"Conservation is really important because the earth is one ecosystem and the oceans are integral to the health of the planet and life on land. We still know relatively little about the ocean and I think it just behooves us to learn more because our own survival is dependent upon the survival of the ocean and the survival of the planet."
Meet Melissa Hutchinson
In a sense, Melissa is a storyteller. Exhibit writers like Melissa talk to scientists and read books and articles about a particular subject, then use this research to write the signs and develop the videos and hands-on exhibits you see in the aquarium. As Melissa says, "Exhibit developers, writers and editors are people who take scientific information and try to make it both understandable and compelling for visitors."
How did you land a job here?
Melissa graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Science in biology. She also attended the U.C. Santa Cruz Science Communications program, which trained her to write about science in a way that everyone (not just scientists) can understand!
"It's nice having the resources of a large institution. I also like the group of people who work here. The aquarium attracts an interesting kind of person who's committed to marine conservation and just really appreciates nature."
"Sometimes I find out that the scientist who I need to talk to is away doing field research for three months! Also, now that it's possible to do so much research on the Web, I spend a little too much time sitting at my computer, which results in sore hands and a stiff neck."
"If you're interested in communicating science, read a lot, know your book science, develop good writing skills and get a lot of perspectives. Stay open-minded; understand how people think, what makes people tick and what motivates them."