GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 201-12
Presentation Time: 11:10 AM


WALTON-DAY, Katherine1, HINCK, Jo Ellen2, SIEBERS, Benjamin J.3, CAMPBELL, Kate M.1, CROTEAU, Marie-Noele4, WELCH, Eric5, SCHUSTER, Rudy6 and MICHALEGKO, Lesley F.5, (1)U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO 80225, (2)U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia, MO 65201, (3)U.S. Geological Survey, Middleton, WI 53562, (4)U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025, (5)Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85004, (6)U.S. Geological Survey, Ft. Collins, CO 80526

Parties interested in results from scientific studies of the environmental effects of uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region include the general public, non-governmental organizations, scientists, Native American tribes, state and federal resource managers, and elected officials. It is a challenge to effectively communicate science to diverse audiences and for results of scientific studies to be incorporated in resource-management decisions. Herein, we present an evolving approach that used two novel visual-art-based products designed to enhance scientific communication beyond what is achievable using conventional outlets such as press releases, fact sheets, or public presentations. This effort was led by project geo- and bio-scientists. One of the novel products is a comic-strip style narrative that uses graphic images to convey results of monitoring radon gas near an active uranium mine. The other is a fact sheet that uses art and jargon-free language to synthesize results from 20 published scientific studies. The communication approach is evolving to include collaborative input from social scientists. This new approach will more thoroughly examine the challenges of communicating science about the environmental effects of uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region. It includes developing an engagement strategy for interested parties, a review and synthesis of existing scientific and communication products, identifying data gaps, and creating at least one new communication product based on findings. The inclusion of social-science methods permits a more analytical, evidence-based approach to scientific communication that will enhance our original, strictly intuitive, approach.