Effective Broader Impacts - Lessons Learned by the Ocean Science Community

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 8:45 AM
Gail Scowcroft, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI, United States
Effective broader impact activities have the potential for scientists to engage with educators, students, and the public in meaningful ways that lead to increased scientific literacy. These interactions provide opportunities for the results and discoveries of federally funded research projects, along with their implications for society, to reach non-scientist audiences. This is especially important for climate, ocean, and environmental science research that will aid citizens in better understanding how they affect Earth’s systems and how these systems affect their daily lives. The National Centers for Ocean Sciences Excellence (COSEE) Network has over 12 years of experience in conducting successful broader impact activities and has provided thousands of ocean scientists the opportunity to share the fruits of their research well beyond the scientific enterprise. COSEE evaluators and principal investigators collaborated over several years to determine the impacts of COSEE broader impact activities and to identify best practices. The lessons learned by the ocean science community can help to inform other disciplines. Fruitful broader impact activities require key elements, no matter the composition of the audience. For example, a high degree of success can be achieved when a “bridge builder” facilitates the interactions between scientists and non-science audiences. This presentation will offer other examples of best practices and successful strategies for engaging scientists in broader impact activities, increasing societal impacts of scientific research, and providing opportunities for collaboration on a national scale. http://www.cosee.net