You’re Working from Home Now

Working from HomeI’ve been freelancing from my home office for around eight years, and I would be reluctant to trade back. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility. On the other hand, it wasn’t an easy transition. I missed having colleagues close by and sometimes had trouble budgeting my time. For those who are working from home for the first time, here are a few tips.

The Office
Take time to set up your office right. You may want to pick up a second monitor – I find it indispensable. But also spend some time (and money if you can) on good ergonomics and a comfy chair. You’re going to be there a lot.

You will also have to learn new skills. Maybe Zoom wasn’t your best talent. It is now. And nobody from IT is coming to your home to troubleshoot your network problems. If you’re trying something new, test it before the interview/meeting. There’s nothing worse than facing technical failure while you’re trying to do something important.

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Too Much Good Stuff

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Several SANDSWA members recently visited the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, in Escondido next to the Safari Park. I’d say the tour was amazing, but that would be underselling it.

We were led by Maggie Reinbold, director of Community Engagement. Maggie talks fast – we had to keep up – but there was a lot to cover: conservation genetics, reproductive sciences, population sustainability, disease investigations, plant conservation, recovery ecology, biodiversity banking.

Let’s start with the last one. We got to check out the Frozen Zoo – a comprehensive cell sample collection covering hundreds of species. We happened to pass by when the zoo team was pulling Northern White Rhinoceros cells for further study.

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Alan Alda’s Science Communication Training Comes to San Diego: What Science Writers Need to Know

By Kelly Quigley

Most science writers already appreciate the actor Alan Alda for much more than his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the TV show M*A*S*H. For more than a decade, Alda’s been training scientists to become better communicators — both through his New York-based center and his bestselling book, “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?” His work in this area even earned him the National Academy of Sciences’ highest honor, the Public Welfare Medal, back in 2016. Continue reading “Alan Alda’s Science Communication Training Comes to San Diego: What Science Writers Need to Know”

Media Training at ASA

San-DiegoThe Acoustical Society of America (ASA), part of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), held its 178th meeting at the Hotel del Coronado last week. In addition to meeting old friends, networking and presenting their research, a number of participants met for an evening media training session on December 2. The workshop sought to teach acoustic scientists best practices when pitching their work and interacting with the media. Continue reading “Media Training at ASA”