“Science is so, so visual!” – Neil McCoy
Many of us have taken up the noble cause of communicating our science to nonscientists. Casting ourselves as the heroes, it’s important to remember, however, that even the best of intentions sometimes have a way of resulting in unintended consequences. In the original Star Trek, a young Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise rescues a ship full of super-humans in suspended animation with their life-support on the verge of failure. In return for his good deed, Khan Noonien Signh and the other superhumans whose lives he saved turned out to be one of the Enterprise’s most dangerous adversaries.
After working outside of academia for eight years I decided to earn a graduate degree. In my first year back to school I was encouraged to apply for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The GRFP is a prestigious award for graduate students providing a stipend and cost of education funds for three years. Practically speaking, it enables students to focus on research instead of how to pay their bills.
I recently had an experience that felt like the mental equivalent of a hot, muddy, exhausting, physically scarring, and obstacle-filled endurance Bone Frog Challenge race that I ran a couple years ago. Only this time I was comfortably seated in an auditorium.
The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is a report released every four years (last assessment was in 2009) to inform Congress and the President on recent advances in climate change impacts in the United States. However, almost all of the components that go into the production of this report are made available to the public. Some of the components (e.g.