Science Communication Specialist at UNAVCO, geoscientist, speaker, and science communication trainer
2020 Guest Speaker

Beth Bartel is the science communication and outreach specialist at UNAVCO, which operates the National Science Foundation's geodetic facility. This means she has the constant challenge of communicating what UNAVCO is (it's no longer an acronym, just a name in all caps), what geodesy is (the science of measuring Earth's shape and how it changes over time), and why it's called a facility (it's not actually referring to the building, but the organization as a whole that facilitates science and education). With an MS in volcano geophysics and an MA in journalism, she shares geoscience with a multigenerational public and trains other scientists to do the same, effectively. She regularly teams up with collaborators to lead these trainings for geohazards and climate scientists at major meetings including the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the largest gathering of geoscientists worldwide. Additionally, Beth serves on the editorial board for the open-access journal Geoscience Communication, is a member of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory communications team, and works to connect science with societal issues as the current chair of the Geological Society of America's Geology and Society Division.

Before transitioning to communications, Beth was a field engineer for UNAVCO, working with a variety of scientists in remote corners of the planet including the Galapagos, Ethiopia, Greenland, and Nevada. She wrote what may have been the first blog from Antarctica, the Iceblog, which was quite popular in 2003.