Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Coastal marine and Great Lakes laboratories increasingly are asked to provide both advisory and educational outreach to the general (and often specific) public. To facilitate this interchange, basic and applied research must be more integrated with advisory services, with care taken to present facts and concepts, not opinions or advocacy. Moreover, outreach efforts should be proactive, not reactive. With the rapid expansion of telecommunications, such as electronic mail and teleconferencing, outreach can optimize the links between education and research. Public outreach also gives graduate students an opportunity to utilize practical applications and interpretations of marine science, thus providing valuable experience that can help in obtaining future jobs. More problematic is how outreach activities can be evaluated in an annual or promotion review of a faculty member; particular care must be taken not confuse outreach with scholarship, or sacrifice intellectual rigor, in such evaluations.
Milliman, John D., Integrating Research and Education with Public Outreach at Coastal Laboratories (1996). Biological Bulletin, 190(2), 278-285.