A 'New' Scientist

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | August 19, 2009 10:24 am

While CM is traveling and I enter the homestretch of book edits, we’ve decided to feature some talented guest bloggers we enjoyed working with at last week’s communications workshop at Scripps. These graduate students are exactly the kind of emerging voices we highlighted in our Powell’s essay entitled The New Scientists and we’re pleased to have them contribute here. Kicking off the first post, we’d like to introduce readers to Joel Barkan.

joel-smile.jpgJoel was born and raised in the small town of Holden, Maine, where he developed an interest in the ocean at the nearby coast.  He attended Vassar College as an undergraduate, majoring in Environmental Studies.  After graduating, Joel spent two winter field seasons in Hawaii with The Dolphin Institute where he assisted Dr. Adam Pack with humpback whale field research.  Their work focused on population abundance and behavior in their breeding grounds.  A highlight of each season was their collaboration with National Geographic, which sent a team to Maui to deploy a Crittercam (an underwater camera on humpbacks).  He left Hawaii to work at the Catalina Island Marine Institute on Santa Catalina Island, twenty-five miles off the coast of Southern California.  There Joel taught outdoor marine science to visiting middle and high school students in the form of snorkeling, kayaking, and hands-on labs.  He came to Scripps Institution of Oceanography to pursue his interests in marine education and marine science policy.

Please join us in welcoming Joel to The Intersection! His first post about the role of scientists in policy decisions will appear in a few hours. Once again, since he is our guest, we will be strict when it comes to comments.


Comments (8)

  1. Blogger

    Congrats and welcome to Joel Barkan!

    Every new scientist lessens the hold and influence of the ‘you know who’ type scientists.

  2. Jon

    I come from Maine too, but from a region that you up there around Bangor would call “Northern Massachusetts.”

    Welcome aboard! And just don’t mention religion and you’ll be fine.

  3. I spent my grad years in Maine, right next to Bangor in Old Town. Would love to return…


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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