Sea Grant project faves, Tim Campbell

The calendar has flipped to 2022. Our staff members are ready to tackle new projects in the coming 12 months, which also happens to mark Sea Grant’s 50th anniversary. Before they move more deeply into this anniversary, however, some staff members took a moment to retain the glow of their favorite 2021 project.

Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist Tim Campbell. (Photo: Wisconsin Sea Grant)

No matter the day or time, Tim Campbell is frequently thinking about aquatic invasive species (AIS) and outreach. Our specialist on this topic shared:

I’ve been working on this project for a while, but the AIS metaphor work I completed with University of Wisconsin-Madison Life Sciences Communication Professor Bret Shaw finally wrapped up in 2021. We started this effort in 2018 and worked with graduate student biological illustrator Brooke Alexander to create drawings that captured the essences of our chosen metaphors to describe preventing the spread of nonnative species.

We then pilot tested the drawings at a fishing expo with our AIS student assistant Sara Fox to make sure that our target audience was seeing what we hoped they would.

In the summer of 2018, we used Facebook ads to test the metaphors and collect data. Analysis (Barry Radler helped with this) and manuscript preparation and revision took up 2019 and 2020, and the paper was finally published in August 2021 in the journal Environmental Management.

Check out an archived talk about the project. We’ve also presented this work to regional, national and international audiences since the paper was published. It’s received a good amount of interest and it’s been fun to talk to these different audiences about the nuances. Hopefully, it leads to new approaches to AIS communication!