BEN YOUNG LANDIS | Science Communicator
- OUTREACH and COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR, USGS Western Ecological Research Center, Sacramento, CA.
Science writer for a federal government ecology research office. Internal communications including agency and departmental briefings, updates, tours and best management practices working groups. External communications including electronic newsletters, academic research summary briefs, blogposts, Facebook Page administration, conference tweets, outreach articles, press releases and media events, stock photography and video, script development and production assistance, educational handouts, science outreach festivals and USGS open house events, conference exhibit booths and calendars, project facilitation, event planning, web content management, graphic design and more.
- GUEST LECTURER, University of California, Davis, CA.
Invited speaker on science communications issues at graduate-level seminars for masters, doctoral and postdoctoral students in social and natural sciences. Presentation topics include press release writing, social media tools and audience engagement. Invitations to date include the Seeds of Science Communications workshop series and the Translating Research Beyond Academia seminar series (Geography 298-001). Past lecture notes include: Be Your Own Quartermaster, Pitfalls of an Online Presence, Peter Campbell Public Information Officer, Using Blogs to Enrich Your Scientific Career, Death by Six-Shooter, The Elevator Pitch, Communicating Science Through Context.
- SCIENCE WRITER and CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, North Carolina Sea Grant, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Communications team member for a state government research and outreach office, conveying coastal issues research to a general audience. Topics covered include fisheries biology, aquaculture, rural community projects. Writing, editing, and artwork for a variety of mass media products, including press releases, news updates, YouTube promos, and Google Ocean items. Tools used include iMovie, Joomla, Facebook. Wrote summaries of grantee research reports for public and government consumption. Edited content and wrote narrative feature pieces for Coastwatch, its flagship magazine. Also provided editorial and design assistance on technical and outreach publications. A Science Communications Fellowship hosted by North Carolina Sea Grant.
- SCIENCE JOURNALIST, The Orange County Register, Santa Ana, California.
Online reporter for a major California newspaper. Wrote daily stories on scientific, environment, and higher education news for a web column averaging 300,000 page views per month. Wrote under tight, same-day deadlines while maintaining high quality standards. Topics covered include astronomy, weather, medicine, animal behavior, beach contamination. Clips include galleries, Q&A, obituary, biography. Moderated public discussion forum with diplomacy and accuracy. Interviewed researchers, astronauts, and officials with respect and decorum. Created animation and graphics using Adobe Suite and by hand. Applied social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter. Participated in print, web, and radio workshops led by editors of Science, Washington Post, and NPR. A Mass Media Fellowship sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
- TEACHING ASSISTANT, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Co-created a 10-week graduate student seminar on communicating science to the lay, government, and corporate audience. Recruited speakers with experience in state government, US Congress, Coca-Cola, Environmental Defense Fund, Time Magazine. Designed course materials, led discussions, and graded assignments on writing press releases, briefing memos, blog posts.
- POLICY RESEARCHER, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University
Supervised by Bill Holman, Director of State Policy. Compared asset management and valuation methods for water infrastructure by municipalities in the Upper Neuse River Basin, North Carolina. Interviewed public and private utility managers. Review capital budgets, estimated worth of assets, and gained insights on the need for proper infrastructure inventory and valuation.
- SURVEY RESEARCH STAFF, Professor Randall Kramer, Duke University; Client: Defenders of Wildlife, Washington, DC
In a team, designed, implemented, and analyzed a telephone survey study on rural landowners in Beaufort County, North Carolina, to determine willingness-to-participate in red wolf conservation payment programs. Created survey script, set up focus group, and ran pre-test. Observed local sensitivities to elicit information on history of ownership, landuse practices, confidence in federal programs, and personal perceptions.
- CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Nicholas School Student Council, Duke University
Elected as liaison between professional students and administrators. Wrote reports and memos to Nicholas administration on student body opinions. Created a comprehensive wikipedia website to serve the student community. Conferred student groups in organizational meetings. Represented student body at Nicholas Alumni Council and Duke Board of Trustees meetings. Provided promotion and event assistance for a green issues public forum featuring advisers to then-Candidates Obama and Clinton. Co-producer for a multimedia short on student-produced nature photography at luncheon honoring actor Robert Redford.
- FIELD TECHNICIAN, Michael L. Johnson LLC, Davis, CA
Collected stormwater and runoff samples and water chemistry data from California Central Valley streams and farm drains. Ensured quality in collection of time- and temperature-sensitive samples numbering over 30 bottles/vials per site.
- INTERIM LAB MANAGER, Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis
Designed lab operation guidelines and created lab management manual for new campus research building. Compiled initial operating budget and supply needs. Reviewed and approved lab use requests and conducted safety training and inspections.
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR and STAFF RESEARCHER, Aquatic Ecosystems Analysis Laboratory, University of California, Davis
Management: Co-managed research group averaging $2.5 million in annual grants. Fielded client project requests; prepared proposal budgets and research permit applications; processed purchasing and inventory. Implemented lab safety measures and training. Wrote staff handbook and managed website content. Trained and led undergraduate assistants in detailed lab work and outdoor research.
Research: Worked on surface water monitoring and macroinvertebrate bioassessment projects. Key contributor to projects on juvenile salmon behavior and marine nutrient cycling in redwood forest ecosystem. Training includes backpack electrofishing, beach seining, PIT and latex elastimer tagging, otolith and gut content extraction.
- National Association of Science Writers (NASW)
- Capital Science Communicators (CapSciComm)
- Science Communicators of North Carolina (SCONC)
- The Wildlife Society
- Master of Environmental Management (Environmental Economics and Policy), Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
- Bachelor of Arts (Evolution and Ecology, with minor in Education), University of California-Davis