I enjoy making our research findings available to a broad spectrum of the general public, both through personal outreach in schools and via the press. Some of my favorite activities involve bringing a “traveling tidepool” exhibit to local elementary school classrooms in which I engage students with stories of the biology and natural history of animals that are both familiar to them (sea stars and crabs) and quite foreign (sea cucumbers, sea squirts). My goal is to educate kids about the diversity of life in the sea and instill in them an appreciation for this diversity in the hopes that this might make them more understanding of the importance of preserving biodiversity in the face of human activities.
Our research on invasive species has been reported in local newspapers in locations where these species pose particular threats to environmental or economic interests. I have also done interviews on our research on native species diversity effects on invasion by introduced species for a number of mainstream press outlets (newspapers, radio (NPR), and magazines (Businessweek)). The marine biodiversity – ecosystem function work was featured in many newspaper, television, and radio outlets, as I mentioned above. Links to a selection of these stories are available in the “In the News” section. Finally, my research on decorator crab ecology and behavior has been written up in Highlights magazine for children, and aired as a segment that included an interview with me and pictures of the crabs we have studied on ABC World News, which was doing a feature on “animals that dress up for Halloween”. A movie of this feature is available on the page describing my research on decorator crabs and on the In the News Section.
I also serve the State of California as a member of the Science Advisory Team for the state’s Ocean Protection Council