In this Newsletter...

We feature current research, events and outreach activities at SDSU's Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory.

In this issue:

  • Science Journalism
  • Photo of the Month
  • Events
  • Shout outs
  • Sally the Scientist
Photo of the Month:
Sally the Scientist explores the rocky shore with M.S. Student Alex Warneke and fellow ocean enthusiasts.
(Photo credit: A. Warnkeke)

Newsroom Favorite:

Interviewing! As a reporter, I interviewed two forensic anthropologists who volunteer to solve crimes. The team identifies remains so law enforcement can repatriate undocumented persons back to their families.


High Tech Fair
Oct. 21 Student Parent night at the Del Mar Fair Grounds
Come see MEBSA's marine science exhibit!
Event organized by San Diego Science Alliance


Shout outs!


Shelby Rinehart awarded the UC Davis Career Discovery Fellowship
Sally the Scientist

Click here to print your own Sally. Send in a picture of you and Sally exploring and we will post it on our webpage.  Every month we showcase our favorite Sally picture in our newsletter!

Support MEBSA

Our entire budget comes from donations and grants. If you would like to make a contribution to marine science outreach in San Diego, CA, please click here to donate. We greatly appreciate it! 

Speaking up for Science with Journalism

SDSU student reports science news through the AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship
In his June 2013 speech, President Obama said “Speak up for the facts.” These simple words motivate me to communicate science and help explain how I ended up in a newsroom. 
This summer I participated in the AAAS Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowship, a program designed to bridge the gap between science and the public. The Fellowship Program selects 15 scientists and transforms them into news reporters by placing them at media outlets around the country.

 My host newspaper, The News & Observer, embodies a classic print newsroom with high standards and 150 years of reporting. As the only full-time science “beat” reporter, I had the freedom to write about almost anything, but a responsibility to cover the most important research.

One of the most surreal moments of the summer was talking live on air at the WUNC public radio station (listen here).

How did I end up on the radio? A research study came out with an exciting finding: improved air quality in North Carolina reduced death rates from asthma and emphysema.  News outlets around the country reported the study.


A tip from a seasoned reporter motivated me to investigate the study's methods. After a few phone calls, I discovered funding for the air monitors were cut in a North Carolina state bill. In my article about the study, I also discussed the bill and presented a cost-benefit analysis of public health, air pollution standards and monitoring.

This analysis caught the eye of the local public radio station, which requested I voice my findings on their show, The State of Things. A few days after the article came out and the show aired, lawmakers modified the bill to protect funding for the air monitors. While their motivation remains a mystery, bringing the issue into public discussion taught me the value of communicating science to inform public opinion on current issues and government policy.
The fellowship expanded my understanding of the role of scientists in society. Society benefits from effective science communicators.  Now more than ever, I am inspired to speak up for the facts and communicate science.
Thank you to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and my sponsor, the Noyce Foundation, for investing in my career!
Click here to read Sarah’s articles. 

Author: Sarah Wheeler, Ph.D. Candidate, contact at
Copyright © 2012 Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory, All rights reserved.

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