GeoLog
Olivia Trani

Olivia Trani

Olivia Trani is the Communications Officer at the European Geosciences Union. She is responsible for the management of the Union's social media presence and the EGU blogs, where she writes regularly for the EGU's official blog, GeoLog. She is also the point of contact for early career scientists (ECS) at the EGU Office. Olivia has a MS in Science Journalism from Boston University and her work has appeared on WBUR-FM, Inside Science News Service, and the American Geophysical Union. Olivia tweets at @oliviatrani.

GeoTalk: Introducing EGU’s new Head of Media, Communications and Outreach

GeoTalk: Introducing EGU’s new Head of Media, Communications and Outreach

GeoTalk interviews usually feature the work of early career researchers, but this month we deviate from the standard format to speak to the newest member of the EGU office, Terri Cook. Terri is an award-winning science and travel writer who has a passion for geology and storytelling. You can find her work featured in a number of news outlets, including Scientific American, New Scientist, Eos, Lonely Planet, and the L.A. Times travel section.

Last month Terri joined the office as EGU’s new Head of Media, Communications and Outreach. We are very happy to welcome her to the EGU community, and in this interview, we’ve asked a few questions to get to know her better.

(Credit: Cheryl McCutchan)

Before we get stuck in, could you introduce yourself and tell us more about your career path?

I have a pretty eclectic background! My undergrad degree is in archaeology, and my grad degree is in geology. For my thesis, I studied the biogeochemical evolution of black-smoker deposits and published the results in Science. Since graduating I’ve worked as an environmental consultant, a college environmental studies instructor, the Outreach Director for The Extreme Ice Survey, and for the past seven years as a full-time freelance writer.

How did you first get into science writing and outreach?

The home I grew up in had a meteorite as its cornerstone. I spent many hours daydreaming about that rock’s grand adventures, and it certainly inspired my interests in travel and science. I had always wanted to try writing, but it wasn’t until about 16 years ago, when I walked into a store and saw a stack of ‘Hiking Colorado’s Geology’ books sitting on a table, that I finally decided to try it. I contacted the publisher about writing the same book for Arizona, but they told me it was already underway–and then asked if I’d like to write one about the Grand Canyon instead? I jumped at that chance and have never looked back!

How did you first hear about EGU? What motivated you to be a part of the EGU office?

Another science writer told me about EGU’s Science Journalism Fellowships. Funding to follow scientists on location is ideal for the types of articles I like to write, so I applied and was honoured to receive one. I followed up my very positive reporting experience with a trip to this year’s General Assembly, where I was impressed by the strong sense of community and the avid interest in science communication – the short courses and session I spoke at were packed! So when I saw the job advertised, it was an easy decision to apply.

What are you most looking forward to about working for EGU? What do you hope to achieve?

It’s both a privilege and a big responsibility to manage communications for Europe’s largest geoscience society. I’m looking forward to helping spread the word about the cutting-edge research published in EGU journals and presented at the General Assembly. I also hope to implement a research-based approach to most effectively communicate the results of this research to policymakers and the public.

The sun sets over the scenic Wadi Rum in Jordan. (Credit: Terri Cook and Lon Abbott)

As a science and travel writer, you’ve been to some pretty beautiful (and geologically interesting) places! What is one of your favorite spots and why?

If I can only choose one place, I’d have to say Jordan. The people there are warm and welcoming, the culture is fascinating, and the landscapes are really diverse–everything from the Dead Sea and the ancient Nabatean city of Petra to Wadi Rum, where The Martian was filmed. It’s filled with hidden springs, sinuous slot canyons, shifting sand dunes, and towering rock walls where the sun’s last rays illuminate the Great Unconformity—definitely a geologist’s paradise!

Interview by Olivia Trani, EGU Communications Officer

Job opportunity at the EGU General Assembly: press assistant

Job opportunity at the EGU General Assembly: press assistant

We have several vacancies for science-communication or science-journalism students in Europe to work at the press centre of the 2020 General Assembly, which will be held in Vienna, Austria, from 3–8 May. Applications from geoscience students with experience in science communication are also very welcome.

This is a paid opportunity for budding science communicators to gain experience in the workings of a press office at a major scientific conference, and to interact with journalists. The students will join the team assisting the EGU communications staff and the journalists at the press centre and are expected to help run press conferences. Other tasks include reporting on the events at the General Assembly through photographs and video (including producing a highlights video of the conference) and/or writing blog posts.

The position is open to university students (postgraduates or final-year undergraduates) in science communication/journalism and to students in the Earth, planetary or space sciences with some background in science outreach. Applicants must have experience in science writing or photo and video reporting, have an expert command of English, and possess good computer skills.

Further information

  • Only students with a student ID card and a Swiss or an EU (excluding the UK and Croatia) passport are allowed to work at the EGU General Assembly.
  • People who are presenting an abstract at the EGU General Assembly are not eligible to apply.
  • Tax regulations in your home country could obligate you to pay income taxes on the amount earned at the EGU General Assembly (including travel money). The respective taxation is your responsibility.
  • If you have other income in Austria in 2019, you will be forced to pay income taxes in Austria should the sum of all income, including the amount earned at the EGU General Assembly (including travel money), exceed €11,000 gross.

Work hours and payment

Press assistants will need to be in Vienna from Sunday 3 May in the early afternoon until late on Friday 8 April. They should expect to work between 50 and 55 hours and will receive a wage of €9/hour, in addition to a €150 allowance for those who don’t reside in Vienna (the city of your university is considered your current place of residence). Student press assistants also receive additional support towards travel expenses and complimentary breakfast and lunch at the press centre from Monday through Friday.

Applications must include

  • Cover letter and CV (one page each) summarising relevant experience
  • Two samples of recent science communication work such as photo features, videos or written articles (published or unpublished, aimed at a general audience; links to an online portfolio are welcome).

Application documents (in English) should be submitted by email in a single file to Terri Cook at media@egu.eu. Terri can also be contacted for informal enquiries by email or phone (+49-89-2050-76340). The deadline for applications is 9 December 2019.

If your application is successful, you will be asked to submit some information about yourself (including a copy of your passport and student ID card) to our conference organiser Copernicus.

The European Geosciences Union (EGU, www.egu.eu) is Europe’s premier geosciences organisation, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences for the benefit of humanity, worldwide. The EGU organises a General Assembly that attracts more than 14,000 scientists each year, as well as dozens of reporters. The meeting’s sessions cover a wide range of topics, including volcanology, planetary exploration, the Earth’s internal structure, atmosphere and climate, as well as energy and resources.

EGU Members: have your say on the direction of the Union

EGU Members: have your say on the direction of the Union

The EGU is a member-led organisation with around 20,000 members from all over the world. To promote the Earth, planetary and space sciences, the EGU conducts many activities ranging from publishing open access journals and hosting geoscientific meetings to organising education and outreach initiatives.

EGU / Keri McNamara

As EGU’s representatives and staff members, we work hard throughout the year to ensure the Union is serving its members, and we need your input to continue to do so. That’s why we’ve designed a short EGU member survey to give you the chance to voice what you value about the EGU and what you would like the Union to accomplish in the future.

If you are an EGU member, we ask that you take 5-10 minutes to give feedback on the EGU and its activities. The deadline to complete this survey is 15 November 2019. We are grateful for the nearly 2,000 members who have already responded with their views.

How to provide your input

You can find our survey online through this link: https://survey.zohopublic.eu/zs/LTBB60

EGU/Foto Pfluegl

The survey first aims to get a better picture of who you are. We’d like to know who comprises the EGU membership, which scientific disciplines and career stages are represented, and where our members are based.

The second part of the survey aims to learn more about what EGU initiatives you are already aware of, what resources you value the most, and what activities you think should be improved or expanded.

Through this survey we also want to know more about why you’re an EGU member, how a Union membership supports your professional career, and what’s the one thing EGU can do to most benefit you—and the geosciences.

This survey is the biggest and best opportunity for you and the greater EGU community to help steer the Union’s course, and the results will help ensure that we remain responsive to what you want. Thank you in advance for helping shape EGU’s future! Please share this survey widely within your own professional network.

 

EGU 2020: Financial support to attend the General Assembly

EGU 2020: Financial support to attend the General Assembly

The EGU is committed to promoting the participation of both early career scientists and established researchers from low and middle-income countries who wish to present their work at the EGU General Assembly. In order to encourage participation of scientists from both these groups, a part of the overall budget of the EGU General Assembly is reserved to provide financial support to those who wish to attend the meeting.

EGU’s Roland Schlich travel support scheme is named in honour of Roland Schlich, a geoscientist who was instrumental in the formation of EGU. Roland was one of the founders of the Union, as well as served as executive secretary (2002–2004) and treasurer (2005–2015).

From 2005 to 2019, the total amount of financial support awarded through the scheme grew from about €50,000 to €120,000, with 310 awards being allocated in 2019 to support attendance to the 2019 General Assembly, representing a 32% application success rate. For the 2020 General Assembly, the EGU has allocated €130,000 for financial support. About 80-90% of the funds are reserved to assist early career scientists in attending the conference. The remaining funds will be allocated to established scientists.

Financial support includes a waiver of the registration fee and a refund of the Abstract Processing Charge (relating to the abstract for which support was requested). Additionally, the grant may include support for travel expenditures, at the discretion of the support selection committee, to a maximum of €300.

Eligibility

The EGU currently runs two different Roland Schlich travel support schemes: Early Career Scientist’s Travel Support (ECSTS) and Established Scientist’s Travel Support (ESTS); you will be able to find more details about each of these awards on the About & Support section on the EGU 2020 website. You will also find details on who is eligible for the awards on the website.

Scientists who wish to apply for financial support should submit an abstract, on which they are the contact author, as well as the first and presenting author, by 1 December 2019. Late applications, or applications where the scientist is not the main author, will not be considered.

The EGU support selection committee will make its decision to support individual contributions by 20 December 2019. All applicants will be informed after the decision via email in late December or January. Only the granted amount mentioned in the financial support email will be paid out to the supported contact author.

Please note that, as of 2017, a participant can receive a maximum of two ECSTS and two ESTS during their career. In other words, applicants who have received two travel supports in a category in the past are not eligible to apply for that category again.

How to apply

The abstract submission page (click for larger). If you wish to apply for financial support, please select the relevant support box.

You start your application for the travel support scheme, by first submitting the abstract of your oral, poster or PICO presentation. To do so, please enter the call-for-abstracts page on the EGU 2020 website, select the part of the programme you would like to submit an abstract to, and study the respective session list. Each session shows the link to Abstract Submission that you should use. More information on how to submit an abstract is available from the EGU 2020 website.

Applying for financial support is then easier than ever! As soon as you make your choice of session you will be prompted to select whether you wish to apply for financial support. If you do, be sure you tick the appropriate box when submitting your abstract. Bear in mind that, even if you are applying for support, you will still need to pay the Abstract Processing Charge. A screenshot of the abstract submission process is shown above.

Evaluation Criteria

As of 2015 there is an improved selection process for the allocation of the awards. Abstracts are evaluated on the basis of the criteria outlined below.

If you have any questions about applying for financial support for the 2020 General Assembly, please contact Didier Roche (programme committee officer for travel support) or Olivia Trani (EGU Communications Officer).