Too Much Good Stuff

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Cell Samples at Frozen Zoo

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.

Continue reading “Too Much Good Stuff”

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”

SANDSWA book club recap: Citizen Canine by David Grimm

By Mike Price

I didn’t grow up a dog person. For the majority of my life, the closest things I had to pets were short-lived betta fish (I graduated to aquatic frogs in college). I married a dog person though—when my wife and I moved to San Diego, getting a dog was her top priority. And so it was that Pico, a small Chihuahua mix with a big, grumpy personality, entered our lives and I found myself doting on him as a father dotes on a child. A few years later, we added Winnie, a German Shepherd–Chihuahua mix, and ventured further into the “crazy dog people” category. Continue reading “SANDSWA book club recap: Citizen Canine by David Grimm”

SANDSWA members tour Palomar Observatory

By Alyson Smith

Saturday, July 20th, was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which made it a fitting day for SANDSWA members to tour the historic Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in the Cleveland National Forest, some 60 miles northeast of San Diego. Our guide, Thomas Murphy of UCSD’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, spent many nights at the observatory during his physics PhD at Caltech. Continue reading “SANDSWA members tour Palomar Observatory”

Sally Ride Research Vessel Tour: Part II

By Melissa Miller (See also Part I of this tour recap by Xochitl Rojas-Rocha)

I learned how to be a science writer and communicator aboard the research vessel Sally Ride, which is why it was very special for me to share it with you, my SANDSWA peers. Networking with and learning from this talented pool of people is helping me level up, and I am pleased I was able to give back to the group by way of a tour.

Continue reading “Sally Ride Research Vessel Tour: Part II”