Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:25 AM


BOHON, Wendy1, ROBINSON, Sarah1, ARROWSMITH, J. Ramón2, SEMKEN, Steven3, PETTIS, Leah1, BAUMBACK, Devon1, SCHWAB, Patrick1 and GARNERO, Edward1, (1)EarthScope National Office, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, PO Box 876004, Tempe, AZ 85287-6004, (2)School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 876004, Tempe, AZ 85287-6004, (3)School of Earth and Space Exploration and Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, PO Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404,

Social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube) are now used regularly by nearly three-quarters of the teenage and adult population of the U. S. They are not the future of communication: they are its present reality. Users influence the evolution of social media and rely on them as a principal means of corresponding and receiving information. The pervasiveness and functionality of social media platforms are being leveraged by geoscience organizations and programs such as the EarthScope National Office (ESNO) to disseminate important concepts and discoveries in a timely manner. The informal environment characteristic of social media allows the public to interact with geoscientists in friendly and informal ways that enhance the cycle of discussions, observations, experiments, analyses, and conclusions inherent to science. Social media also enable geoscientists and educators with new means and opportunities to improve public perception of science, and increase public Earth science literacy.

ESNO’s broad educational objectives include a major focus on informal geoscience education that pairs well with social media. To address these goals, we established a vision and content strategy. Our vision is to offer high quality science content in a range of formats to appeal to various groups. Our goals are to (1) Increase public awareness of EarthScope science, (2) Communicate timely scientific information, (3) Engage with the public, (4) Provide an informal venue for scientific discussion, and (5) Increase brand recognition. Our comprehensive content strategy prioritizes the dissemination of new ES science, discoveries and news.

Based on our experiences creating a vibrant social-media presence we offer a “blueprint” for other science organizations interested in joining social media. We will discuss best practices, content posting strategies, platform selection and audience diversification as well as lessons learned and our thoughts on the future of social media in online science education.