Ecoservice: What It Is & Why Scientists Should Do More of It

August 6, 2014

Miranda Redmond, Ph.D. candidate 
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado-Boulder 
Boulder, Colorado

I am a forest ecologist and ecoservice enthusiast. You may be wondering, “What is ecoservice?” In a recent paper on the subject, Roberto Salguero-Gomez and others defined ecoservice as an activity other than research and teaching assistantships that increases the public’s environmental awareness. Ecoservice may include teaching K-12 students, volunteering at environmental organizations, or organizing workshops for the general public, but it always uses science to educate and engage others about the world around them.

Panel discussion on how to address contrarian claims at the Teaching Controversial Topics Workshop (organized by students and post-docs at the University of Colorado – Boulder) for middle school and high school science teachers. We primarily focused on how to teach climate change and evolution. Photo Credit: Sara Paull

Why I engage in ecoservice

Why am I such an ecoservice enthusiast? Because I care deeply about the environment and am passionate about creating a socially just planet. Of course, I view scientific research as an integral component in addressing many looming environmental issues (I am a scientist after all!), but I also feel that another big piece of the puzzle involves raising public awareness of environmental issues and increasing scientific literacy.  It is critical that scientists communicate their knowledge about topics that may be viewed by the public as controversial but are not actually controversial among scientists, such as human-induced climate change and evolution.

Read more here.

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