Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS)

Carolyn had the opportunity to work with the fantastic Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS) team. She  was based at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA.  COMPASS helps to facilitate and foster ocean scientists to better connect themselves and their science to the wider world.  Here is a selection of Carolyn’s duties while at COMPASS:

  • Co-initiated the California regional program for COMPASS; led and assisted with the development and implementation of projects linking marine science to policy with an emphasis on marine protected areas (MPAs) including marine reserves and aquaculture.
  • Contributed to PISCOs Science of Marine Reserves Series. 
  • Brought recognition to one of the U.S.’ first marine reserves and its founder Dr. Julia Platt, for whom the reserve is now named.
  • Contributed to annual grant writing efforts to support funding for COMPASS.
  • Acted as a liaison between the NOAA National Marine Protected Area Center and California based scientists working on marine reserve issues.
  • Generated and facilitated letters of scientific comment; translated relevant science to the public, policy-makers and the media; advise scientists on ocean policy; and advise NGOs on mobilizing credible, scientific input.
  • Co-designed and implemented the “Protecting California’s Coast and Ocean: Luncheon Briefings on Science and Policy” lecture series at the California State Capitol and organized several House Ocean Caucus lectures at the U.S. Capitol.
  • Co-planned, led and coordinated science-based and workshops.

As a pioneer in the practice of science communication, COMPASS has successfully trained thousands of scientists from a wide range of disciplines and institutions, inspired journalists to create and sustain coverage of science-related topics previously not on the public radar, and facilitated connections between scientists and policymakers that have enriched policy dialogues in meaningful ways. Working with COMPASS, scientists have shaped the public discourse on key issues such as ocean acidification, fisheries, water security in the American West, wildfire, ecosystem-based management, and more. Although COMPASS focuses largely on the environmental sciences, the Message Box is a useful tool for any scientist seeking to distill what they do and why it matters for a particular audience.

Click here for the COMPASS Message Box Workbook and other Tools and Resources.