Social Media for Scientists Workshops

Like it or not, everyone has an online presence. What you do with yours will determine not only how the world views you and your research, but also how successful you will be at collaborating with other scientists, teaching your students, and engaging the public. It’s time to admit that social media has become far too important to ignore.

You could take the time to navigate the world of social media on your own, or you can learn from someone who’s already put their feet in the fire and done the research. I have successfully used social media to connect and collaborate with other scientists, engage the public through scientific outreach, and to promote active learning in the classroom.  Upon request, I have developed and taught numerous social media workshops targeted to scientists who wish to engage other scientists and/or the public (Oregon State University 2012, University of Lund 2013).  Examples of presentations can be seen on my Slideshare page.

I am available to consult and teach 1-5 day workshops on the use of social media to science laboratories, programs, and departments.  As an academic incorporating social media into an active scientific research program, I provide a unique perspective compared to other social media consultants.   Workshops will combine theory and recommendations based on personal experience and current published literature from the social and computer sciences with hands on tutorials and training.

Workshops and consulting can be custom tailored.  Costs (amenable to a wide range of budgets) and details can be discussed by contacting

Details of my experience include:

  • Founder and chief editor of  Deep-Sea News (, a social media power house. The DSN social media operation includes a blog, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr streams. Deep-Sea News is considered the most popular marine blog on the web (rated by Nature Blog Network) and since August 2004 our traffic has increased to over 500,000 visitors a month. Deep-Sea News has won multiple awards (EcoDardevil, Thinking Blogger Award, OpenLab 2007-2013/Best of Science Writing on the Web) and enjoyed collaborating with Seed Media, ScienceNature, and National Geographic on web initiatives.  Deep-Sea News was featured content on the Discovery Channel (6/08-12/08) and Scienceblogs (1/06-6/08). My work with Deep-Sea News continues to be highlighted. ”Deep Sea News casts back to the best traditions of popular science, sparking curiosity and bewonderment, explaining the phenomena in comprehensible language. It’s all about communication between the expert and an interested reader, a transfer of knowledge and ideas, sharing the passion. Deep Sea News is a solid blog with wide appeal. Recommended.“-Blog Critics Magazine. DSN is highlighted in the Charlotte Observer by Scott Huler: Online Science Conference Draws 250, in the NewsObserverColumbian Journalism Review, and NPR’s Where We Live: Explorers.
  • Keynote lecturer for Oceans Online 2013 on the topic of how to build an effective social media outreach campaign.
  • Invited panelist for  discussions on social media outreach at Union of Concerned Scientists Science of Social Media, National Academy of Science Roundtable Discussion on the Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences, and Grist’s Seas the Day Forum.
  • Coauthor of a chapter titled “Digital Environmentalism: Tools and strategies for the evolving online ecosystem” and author of a forthcoming paper titled “The knowns, unknowns, and unknowables of social media outreach”.
  • Architect and instructor of an experimental course with 5 Duke University undergraduates in which science outreach and research were not seen as separate spheres.  I designed the course based on my belief that effective science communication required better integration between research and outreach. For the entire 2013 Fall semester, 5 undergraduates explored and collected data on the body size of various ocean giants ranging from the giant squid and blue whale to the oarfish and leatherback turtle.  Each student focused on collecting data from scientific literature, contacts at museums, public media, fisheries services, and other archival information for a few specific animals.  Most of these connections were built through social media.  The students became experts on their individual animals; in part from their literature search for body size data and part from sharing that knowledge with the public through social media. Each student also contributed blog posts to that serves as the core of our outreach. I also required each student to engage the science community and public via Twitter.  Each week there were actual Twitter assignments. Examples of the student’s outreach can be found at ( and on Twitter at #sizingoceangiants. The course was featured in the Toronto Star and the blog declared must read content by Southern Fried Science.