Scientist Engagement

LPI's Science Engagement team collaborates with partners and community stakeholders to develop and share opportunities for professional development with scientists and students. Seminars and workshops address topics like communication, networking, career exploration, and more. Find information about past and upcoming programs below.

2019 LPSC poster presentations
Dr. Kathleen Vander Kaaden with workshop participant
Traveling Exhibits


Upcoming Events

Professional Development Seminar: Effective Mentoring Practices
Professional Development Seminar: Effective Mentoring Practices

Monday, May 20, 2024
2:00 p.m. Central (3 p.m. Eastern / 1 p.m. Mountain / 12 p.m. Pacific)

Join the Lunar and Planetary Institute for a virtual professional development session. In this 60-minute seminar, we are joined by Dr. Sarah Hokanson and Dr. Béné Gnangnon of Boston University and the Postdoc Academy. We will share evidence-based practices for building an effective mentoring relationship, provide resources, and answer questions. Whether you are a first-time mentor, an experienced mentor, or just interested in learning more, this session will prepare you to make the most of your next mentoring interaction. All are welcome to attend.

Register

Explore mentoring resources from the Postdoc Academy.

The seminar will be recorded. The recording will be available on LPI’s YouTube channel.

Please contact Grace Beaudoin ([email protected]) with questions.

Professional Development Programs

Sharing Planetary Science: Engaging with Public Audiences

The Sharing Planetary Science program assists planetary scientists in their communication and public engagement activities. Sessions include interactive activities and demonstrations to allow participants to practice and share their insights.

Tools for Engaging Public Audiences 
Seminar: Designing Accessible Conference Presentations

Monday, February 27
4 pm EST / 3 pm CST / 2 pm MST / 1 pm PST

Do you have an oral or poster presentation at LPSC or another conference? Join this virtual, 60-minute seminar to learn strategies for making the format, colors, choice of wording, figures, and presentation style accessible to all attendees.

This recording is available online.

Slides are available for download.

Sharing Planetary Science: Adapting Your Talks

Thursday, October 20
1 pm EDT/ 12 pm CDT/ 11 am MDT/ 10 am PDT

It can be challenging to adjust a planetary science presentation for a new audience: children, students, amateur astronomers, and others. Join this session to learn about and discuss strategies for tailoring a presentation to specific audiences. This session is free and open to all members of the planetary science community who wish to learn more about engaging public audiences.

This recording is available online.

Slides are available for download.

Sharing Planetary Science: Using Hands-On Activities

Friday, July 22
3:00 p.m. CDT (4 Eastern/ 3 Central/ 2 Mountain/ 1 Pacific)

Learn about a variety of versatile, hands-on activities that scientists can use to engage different audiences in planetary science. All planetary scientists (including researchers, engineers, and graduate students) are invited to join to discuss effective strategies and share your experiences and favorite activities.

This recording is available online.

Slides are available for download.

Sharing Planetary Science: Engaging Culturally Diverse Audiences

Tuesday, May 17
3:00 p.m. CST (4 Eastern/ 3 Central/ 2 Mountain/ 1 Pacific)

The first step in serving diverse audiences is learning more about their needs and interests and establishing a partnership. Explore ways to initiate and sustain partnerships and to create culturally relevant connections in your programs.

This recording is available online.

Slides are available for download.

Sharing Planetary Science: De-Jargoning your Talks

Tuesday, February 15
3:00 p.m. CST (4 Eastern/ 3 Central/ 2 Mountain/ 1 Pacific)

There are many ways to say things. We often default to using jargon, but these words or phrases may be meaningless to your audience; worse, hearing a presentation with jargon may cause your audience to lose interest. Join us to hear from Dr. Olivia Ambrogio (AGU), Steven Smith (NASA), and Christine Shupla (LPI), who will discuss strategies that will help you to identify and avoid jargon.

This recording is available online.

Slides are available for download.

Sharing Planetary Science: Common Planetary Misconceptions

December 7, 2021
3:00 p.m. CST

Audiences may have mistaken ideas about the size, scale, and characteristics of objects in the solar system, and limited understanding of astronomical and geological time and concepts. Join Dr. Sanlyn Buxner (Planetary Science Institute), Dr. Molly Simon (Arizona State University) and Christine Shupla (LPI) to learn about how people learn and some of the common planetary misconceptions that may affect education and public engagement programs, and to discuss ways to modify your presentations and activities.

This recording is available online.

Slides are available.

Sharing Planetary Science: Engaging Children

October 19, 2021
3:00 p.m. CDT

Many scientists are less experienced in interacting with young audiences. Join Sha’Rell Webb (LPI Public Engagement Lead), Vivian White (Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Director of Free Choice Learning) and Christine Shupla (LPI Education and Public Engagement Manager) to practice strategies for engaging children in planetary science.

This recording is available online.

Sharing Planetary Science: Addressing Controversial Scientific Topics

August 17, 2021
3:00 p.m. CDT (4 Eastern/ 3 Central/ 2 Mountain/ 1 Pacific)

LPI’s Sharing Planetary Science seminars are for planetary scientists (including early career scientists and planetary engineers) interested in engaging public audiences. Join us on August 17 to discuss ways to address controversial scientific topics during public engagement programs.

This recording is available online.

Sharing Planetary Science: Communicating with Policy Makers

Apr 27, 2021
2:00 p.m. CDT (3 Eastern/ 2 Central/ 1 Mountain/ 12 Pacific)

LPI’s Sharing Planetary Science seminars are for planetary scientists (including early career scientists and planetary engineers) interested in engaging public audiences. Join us on April 27 to learn how to reach out to and communicate your research and issues effectively with legislators. Experts from AGU’s Public Affairs team will share an overview and tips, and respond to your questions.

Handouts from AGU:

This recording is available online.
Message and Ask for Policymakers
Researching Policymakers
Scicomm Essential Tips and Tools
Creating a One Pager
Watch Your Words

LPI webinar: Sharing Planetary Science: Social Media

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. CDT

A popular way to disseminate planetary science to a variety of audiences is through social media. Learn techniques and suggestions for disseminating your science from masters of social media, and discuss institutional policies. Speakers include Courtney O’Connor, NASA Social Media Specialist; Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín, LPI Staff Scientist; and Julie Tygielski, LPI Social Media & Communications.

This recording is available online.

Sharing Planetary Science: Writing for the Public

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

An excellent way to share planetary science and exploration with broad audiences is to write a blog or a compelling article for a newsletter or periodical. Learn tips for writing about planetary science for public audiences from Emily Lakdawalla, planetary scientist and science communicator, and Martin Ratcliffe, astronomy educator and science writer.

This recording is available online.
Writing for the Public (PDF)

Sharing Planetary Science: Engaging Audiences with Disabilities

Wednesday, November 4, 2:00 p.m. CST (3 p.m. EST, 1:00 p.m. MST, 12:00 p.m. PST)

Join us to hear about best practices for making planetary science more accessible for functionally and neurologically diverse audiences, and to discuss resources and ways to modify your programs to engage audience members with disabilities. Our presenters include Laura Jean Checki, a Solar System Ambassador and the CEO of Interstellar Inspirations, LLC, with more than 12 years’ experience working with individuals with disabilities and creating Universal Instructional Design educational products; Cassandra Runyon, a planetary scientist and Director of the NASA SC Space Grant Consortium, whose passion is helping to provide access to STEM for all audiences, including those with visible and invisible disabilities; and Michele Daly, the Director of Disability Education at Interstellar Inspirations, LLC and at the Meadowlands Environment Center.

This recording is available online.
Exploring Space through the Senses (PPT)
Working with People with Disabilities (PDF)
Working with Differently-Abled Audiences and Universal Instructional Design (PPT)
Space Science is for Everyone: Creating and Using Accessible Resources in Educational Settings (PDF)

Sharing Planetary Science: De-Jargoning Your Talks

Sept. 17, 2020, 2:00 pm Central Time

There are many ways to say things. We often default to using jargon, but these words or phrases may be meaningless to your audience; worse, hearing a presentation with jargon may cause your audience to lose interest. Join Dr. Sanlyn Buxner (PSI) and Christine Shupla (LPI) to discuss some ways to identify and avoid jargon.

This recording is available online.
Resources on De-Jargoning Your Talks (PDF)
De-Jargoning Your Talks (PPT)

Engaging Audiences Virtually

June 3, 2020, 1:00 pm Central Daylight Time

Presenting content virtually is challenging, and it is even more difficult to have authentic dialogue with audiences when the format is online. Join us to discuss strategies to initiate active participation from audiences and to incorporate feedback in a virtual program.
This recording is available online.

Presenting to Culturally Diverse Audiences

April 22, 2020, 3:30 to 5:00 pm Central Time

It can be challenging to communicate when your audience’s experiences are different from your own. Learn about ways to make culturally relevant connections with diverse audiences, such as partnering with community organizations, checking our own biases, and finding resources to learn more. Panelists include Dr. Christina Richey, Dr. Frances Rivera-Hernandez, and Dr. David Trang.
Resources (PDF)
The recording is available online.

Giving Successful Press Interviews

Learn tips for sharing your science and practice giving interviews with professional science news journalists.
Speakers include:

The recording is available online.

Measuring Your Impact

It's difficult to improve public engagement skills without data; learn how to invite your audience to share their thoughts and get useful data to inform future events.
Measuring Your Impact (PPT)
Measuring Your Impact (PDF)

Using Social Media

A popular way to share your science is using social media. Masters of social media, including Emily Lakdawalla, Edgard Rivera-Valentín, Alex Parker, and Julie Tygielski shared techniques and suggestions for disseminating your science.
Using Social Media (PDF)
The recording is available online.

Addressing Controversial Topics

Recommendations from participating scientists and from the National Center for Science Education, and other resources.
Addressing Controversial Topics (PPT)
Recommendations (PDF)

Common Planetary Misconceptions

Audiences may have mistaken ideas about the size, scale, and characteristics of objects in the solar system, and limited understanding of astronomical and geological time and concepts. Learn common misconceptions and how to address them.
Common Planetary Misconceptions (PPT)

Making Planetary Science Relevant

We connect to audiences by making our content relevant; learn some techniques for making planetary science relevant to different groups.

Handouts:
Making Planetary Science Relevant (PPT)
Relevance Cards (PDF)
Relevancy Worksheet (PDF)

Getting the Audience’s Attention

Public engagement starts with capturing the audience’s attention. We will discuss engagement techniques, from catchy phrases to activities and demonstrations to presentation styles.

Handouts:
Getting the Audience’s Attention (PPT)
Attention Worksheet (DOC)
LPI Resources for Public Engagement in Planetary Science (PDF)

Understanding Audience Goals

Public engagement activities need to be guided by the audience’s own goals and needs and where they intersect the scientist’s goals. We will provide insight into the different goals that different audiences bring to public engagement events.
Understanding Audience Goals (PPT)

For Students and Early Career Scientists

These programs support the advancement of students and early career scientists in planetary science by providing information about internships, career pathways, professional conferences, and more.

Current internship, fellowship, and job opportunities in planetary science 

Every summer, college students from around the world join scientists at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA’s Johnson Space Center to work on exciting planetary science research. Internships help young scientists gain research experience, develop professional skills, and network with experts in the field.

So how do you become an intern? And what’s it like to do a summer research project? During LPI Intern Stories, hear from LPI summer interns about how they applied and prepared for their internship, their ongoing experiences, and how the internship has helped them.

LPI Intern Stories 2023
This recording is available online 

LPI Intern Stories 2022
This recording is available online 

LPI Intern Stories 2021
Panel 1: This recording is available online 
Panel 2: This recording is available online 
Panel 3: This recording is available online 

With support from the ChemCam instrument team on the Mars Curiosity mission, the LPI hosted three informational webinars for students and early career scientists who have an interest in becoming involved in current or future planetary missions. Each virtual event features a panel of mentors and mission scientists who share their backgrounds, experiences, and recommendations. Undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and early career scientists were invited to join for a discussion of how to prepare, both academically and professionally, for a career in mission science.

Session 1: May 2022
This recording is available online 

Session 2: July 2022
This recording is available online 

Session 3: September 2022
This recording is available online 

Optimizing your Conference Experience
February 2023

Are you planning to attend a science conference and looking for information on how to prepare? In this 90-minute program, we explore topics like networking, goal setting, in-person and remote presenting, and more. You'll hear from planetary science experts and LPSC veterans about how to get the most out of the conference experience.

This recording is available online 

Additional resources are available for download 

Designing Accessible Presentations
February 2023

Do you have an oral or poster presentation at LPSC or another conference? In this 60-minute seminar, you'll learn from experts about strategies for making the format, colors, choice of wording, figures, and presentation style accessible to all attendees.

This recording is available online 

Managing Stress Fatigue
January 2023

Scientists often experience intense levels of professional stress, particularly in early-career stages. While work-related stress may be inevitable, accumulated stress can lead to “stress fatigue” and burnout. Not only are these experiences detrimental to an individual’s professional, psychological, and physical well-being, they have far-reaching, adverse consequences for the broader scientific community. So how can you address stress fatigue in yourself and others to restore engagement and cultivate success? In this 75-minute presentation, we discuss stress fatigue and share practical strategies for recognizing, preventing, and managing it.

This recording is available online 

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