Science Communication Workshops


The Portal to the Public (PoP) approach is a NSF-funded, tested strategy that helps connect public audiences with local scientists and professionals through informal learning organizations. If you are a scientist, or science professional looking to share your research with a broad audience and engage the community in current research from South Dakota, join us and become a SD Discovery Center Science Communication Fellow!

To apply for the spring Fellowship, please complete and submit the form below. If you have any questions, please contact Rhea.

Who are the Fellows?
Science Communication Fellows are scientists, engineers, researchers, graduate students, and other science professionals who have successfully completed a Science Communication Workshop and have been certified through Portal to the Public as current science ambassadors and excellent science communicators.

How can you become a Science Communication Fellow?

  • Participate in the Science Communication Workshop (two 6 hour sessions)
  • Develop a fun hands-on activity focused on your research
  • Present your activity at our Portal to the Public Showcase and at 2 other public events within one year

Tuition for the Science Communication Fellowship is $1,000 per participant (scholarships may be available thanks to support from the NSF SD EPSCoR program).

What are the benefits of becoming a Fellow?

Professional Development:

  • Learn how to effectively communicate your work to diverse audiences
  • Enhance your science communication skills

Free Outreach Programs for the Public:

  • Present your hands-on activity to a general audience through various programs at the SD Discovery Center
  • Take your activity to schools, conferences, and other educational or professional events
  • Demonstrate the broader impacts of your work through multi-generational STEM education and outreach
  • Receive a certification suitable for sharing with supervisors and for grant reports and applications.

Build your Network:

  • Build and strengthen long-term relationships with regional STEM institutions, schools and teachers
  • Draw upon a network of participating Informal Science Institutions, schools, universities, and funding agencies for future collaboration and funding opportunities.

For more information visit:



If you don’t have the time to commit to a full Fellowship, but still want to improve your science communication skills: participate in one of “Crash Course” workshops.  These workshops are about 2-3 hours and are offered in different parts of the state at different times throughout the year.

If you have questions or would like to get notified when and where the next “Crash Course” is offered, please contact Rhea.


Meet our Fellows!

COHORT Fall 2018:

Meet our current cohort in person and experience their activities at our public Showcase event on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 from 3:00 – 5:30 PM at the SD Discovery Center!

  • Scyller Borglum, Geology & Geological Engineering at SDSMT
  • Shaydel Davies, Basic Biomedical Sciences at USD
  • Jose Gonzalez Hernandez, Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science at SDSU
  • Brooke Long, Geology & Geological Engineering at SDSMT
  • Riley Paulsen, Basic Biomedical Sciences at USD
  • Alexis RedOwl, Chemistry at USD
  • Eric Sandhurst, Biomedical Engineering at USD
  • Padmapriya Swaminathan, Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science at SDSU
Cohort Summer 2017:
  • Raeann Mettler, Natural Science at Black Hills State University
  • Cecelia Miles, Biology at Augustana University
  • Karla Otterpohl, Children’s Health at Sanford Research
  • Hongli Sun, Biomedical Engineering at USD
Cohort Summer 2017 from left to right: Eric Sandhurst (accepting the fellowship award for Hongli Sun), Raeann Mettler, Karla Otterpohl, Cecelia Miles