Meet Sarah Mae Nelson: Using Science Communication for Innovation | Wave Makers

May 23, 2023

The secrets of communicating climate solutions effectively.

In this episode, host Tamara Kahn sits down with communication specialist and University of California Climate Stewards Academic Coordinator Sarah Mae Nelson. Sarah Mae has been communicating science since an early age and was recognized by President Obama for her commitment to effectively communicating climate change and solutions. Now she and her colleagues at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources are using communication science to find new ways of helping people understand climate disruption – a term that she and others hope conveys the phenomenon more clearly. Listen to hear how innovation depends on solid communication. Plus, startup founders can pick up a few insightful tips about communicating their business to those who matter to them most.

Show Transcription
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Tamara Kahn

Before diving into promoting the incredible innovations of the ocean and water industry, Tamara spent a decade ocean bound for weeks at a time, working with state-of-the-art geophysical sensors in some of the most challenging environments, the salty depths of the world’s oceans. She enjoyed managing projects with advanced technology and collaborating with a diverse workforce and clientele, but her international travels made her witness to some of the worst challenges facing humanity, from ocean pollution to water scarcity. She resolved to pivot her career into sustainability and ecological resilience. Since earning a Masters of Advanced Studies in Climate Science and Policy from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Tamara develops and facilitates programs that enable STEM students, researchers, policymakers, government officials and tech companies to form mutually beneficial partnerships, innovating and collaborating internationally towards sustainable solutions. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin and contributes technical knowledge along with expertise in strategic collaboration and a zest for innovative thinking. Tamara is most happy near a body of water, relishes any chance to SCUBA and loves learning new languages and cultures.