2020 Scientist Sentinels: Civic Engagement and Leadership Program

Carlos De Leon's picture



Friday, 15 November 2019


COMPASS believes in a future where science is fundamental to solving our greatest environmental and social challenges, and where scientists who engage reflect the diversity of society as a whole. Our mission is to champion, connect, and support diverse science leaders to improve the well-being of people and nature.


Over the past 20 years, we’ve witnessed scientists’ growing appetite for giving back to their communities and to society, both as experts and as citizens. While the challenges facing society are enormous in scope and scale, the impacts are felt at home—from the lack of safe drinking water in communities like Flint, Michigan, to dangerous air quality caused by wildfires affecting millions across the West, to rapid climate change exacerbating inequity and the vulnerability of communities of color. Scientists have a unique understanding of the consequences of these unprecedented changes for people and nature, and can contribute to much-needed solutions.


This program brings scientists working at the nexus of environment and society in the United States together to advance the role of science in society, inspire their peers, and support evidence-based decision making at the local level and beyond. We envision a powerful network of science leaders who engage with society as scientists and citizens to improve the well-being of people and nature.


If you are eager to elevate your abilities as a leader, think big and gain the skills needed to make your vision a reality, communicate across difference, build resilience to sustain your leadership for the long haul, and be a part of a thriving and supportive network of peers, we invite you to apply to the Scientist Sentinels: Civic Engagement & Leadership Program.


This 9-month leadership program kicks off with an in-person retreat from April 13-16, 2020 near Seattle, WA focused on strategic science communication, engagement with decision makers (from civic leaders to policymakers), and leadership. At the retreat, the 15 scientists selected for this cohort will set and refine their goals for civic engagement, practice new communication and leadership skills, learn new pathways for engagement, and become part of an inspiring and lasting network of mutually supportive peers.



  1. Build a network of empowered, mutually supportive science leaders who are motivated and prepared to engage with decision makers, from civic leaders to policy makers, and who inspire their colleagues to do so as well.

  2. Help participants identify their purpose and goals for communication and civic engagement.

  3. Provide participants with the skills, tools, and knowledge they need to reach their communication and civic engagement goals.

  4. Empower scientists to work with their communities to support evidence-based decision-making at the local level and beyond.





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