2024 Science Communication Fellowship: PLANTS & CLIMATE CHANGE

Are you a scientist looking to share your research with the public?  Apply to become a Reiman Gardens Science Communication Fellow and develop a fun hands-on activity focused on your research to present in a variety of settings.

In 2023 Reiman Gardens was selected to be part of a peer learning group assembled by the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) in Washington D.C. to explore plant-centered climate change education. In 2023 and 2024, our focus is on connecting local scientists with public audiences through this cohort, Plants and Climate Change Education (PLACCE), and within our Science Communication Fellowship. If you are a scientist working in any field that ties plants to climate, consider applying to be a 2024 Science Communication Fellow!


  • The Fellowship is a one-year commitment, during which Reiman Gardens’ staff will work with up to 12 scientists working in fields related to plants & climate change. Using the Portal to the Public approach, we help scientists build communication skills to share their work with general public audiences. What is Portal to the Public? To learn more, visit: https://popnet.instituteforlearninginnovation.org/
  • Through training in science communication, informal learning institutions connect audiences with current science in their own communities through conversations with local scientists.
  • Reiman Gardens is part of an active community of certified practitioners dedicated to helping scientists connect to diverse audiences.
  • Activities can build and strengthen long-term relationships and demonstrate broader impacts of science research.

Required Commitments:

  • Wed, Jan 24, 12:45 – 5:00 PM
  • Wed, Feb 28, 12:45 – 5:00 PM
  • Wed, Mar 27, 12:45 – 5:00 PM
  • Thu, Apr 11, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Fri, May 17, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • + (2) additional dates TBD (for public programs)

Any scientists, engineers, grad students, faculty, researchers, & other science-based professionals focusing on topics related to climate change: meteorology, global resource systems, ecology & evolutionary biology, environmental justice, science education, green energy, geosciences, engineering, atmospheric science… who are able to commit to the above requirements.

Other research topics might include:

  • phenology & climate change
  • urban or rural climate change mitigation
  • climate change adaptation with plants
  • plant physiology/responses to climate change
  • floristics, or native plant ranges
  • plant-related ecosystem services
  • food, agriculture, and climate change
  • climate-conscious plant consumption
  • plant-based food, textiles, materials, energy

  • Relationship Building
    • Develop partnerships with other scientists, public audiences, schools, and STEM organizations like Reiman Gardens.
  • Professional Development
    • Learn from Informal Science Educators how to effectively communicate your work to diverse audiences.
    • Develop skills to improve communication about tough topics like climate change through personal connection, storytelling, games, analogies, and more.
    • Enhance your science communication skills in a dynamic, engaging, and participatory workshop setting.
    • Work individually to explore a core concept and develop a hands-on activity related to your current work.  Ample concept development and materials support are provided by Reiman Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden, through shared project funds. (Individual meetings are scheduled as needed.)
  • Connect with Public Audiences
    • Present your hands-on activity to general public audiences through various programs and events at Reiman Gardens.
    • Take your activity “on the road” to schools, conferences, and other educational or professional settings.
    • Demonstrate the broader impacts of your work through multi-generational STEM education and outreach.
The 2023 Science Communications Fellows pose for a photo in the conservatory.

How can I participate?

Applications for 2024 are due December 7.  CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

Direct any questions to Sara Merritt at smerritt@iastate.edu