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Comment: After a disaster, should you gamble on returning? Paradise edition

Not much remains of Paradise, Calif., after the fast-moving and deadly Camp Fire scorched the area in November 2018. Today, the town is essentially gone, but the inevitable question remains: Should people rebuild in locations prone to such hazards?

06 Mar 2019

Comment: Faster flood forecasting to improve responses

High-resolution weather models can generate very accurate forecasts, but they take time to run — time that may be needed to safely respond to a rapidly unfolding weather disaster. The authors examine the tradeoffs between accuracy and timeliness in flood forecasting.

06 Feb 2019

Our top tips for adding storytelling to your repertoire

(from Green et al., Facets, February 2018)

  • Identify your take-home message first. Start with the end in mind.
  • Remember the shape of your story. Tracking the main character’s fortune over time moves the story forward.
  • Consider the scale and timing of your story. Cut irrelevant background, processes and methods if they don’t move the story forward in a compelling way.
  • Use vivid language. Help the reader feel like he or she is there.
  • Get feedback. Pause. Reflect. Try again. Find someone you trust to give you constructive, supportive criticism.
  • Embrace discomfort and transformation. Practice makes perfect.
08 Jan 2019

Comment: How to tell a good science story

Everyone has a story to tell, including scientists who make discoveries and solve mysteries about the world we live in. What better way to convey that science is relevant and exciting than by telling a good story?
08 Jan 2019

Comment: National Geological Surveys: The past, present and future

The oldest national geological survey (Britain’s) is 183 years old; the youngest (China’s) is 19. Yet all the surveys share commonalities. A symposium last June in Vancouver, British Columbia, examined where surveys have been and where they’re going.

06 Dec 2018

Comment: Learning "Minecraft" as a forty-something proves the game can be an educational tool for all ages

When an energy researcher’s work becomes the basis for a “Minecraft Education” module, he decides to learn to play the popular video game, and turns to an expert, his 12-yearold son, for lessons. 
06 Dec 2018

Comment: Making social media work for scientists

Social media platforms offer scientists simple and inexpensive ways to communicate with the public. Here’s how to start sharing your science online.

07 Nov 2018

Comment: Why is it so hard to teach climate change?

Someday, today’s young people may amass enough momentum to take action on climate change, but will they have the knowledge to do so?
01 Oct 2018

Comment: Out of bounds: Rethinking U.S. flood risk delineation

The 100-year floodplain — the area of land projected to be covered by water during a flood event that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year — has become the primary mechanism for determining flood insurance premiums and conveying flood risk, but perhaps it shouldn’t be.

04 Sep 2018

Comment: Leveraging physical oceanography in exoplanet exploration

Some exoplanets may host oceans, which are key to life on Earth. It’s time for astronomers who assess the potential habitability of other worlds to tap oceanographers’ knowledge of our own planet’s oceans.
03 Aug 2018

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