1. Human details tangibly bring a story to life.
Being able to relate to a researcher is key to having an interest in what that person researches. When a science story includes the scientist, a reader can hope for a quirky anecdote, a personal revelation that is highly intriguing, or even a zany description of the scientist’s physical attributes. Continue reading “3 reasons why we should tell stories about scientists, not just science.”
“Dear Digit, I am not an artist or photographer, but I need attractive images for my communications. Since there are lots of images on the internet, I can usually find what I need. I want to do the right thing, so I usually write “photo by Google.” That’s good enough, right?”
Considering how many images are available on the internet today, we have a wealth of options one right-click away. But, there’s a catch.
All images are owned by someone, and it is legally and ethically important to verify you have their permission to use the image prior to using it. In some cases, reproducing and modifying images without the right to do so can actually have serious financial and legal consequences.
So, what’s a communicator to do? Continue reading “Dear Digit: Is saying “Photo by Google” good enough?”
“Dear Digit, I know my communications are supposed to look good. But, I don’t have fancy expensive design software, and I want to do my brochures and website myself. What can I do?”
In this visual era, it is nearly implicit that our communications should not only be clear and engaging, but they should be visually compelling. However, not all of us were trained in digital arts. Those of us who were do not always have time or funds available to stay up to speed on rapidly evolving visual tools.
Fortunately, the internet is overflowing with options for every skill level. Here is a sampling of the numerous free tools and programs that can elevate your digital creative capacity. Continue reading “Dear Digit: How do I make my communications look good?”
Do you enjoy sketching or illustrating your work or field site?
You probably agree that illustrations are like research – they are often more meaningful when shared.
On the other hand, do you dread what it takes to get your sketches into a functional digital format?
So did I. Continue reading “Sketching Tip: 4 time-saving tips that can transform your field sketch from a scribble into a useful scientific illustration”
Terry Wheeler studies bugs.
Insects, that is, and he writes haiku about them. He also works at McGill, and runs a blog called Lyman Entomological Museum, which is a delightful collection of musings about life as an entomologist. He recently posted a piece called “to a young naturalist” which proposes a required reading list for a budding researcher/naturalist much broader than text books and field guides.
He writes that a snapshot of his field camp library “was a nice little microcosm of General Life Advice to the Young Academic Naturalist.”
Wheeler’s insights, derived from fundamentals such as A Naturalist’s Field Guide to the Artic and the much less obvious Of Mice and Men and To Kill a Mockingbird, encompass many of the lessons I try to share with clients and colleagues working in science and sustainability.