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UMCES: Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders

4.2 stars
6 ratings

Communicating science effectively is a critical skill for anyone involved in environmental policy or sustainability. Learn how to integrate effective visualizations into compelling narratives to clearly explain complex ecosystem processes.

5 weeks
5–8 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

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Starts Dec 1

About this course

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Effective science communicators are in short supply during a time of unprecedented environmental challenges. As policy-makers, businesses, and communities seek solutions, the need for science communication skills will only grow. In this course, you will not only learn how to identify the tools of science communication, but will be able critique, refine, and develop them.

Any leader understands that data is the underpinning of competent decision-making. Complex systems require that data be presented in a clear and accessible format. You will learn to construct easy-to-interpret data visualizations that will enable you to build consensus and facilitate decisions across a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

Data tells us a story. Articulating and messaging this data-driven narrative to communicate the latest research is a key skill for any manager. You will learn to use proven techniques to develop such narratives so that you can effectively communicate complex data-sets to any audience.

Cogent science communication requires the effective integration of a captivating and accessible narrative with appealing multimedia data visualizations. These two new skills are the foundation for telling a larger story. Compelling “stories” are a proven approach to explain complex problems, involve the target audience, and motivate diverse stakeholders to work toward change.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcripts: English, Español, Wikang Tagalog
  • Associated programs:
  • Associated skills: Leadership, Environmental Policy, Decision Making, Target Audience, Strategic Communication, Science Communication, Integration, Data Visualization

What you'll learn

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  • How to identify and critique features of science communication products that utilize effective visualization and narrative techniques.
  • How to produce appealing data visualization that avoid ‘chart junk’ or ‘map clutter’.
  • How to articulate a succinct, captivating narrative using the ‘and, but, therefore’ template.
  • How to develop a compelling science communication product that integrates best-practice visualizations and concise narrative.

Module 1:

  • Why is science communication important?
  • Iconic science communicators
  • The science behind science communication
  • What makes a good story?
  • Who are you talking to?
  • Narrative structure

Module 2:

  • Data Visualization Part 1
  • Data Visualization Part 2
  • 10 Classic Conceptual Diagrams
  • 10 IAN Conceptual Diagrams
  • 10 Classic maps

Module 3:

  • Storyboarding
  • Active titles
  • Storyboarding Process
  • Project Management
  • Seven Elements of Layout and Design
  • Layout and Design Examples
  • Critique and Review

Module 4:

  • Color Theory
  • Color Theory Basics
  • Color in Science Communication
  • Symbols and Diagrams
  • Symbols
  • Conceptual Diagram Creation
  • Conceptual Diagram Examples

Module 5:

  • Science Writing vs. Science Communication
  • Science Communication Products
  • Photos in Science Communication
  • Videos in Science Communication
  • Assembling a Scientific Presentation
  • Presentation Preparation
  • Delivering a Presentation

Learner testimonials

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Great course, all the information was shared in an effective way. the videos were valuable and as a verified learner I got access to great extra content. The key points help you to understand better the important topics covered during the videos, and the speaker is also extremely good. - Class Central Learner Testimonial

This course is part of Environmental Management for Sustainability Professional Certificate Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
4 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
5 months
5 - 8 hours per week

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