the symposium:
Division of Animal Behavior
Division of Comparative Biomechanics
Division of Comparative Endocrinology
Division of Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology
DNB (Division of Neurobiology)
Division of Vertebrate Morphology


  • Louise Allen, Winston Salem State University
  • Nickolay Hristov, Center for Design Innovation
  • Martha Merson, TERC


S7-1 Saturday, Jan. 6, 07:45 MERSON, MW: Introducing Science in the Public Eye: Leveraging Partnerships--Credible Collaborators

S7-2 Saturday, Jan. 6, 08:00 WATKINS, TB: Science Outreach and Engagement in National Parks

S7-3 Saturday, Jan. 6, 08:30 ALLEN, LC*; CHAR, C; WRIGHT, T; HRISTOV, NH; MERSON, M: Beyond the Brown Bag: Designing Effective Professional Development for Informal Educators

S7-4 Saturday, Jan. 6, 09:00 VERBEKE, MC*; PATTISON, S: Meeting in the Middle: Connecting Your Science Research with the Public's Interests

S7-5 Saturday, Jan. 6, 09:30 YU, K*; ARMENDARIZ, A; MA, J; KING, D: "I have a GREAT idea for an exhibit!” - Adapting scientific research for museums

S7-6 Saturday, Jan. 6, 10:30 TOWNS, BJ; GILL, KS*: Play to Learn, Learn to Play: the role of design in creating places for learning.

S7-7 Saturday, Jan. 6, 11:00 HARROWER, JT: Seeking symbiosis: Linking art and science through symbiotic interactions

S7-8 Saturday, Jan. 6, 11:30 STROHECKER, Carol; HRISTOV, Nickolay/I*: Designing for Broad Understanding of Science

S7-9 Saturday, Jan. 6, 13:30 PARRISH, J K*; BURGESS, H; WELTZIN, J; FORTSON, L; WIGGINS, A: Elevating the Science in Citizen Science: Five Steps to Rigorous Public Involvement in Scientific Research

S7-10 Saturday, Jan. 6, 14:00 MARQUARDT, Shauna: On the Cutting Edge of Research to Conserve At-Risk Species

S7-11 Saturday, Jan. 6, 14:30 STORKSDIECK, Martin*; RISIEN, Julie; STORKSDIECK, Martin: Developing a Broader Impacts Identity: It’s All About You(r Strengths)!

Images courtesy of: Lebar, Pfundstein, Towns, and Watkins