I think with a scientist mentality. Research, data collection, and reporting my findings as the scientific method states will usually get me through a project. But now I am dealing with not just my professors and students in my class, but the public, businesses, and people who are not necessarily going to care or even pretend to care about what LOI is doing. Outreach, as easy as it sounds, is a very hard task to complete when you consider science. Sometimes I forget that the subject of science bores the majority of people, and that’s why my roommates and family doze off when I go on and on about something cool I learned in my ecology class that day.
This is why I think citizen science is so important. Getting people interested and providing ways of getting them involved can be so helpful when trying to educate them about a problem in the community. I do not remember a certain point at which I knew I was interested in science, but I remember that I was given opportunities to meet scientists who knew what they were talking about, conduct experiments in science fairs, and think creatively so that I thought that nothing was impossible because of science. By creating outreach packages for LOI that will educate, provide opportunities to get involved, and suggest why LOI is important, we can help the cause and make for a better connection between LOI and the city of Indianapolis.
I just found a sample public outreach plan from a presumably less environmental organization, the Great Lakes Dredging team. This plan mentions three things needed for successful public outreach: local advocates, regional advocates, and tools. We have already inventoried our tools, now we must be LOI’s advocates and summon Indianapolis to join us!