Symposium: This symposium will focus on developing research skills to create transformative research, including context-aware experimental designs, engaging community stakeholders as research partners, writing transdisciplinary papers, translating research into policy, and creating curriculum which melds microbes and social equity.
Session: Microbiomes drive processes in all environments and are intimately intertwined with all aspects of our lives. Despite the central role of microbes in shaping systems, microbial researchers are often detached from shaping policies related to conservation, public health, land use, environmental justice, climate and other areas of intersection. Policy engagement is not typically included in the academic training of microbiome researchers, and there is a need for greater coordination between policy needs and microbial research. This session will explore integrated, collaborative approaches to research and policy making.
1. Dr. Caitlyn Hall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Arizona, “The Elephant in the Lab: How can scientists engage in policy and advocacy?”
2. Dr. Kathleen Treseder, Ph.D., Howard A. Schneiderman Endowed Chair and Professor of Biology at the University of California Irvine; Climate Activist; Irvine City Council Candidate, “My experience advocating for environmental policy with local policy makers: What worked, what didn’t.”
3. Dr. Sonja Birthisel, Ph.D., Director, The Wilson Center at the University of Maine; Councilor, Orono Maine Town Council; Faculty Associate, University of Maine School of Forest Resources, “Public Policy Engagement & Personal Sustainability: What’s Your “Sparkle Zone”?”
12:30 –14:15 Introduction and Speakers
14:15 –14:30 Break
14:30 –16:00 Breakout room discussions based on skills development, in smaller groups:
How to talk to your politicians about science
How scientists get involved with policy
Curriculum for science policy
Environmental microbial policy issues