Joshua Schimel Workshops

SU ADVANCE Brings Author Joshua Schimel to Campus for Faculty Development Workshop on Writing Science

Scientists in the academy are, by necessity, professional writers. Conventional wisdom dictates that at the very foundation of career achievement is successful proposals and papers. Dr. Joshua Schimel, author of Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded, points out that career success results from, first and foremost, engaging readers. Such engagement spurs successful research proposals, subsequent grants, and important citations.  On September 11 and 12, 2014 SU ADVANCE is offering two all-day workshops to faculty in STEM featuring Schimel. The workshops will be from 8:30 to 3:00 at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center. Space is limited to 30 participants each day. 

Dr. Schimel builds upon his fundamental assumption that successful science writing, writing that engages the reader, tells a story. Taking an integrated approach, he uses the principles of story structure in every aspect of science writing from the overall structure of the paper or proposal to the individual paragraphs and sentences. He explains why some stories are engaging and memorable and why others are quickly forgotten. This workshop will provide key tools for succeeding in modern science through effective writing.

Dr. Joshua Schimel is Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research lies at the intersection of microbial and ecosystem ecology. The focus of his work is on how the environment controls the composition of microbial communities in soil and how, in turn, those microbes regulate whole ecosystem processes such as greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient cycling, and plant productivity. He now focuses on three ecosystems: the arctic tundra in Alaska and Greenland, high elevation ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada, and the California annual grassland-oak savanna. Dr. Schimel has been active in U.S. science planning, particularly in the Arctic. He has chaired the Arctic System Science Steering Committee and is also the former Chair of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of Polar Programs Advisory Committee. Additionally, Dr. Schimel has served on the NSF Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, working on developing plans for future interdisciplinary environmental initiatives. He is a fellow of the Leopold Leadership Program of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. 

Dr. Schimel explains how he found himself an author about a book on writing: “Somewhere along the line I became interested in communication and how we tell the story to explain our results; marrying an aspiring writer didn't hurt either. I put together my first workshop on writing science when I was spending the summer in a lab in Montpellier, France; that morphed into a full-blown graduate class back in Santa Barbara. I started writing up notes from class and thought I might flesh them out in a few columns for the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. Everything was going smoothly until the "What an Idiot" moment: I wasn't writing a few essays--I was writing a book.”

To find out more about the workshops please contact Marie Garland or Sharon Alestalo at