Public Affairs Student Intern, U.S. Geological Survey , Reston , Virginia
U.S. Geological Survey
 
How Melanie Kendra Gade got involved with U.S. Geological Survey
I found out about and subsequently applied for the SECP program after working in Eastern States Communication as a Summer Intern.
 
Experience
In September, 2010, I attended the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Missoula, Montana. I joined other USGS Public Affairs staff members in networking with environmental journalists from around the globe and learning more about which topics would be of interest to these journalists in the future. As part of the conference, I attended a field trip to Glacier National Park where we learned about the Park's current research and restoration, as well future dangers the Park will face. Having the opportunity to get to know some of these journalists while surrounded by such beauty is an experience I won’t forget. During this trip, I heard from Editors and Journalists why certain stories stand out to them and why they decide to write about specific issues. Hearing their perspectives informed the way I think about writing and pitching to appeal to certain audiences.
 
Melanie Kendra Gade's accomplishments
During my time at USGS, I have gained an appreciation of and passion for science communications. USGS science is only as valuable as the extent to which it is communicated to the public, so the Office of Communication’s mission is a sacred one. I have gained an enormous amount of experience in writing about science, developing relationships with media, responding to media inquiries, and organizing outreach activities. The breadth of science research I have been exposed to as well as the dedication and passion of scientists with whom I have had the opportunity to work has been immeasurably rewarding.
 
Melanie Kendra Gade's next steps
I would like to continue to explore new and meaningful ways to communicate science to the public. I would like to examine other emerging mediums beyond print and press releases - perhaps broadcasting - to communicate environmental issues that will continue to affect future generations. One area I want to explore further is strategic planning for future use of new technologies.
 
Hometown: Denver , Colorado
School: Dickinson College ; American University
Major: BA in French ; Intened MA in Public Communications (2012)