GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 228-3
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM


BAUER, Jennifer E., Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL 32611 and LAM, Adriane R., Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 611 N. Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003

Time Scavengers is an educational online community that explores and explains climate change and evolution through the lens of paleontology. Over the past two years, we have amassed nearly 40 informational pages, hundreds of blog posts by our collaborative team, and three social media communities. Herein, we assess the evolution of our digital communities since the inception of Time Scavengers.

Time Scavengers was publicly launched in July of 2017 along with a Twitter account, with our Facebook page created in November 2017 and Instagram account in October 2018. Our social media platforms serve as a way to reach a wider audience and broadcast our site’s content. As Time Scavengers has grown, we have employed tools to increase efficiency, productivity, and appeal of our posts. Five months after our initial launch we created a set posting schedule so that we could plan ahead for our posts. A full year after launching we employed social media management and graphic design tools to manage our time more effectively (through Hootsuite) and produce visually appealing social media posts (using Canva). Data collected on posts through our social media platforms has resulted in major changes to the way in which we promote the Time Scavengers website and our bogs. We have further assessed the effects of scheduling posts and the use of social media tools to gain a wider audience through Google Analytics. Analytics runs in the background of Time Scavengers and captures data on site visitors, allowing us to assess the success of our endeavors and how the public is reaching our site.

We have also begun to expand our reach by collaborating with other groups and organizations. Our most recent endeavors has been becoming a partner in the SciCommunity, an online group of scientists interested in sharing their work with all interested parties. To further our reach and help put science at the forefront of the public’s attention, Time Scavengers is currently in the process of partnering with the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) to help produce a documentary about scientific ocean drilling. Changes in the site’s underlying structure and way in which we use social media has resulted in noticeable changes in our followers, site users, and more.