Heather named Leopold Fellow

heather_oct13 headshotI am thrilled to have been selected as a 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellow! Not only is it a great honor to join the network of fellows; it also is really exciting to have the intellectual space to focus on a new dimension of my research.

My quest this year is to explore different perspectives on marine conservation success. I am particularly interested in the different stories people in the same place tell about conservation projects, and what can be learned from these narratives about how to craft more effective conservation in the future.

As a Leopold Fellow, I also will seek out opportunities to become a better storyteller. As I wrote in a recent essay in Conservation Biology, I believe that we conservation scientists need to bring our science and stories together more often, and in more compelling ways. Stories can make science and scientists more accessible. Yet I know, from having tried and failed (but not enough!), that telling a good story takes real skill and practice.

This honor is particularly meaningful for me as the Leopold Program was founded by my PhD co-adviser Jane Lubchenco. Thanks to Jane and many others (particularly at COMPASS), I’ve been encouraged and supported in translating science in ways that matter for policy and management for a long time. Having the opportunity to participate in Leopold will expose me to a whole new universe of colleagues working on a diverse set of policy relevant themes. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’m certain that the experience also will lead me in new and exciting directions scientifically.

I hope you’ll check back in the coming months to learn more about my quest, and to share your own perspective on science and story.