Science Communication

Audio Producer

My work in ecological and social issues is rich in stories - scientific facts just don't do it justice. I produce podcasts to explore and share the intersections of complex issues.

Blogging

I write guest posts to encourage folks to explore the nature around them...which usually means paying attention to spiders.

Teaching Sci Com

Podcasting is a really effective teaching tool - students have to explore, interview, and use their creativity to tell stories. See some examples of some of my student projects.

Audio Producer

I created a podcast series for conservationcorridor.org to tell the stories of folks that make connectivity happen around the world.

NC State University planned to sell Hofmann Forest – the largest state-owned landscape in North Carolina. Ron Sutherland, conservation scientist at the Wildlands Network, planned to stop it. But there’s one catch: The Hofmann is a short-rotation pine plantation that is managed for timber. What makes it valuable for conservation?

In a word? Connectivity.

Guest Blogging

Using green roofs for urban connectivity

Urbanization is a key reason for connecting landscapes, but increasing connectivity within cities is an important challenge. Green roofs, rooftops designed with shallow soil and stress tolerant vegetation, have been used mostly for properties like draining, but what about their ecological value? Can green roofs increase habitat connectivity for arthropods? In a recent study, Braaker and colleagues tested if green roofs in Zurich, Switzerland can increase arthropod biodiversity. Read more...

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Look who stopped by to say “Happy Birthday!” So exclaimed my friend Lauren Nichols as she burst through my office door Monday, holding a small jar with a large spider inside. You probably know Lauren as the School of Ants guru and Your Wild Life’s latest and greatest nature photographer. Monday was her birthday and Nature presented her with an awesome little gift while she sat on a bench outside our building at NC State: the canopy jumping spider (Phidippus otiosus), so named because they’re found romping amidst pine and oak branches. Read more..

Your Wild Life - Nature in Your Backyard - The Functional Decorator

...When I turned to walk back inside, I saw the single string of another functional decorator in my neighborhood. Parked right between a goal post of two azalea branches was the barely-visible Cyclosa turbinata, a trashline orbweaver. Okay, so the name doesn’t bring up the best visual, but it, while incredibly accurate, doesn’t begin to do justice to her craft and allure. Allow me to explain. Read more...

Teaching Science Communication

Red Wolves

At NC State, I had students explore a controversial conservation issue - the red wolf reintroduction in eastern NC. Groups of students produced podcasts on different topics about this complex issue.

Conservation in the City

Students at UMBC each chose a local conservation project that spoke to them. The topics were typical for a major metropolitan area: pollution, food security, and...intergalactic space travel.

"A real educator will try to understand what the receptors look like in every individual, in every person they’re tasked with teaching. If you don’t care [about the audience], then you’re not in a position to complain that not everyone understood your message."

-Neil deGrasse Tyson