©2019 by Verena Schoepf

Outreach Activities and Science Communication

I regularly communicate my research to the general public and engage with communities to promote an understanding of science and environmental issues. I am further passionate about promoting women and other underrepresented groups in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

 

TEDx talk

TEDxUWA "The Future Blueprint"

Super corals and the future of coral reefs

 

Invited speaker at public forums

 

Life on Australia’s wildest coral reefs – the quest for super corals

I was invited to speak at the Public Forum of the Coral Reef Futures Symposium, which was held by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the Shine Dome in Canberra (AU) in June 2017.

 
Kimberley bleached and dead coral - Chri

Professors and Pints - Can corals acclimatize or adapt to climate change?

I was invited to speak at the “Professors and Pints” Public Forum of the 2018 Australian Coral Reef Society Conference at the Whalebone Brewery in Exmouth, WA, which was attended by ~200 people.

 

Selected outreach activities

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Mentor at The Innovator's Tea Party during National Science Week

I volunteered as a mentor at The Innovator's Tea Party in Perth in 2019. The event aims to inspire more young West Australian girls to pursue careers in STEM by linking successful women working in STEM with students in speed-networking events.

Featured speaker at Pint of Science Perth

In 2019, I was invited to speak at Pint of Science in Perth (AU) and gave a presentation on "Big tides, big secrets - WA's unique coral reefs". Everybody talks about the Great Barrier Reef, but did you know that there are many unique coral reefs in West Australia? We should know about them, because they just might hold a clue for how coral reefs can survive into the future.

Aerial view of bleached Kimberley reef -
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Featured as Ocean Witness

“An Ocean Witness is a person who is dedicated to have a positive impact on preserving our oceans. Everyone contributes in his or her own way: from sharing their story and taking part in a local beach clean up to making use of sustainable fishing techniques and setting up a homestay for alternative income.”

ARTE Documentary "Verena Schoepf - Super Corals"

I was selected as one of five female marine scientists to be portrayed in the documentary series “Women and Oceans”, which was filmed by Alexandra Sorgenicht and produced for German/French TV broadcaster ZDF/ARTE. Aired in early 2016, this series features five episodes showing female marine scientists conducting research in the world’s five oceans. Among the portrayed women is for example Dr Sylvia Earle, a pioneer in the field of marine science who broke down many barriers for female scientists.

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Outreach Officer for the "Perth Canyon" Research Cruise

In March 2015, I had the opportunity to serve as ship-based outreach officer during the Perth Canyon research cruise aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor. During the 12 days at sea, I wrote daily blog entries, Facebook and Twitter posts, and facilitated media interviews for scientists on board. I also conducted live Google hangouts and skype video calls to connect high school and University of Western Australia (UWA) students directly to the scientists while doing research, and gave post-cruise presentations at UWA as well as at St. Stephen’s High School in Perth.

Engaged with schools via Skype A Scientist

I actively participate in the Skype A Scientist program and recently gave presentations about coral reefs and climate change to ISS International School Singapore, the UK Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, and the DPCDSB in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

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Featured in video for WA's science education website "Particle"

I was interviewed for Western Australia’s science communication website Particle to speak about the unique – and much less well-known – coral reefs in Western Australia. Just like the Great Barrier Reef on the other side of the continent, Western Australia’s coral reefs are under threat from warming ocean temperatures. Read the full story here.

 

Articles for science communication websites

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The third global bleaching event took its toll on Western Australia’s super-corals

The Conversation and Australian Geographic

"Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef has suffered through the worst bleaching event in its history, part of the world’s third mass bleaching event. However, coral reefs from the other side of the continent have also experienced unprecedented bleaching and coral death. This is bad news because the unique coral reefs of Western Australia’s northwest are home to some of the toughest coral in the world."

Perspective: local coral reefs battle bleaching conditions

Science Network WA

"When corals all around the world suddenly turn a ghostly white, it is a warning sign that global climate change is happening right
in front of our eyes. Coral reefs are extremely sensitive to heat stress and are therefore among those ecosystems that will be affected by global climate change first."

Kimberley reef exposed during bleaching
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Even the super-corals of Australia’s Kimberley are not immune to climate change

The Conversation

"Coral reefs around the world are in trouble because of climate change and other pressures such as overfishing, pollution and outbreaks of coral-eating predators. Currently, they are in the spotlight because a mass bleaching event on global scale has been declared – the third since records started in the 1980s."

 

Other outreach activities

Invited presentation at “Chasing Coral - An Evening of Coral Reef Science”

November 29, 2018

I was invited to speak about coral reefs and climate change at a community event showing the documentary “Chasing Coral” and raising awareness for coral reefs. The event was organised by Peel Bright Minds and Little Genius, Mandurah WA (AU).

Presentation for the SPICE-Shell Kimberley Science Program – Teacher Workshop

December 2, 2015

I gave a presentation at this workshop held at the University of Western Australia about my research on coral reefs in the Kimberley region. The audience was composed of science teachers from various Kimberley schools.

Public lecture at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm

May 15, 2014

I gave a public lecture at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm in the Kimberley region (AU) about my latest research on "Resistance of Kimberley corals to future ocean warming".

Open House at the Reef Systems Coral Farm

2010 and 2011

I participated in the Open House events of the 4Coral Research Group. The event was held at the Reef Systems Coral Farm (Ohio, USA) to showcase our research experiments on ocean acidification.