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Program Training Scientists as Communicators
Oregon State University, News and Communication Services
by: David Stauth, Source: Judith Vergun
May 8, 2001

CORVALLIS - The third class of Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows will soon begin their training in this annual program to assist some of the nation's leading environmental scientists in doing public, private and political communication, outreach and educational activities.

The program is operated by Oregon State University on behalf of the Ecological Society of America, with funding support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Begun in 1998, it assists scientists who want to be more effective communicators of scientific information. This initiative has already produced 60 fellows from 25 states and the District of Columbia, who have been trained in working with the private sector, public news media, policy makers, non-governmental organizations and other scientists. Their environmental expertise runs from ecology and evolution to genetics, oceanography, fisheries, molecular biology, geography, engineering, economics, political science and many other fields.

"Each of the 22 new fellows is a talented, articulate and recognized environmental scientist," said Judith Vergun, project director. "They will receive advanced leadership and communication training during the coming year, and improve their ability to share scientific expertise with a broad array of interested parties beyond academia."

Training sessions will be June 20-27 in Tucson, Arizona and September 7-14 in Washington, D.C.

Selection for the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program is competitive. More details about the program, fellows, their expertise and other information can be found on the website at One of the fellows chosen for this year's training is Terri Lomax, professor of botany and plant pathology at OSU and director of the university's new Program for the Analysis of Biotechnology Issues. In that role, Lomax works frequently with the public, policy makers and news media to help explain and analyze some of the complex and controversial issues surrounding biotechnology. Lomax is the third OSU professor to receive training in this program.

Other academic experts who will participate in this year's training are from such prestigious institutions as the University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Rutgers University, California Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara, University of Washington, University of Colorado and other schools.

The 2001 fellows include:

ALASKA: Richard Boone and Brenda Norcross, University of Alaska at Fairbanks

ARIZONA: Thomas Sisk, Northern Arizona University

ARKANSAS: Robyn Hannigan, Arkansas State University

CALIFORNIA: Frank Davis, University of California at Santa Barbara; Janet Hering, California Institute of Technology; Daniel Kammen, University of California at Berkeley

COLORADO: Alan Townsend, University of Colorado; Kathleen Galvin, Colorado State University

LOUISIANA: Emir Macari, Louisiana State University

MARYLAND: Ruth DeFries, University of Maryland

MASSACHUSETTS: Ann Giblin, Ecosystem Center ;of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole

MICHIGAN: Robin Burnam, University of Michigan; Jianguo Liu, Michigan State University

NEW JERSEY: Steven Handel, Rutgers University

NEW YORK: Sandra Shumway, Southampton College of Long Island University

NORTH CAROLINA: Michael Mallin, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

WASHINGTON: Shahid Naeem, University of Washington