“Audience is a big piece of any type of writing, but specifically in geology. It differs if you’re writing for a more technical journal versus writing for a presentation for a conference. You may use slightly different approaches. There are broader communities–larger organizations like GSA (Geological Society of America), or AGU (the American Geophysical Union)– where part of their messaging is not just the technical part–being able to communicate the nitty gritty to other experts that can understand the technical terms–but also being able to talk about your research in a way that the everyday citizen can understand and appreciate the value of. Why do we care about it? Why does it matter? Scientists have to be able to distill all that other stuff into that one sentence: why do we care?”
Laura Lukes is the assistant director for Teaching Excellence at the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning and an affiliate assistant professor for atmospheric , oceanic, and earth sciences.