Significance of outreach and broader impacts
Engaging in outreach and public education are very important to me personally. I participate in formal and informal public education in a variety of contexts, and it is honestly somewhat difficult to describe this work concisely. Working with a variety of groups ranging from kindergarteners and in-service teachers to amateur paleontologists, like the Dry Dredgers, and the public in general is really rewarding.
My experiences comprise only a small subset of the ways that scientists engage and benefit the public from our work. Most of my colleagues are involved with projects like podcast (like Palaeocast), website (here are some great ones: PaleoMap project, PaleoPortal), or media development (so many YouTube videos like this one: ). Others organize tremendously impressive efforts, such as the FOSSIL project and National Fossil Day. In general, scientists are approachable people who LOVE to talk about their research and teach others about science in general. I invite you to get to know a scientist in your region!
Recently, Rachel Salter from the STEPPE office interviewed me about my experiences with outreach, broader impacts, and career issues in general. Rachel did a wonderful job transcribing our broad ranging conversation into two concise blog pieces, which are available via the STEPPE website:
Part 1: Focuses on my career, research, and how to make education in geosciences more effective and fun! https://steppe.org/interview-with-alycia-stigall-life-education/
Part 2: Focuses on developing strong broader impacts for research projects https://steppe.org/interview-with-alycia-stigall-part-2-broader-impacts/