Hi, I’m Bethann Garramon Merkle, MFA, an award-winning science communicator and scicomm researcher committed to institution-level social change.
I lead communications and strategic planning initiatives for academic, community development, journalism, and public policy organizations. I study, use, and provide training on transdisciplinary approaches to enhance inclusive scicomm and inform equitable institutional change. I also teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses on inclusive scicomm and public engagement.
On faculty in the University of Wyoming’s Department of Zoology and Physiology, I teach science communication courses, conducts research on the efficacy of science communication training and art-science integration, and leads social justice and assessment initiatives for the department, along with contributing to strategic initiatives across campus. I also direct and co-founded the University of Wyoming Science Communication Initiative (WySCI). Through WySCI, I lead a SciComm Certification program and coach scientists at all career levels to effectively share science and raise money to do so. I have trained over 2,000 scientists how to inclusively share their science with diverse, public audiences and raise funding to do so.
As a first-generation college student myself (and having been a cultural and linguistic minority/immigrant in French Canada for four years), I am particularly committed to demystifying the hidden curriculum of academia. In all my work, I strive to make science and science-allied careers more inclusive and equitable, especially as it relates to public engagement and science communication.
I have also written over 300 articles, and I have bylines and illustrations in publications including Nature, American Scientist, BioScience, Ecology and Society, Natural Sciences Education, Western Confluence and more. My award-winning work can also be seen in projects including a college-level writing textbook and illustrations in books and films including And Then There Were None, Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming’s Ungulates, and Deer 139.
Right now, I’m a subject editor for the FACETS journal (Royal Society of Canada), an associate editor of the Natural Sciences Education journal (Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies), and the founding editor of the Communicating Science section of The Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. I am also the co-founder and co-host of Meteor SciComm, a podcast and professional community.