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Research Educator Exchange Forum (REEF)

REEF is a professional development workshop for scientists where they learn about strategies for communicating science and broader impacts activities and successful techniques for working with the media, educators and informal science centers. Teams of early-career marine scientists, educators and media specialists were invited to create preliminary communities of practice focused on communicating science.

As a capstone experience, each scientist was challenged to develop and deliver an outreach program at a local informal science center by early next spring. Program plans varied from cart programs to lectures to a scientist fair for teachers. These programs will provide each scientist with a mentored outreach experience and an impetus to maintain contact with his or her community of practice.

REEF outcomes to be assessed include: (1) scientists improve and hone their communication skills, develop a cadre of contacts, identify BI opportunities, and share most effective practices with the REEF communities and colleagues; (2) educators gain insight about research careers and the nature of science, reflect on their teaching styles, share most effective communication practices; and, (3) all participants benefit professionally from participating in a community of practice focused on communicating ocean sciences.

REEF 2011 was one large regional workshop consisting of scientists, media specialists, formal educators, and informal educators.

REEF 2012 was a North Carolina focused workshop of the same audience.

REEF 2013 is comprised of three workshops in each state of the COSEE SE region (North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) targeting outreach needs of scientistse.
Safra Altman
Safra Altman (UGA), sharing squareback crab research on Sapelo Island. Photo by: Georgia Graves.