Q&A with Helen Augare

October 31st, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, Q&A by Emily Schuster

Interviewed by Joelle Seligson

This interview appeared in the November/December 2011 issue of Dimensions magazine.

The director of the Blackfeet Native Science Field Center on traditional knowledge, Western science, and understanding our place in the world

In high school, she took an interest in science; at the University of Montana, she pursued business. Today, Helen Augare utilizes her modern studies while staying true to her roots. As director of the Blackfeet Native Science Field Center in Browning, Montana, she helps youth learn both Western science and traditional knowledge while connecting to the natural world. As a Native American, she emphasizes respecting the land and beings around us, recognizing that—even as we continue to pursue knowledge—humans can’t control everything.

Read the full transcript, or listen to the podcast.

Image courtesy the Blackfeet Native Science Field Center

Forging the Connection to Local Leaders and Communities

October 13th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Emily Schuster

September/October 2011

How can science centers and museums become valued by their local leaders and citizens as essential elements of vibrant, livable, growth-oriented communities? Science centers are taking a central role in helping their local communities address key challenges and priorities—from environmental sustainability and support for underserved populations to economic development and quality of life. Through partnerships with local governments, community organizations, and businesses, science centers are demonstrating that they are not just “nice to have,” but necessary players in helping communities achieve their goals.

PLACES: Helping Science, Politics, and Communities Interact, by Emma Wadland
• Supporting Science and Culture One Penny at a Time, by Peg Long
• A Productive Partnership with Local Government, by Joanna Haas
• Making a Science Center Relevant to its Local Community and Businesses, by Victoria Scalise
• Why Do Local Government Officials Value Their Communities’ Science Centers and Museums?
• The Regeneration of a City, by Linda Conlon
• Helping Youth Transition to the Future, by Debra Moroff and Charlotte Zolotor
• An Asset to the Community, by Phelan R. Fretz

Download the full issue.

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PLACES: Helping Science, Politics, and Communities Interact

October 13th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions by Emily Schuster

Glasgow Science Centre
By Emma Wadland
From Dimensions
September/October 2011

“PLACES is ensuring that science centers and museums are quickly becoming the ideal forums for politicians to easily access reliable scientific information and for citizens to engage in two-way dialogue about science. This will allow people to exercise full citizenship in science and technology issues.”
—Antonio Gomes da Costa, coordinator of the PLACES project

Launched in June 2010, the four-year Platform of Local Authorities and Communicators Engaged in Science (PLACES) project is guiding science centers and museums to play the role of facilitator in providing information and helping local leaders and communities address local challenges. These challenges may include environmental sustainability, health care, transportation, education, or any number of other areas where science and society are inextricably linked.

Achieving Impact in Our Communities

October 12th, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, From the CEO by Anthony (Bud) Rock

I recently “googled” the words “mayor,” “commission,” “task force,” and “science” and was astounded at the extensive number of socially relevant topics that are being considered by local decision makers in every corner of the globe. In nearly every instance, a body of scientific experts conveys wise counsel to policy planners. Occasionally, such initiatives include “public forums,” often composed of representatives of various special interests.

More than ever, though, our local leaders are recognizing that lasting and positive policies require not only scientific rigor and integrity, but also transparency and determined efforts to build and retain public trust—which begins with a fundamental public grasp of the science in the policies.

What is your institution doing to sustain high staff morale in tough economic times?

September 1st, 2011 - Posted in 2011, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster


Staff-intern outing in Chicago

This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the September/October 2011 issue of Dimensions magazine.

We make time to celebrate successes! It’s important to focus on the impact our institution has on its visitors and how each staff person contributes to this impact. Additionally, we continue to have an Activities Team to develop time and space for staff to engage in fun activities during and outside of work hours. From chili cook-offs to baseball games, there are opportunities for staff to get to know each other and take their minds off of work from time to time. (Pictured: A staff-intern outing to a food festival in downtown Chicago.)

Joy Kubarek-Sandor, student and teacher programs manager
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago


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