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GSA Science Communication Fellowship

Geological Society of America
Position Description (Rev. 23 April 2018)

Application Deadline:  31 May 2018
Term of Employment:  1 July 2018 – 30 April 2019 (10 months, part-time)

Location: The Geological Society of America (GSA) is headquartered in Boulder, CO, but our Fellow may work remotely from any U.S. location.  (No relocation assistance is available.)  Work will be conducted primarily via telephone and computer, with required travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, for our annual conference, 3-7 November 2018.

Pay: The Fellow will receive $8,000 in compensation plus paid travel to Indianapolis (expenses and accommodations) as noted above.

Description: This position is intended for writers aspiring to increase their knowledge and skill for communicating geoscience and its value to society. The fellowship is an opportunity for an early career professional or recent graduate to gain experience and professional contacts working for a well-established and respected science organization.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop 12 press releases throughout the Fellowship term and “pitch” them for coverage according to plans developed with GSA staff : 

  • Nine selected from the Society’s top-rated, peer-reviewed geoscience journals, in concert with GSA staff and science editors (approximately one per month) and
  • Three (during October) from abstracts submitted by scientists to the extensive technical program for the GSA Annual Meeting, working in concert with GSA communications and member leaders.

Earth science research topics may include environmental/natural hazards, climate change, planetary exploration, resources (energy, water, mineral), paleontological discoveries, and much more.

Candidates should understand how to interview authors to capture the significance of their work for non-scientific audiences, and translate technical research papers into well-developed and compelling press releases for general media outlets with lay readership.  GSA will provide access to a comprehensive media database for targeting appropriate coverage.

In Indianapolis, the Fellow will help staff the onsite Newsroom, assist members of the media covering the meeting, pitch stories to local and national media outlets, mentor student interns considering a career in science communication, and otherwise help to enlarge the visibility of GSA science and the media footprint of the meeting.

  • Must have access to a reliable computer, internet connection, and basic Microsoft Office software.
  • Must possess excellent copywriting skills, grammar, and vocabulary, to develop and edit content.
  • Must exercise mature judgement and discretion in dealing with people and sensitive issues.
  • Detail oriented with ability to fact-check, follow-up as necessary.
  • Effective organizational skills; ability to multi-task and function well under occasional time-pressures.
  • Must be comfortable contacting authors and media outlets, making introductions, and networking.
  • Grasp of commonly-used geoscience concepts, terminology, practices, procedures, and issues are preferred.
  • Experience in social media communications with a well-developed science network is preferred.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to: hr@geosociety.org (Subject line: ATTN Science Communication Fellowship).  Interviews will be conducted by phone or video conference after the application period closes.

EEO / AAP