November 3, 2022

Code to Communicate: my trampoline to jump higher 

Special post by Science Communication Coach, Gisela, CoCo Fellow 2022. 

It was 2021, almost two years into the pandemic, and a new COVID wave was approaching in my city. Between my home office, video calls, coffee (and “mate”, as I am Argentinian), and some cats at my desk, I had to prepare one of the most important projects of my scientific career: applying for a research position in my country. 

Ilustration by Gisela A. Morán

Planning took a lot of time and effort because I wanted to work on a project that was related to the current climate crisis and that I enjoyed. After a while, I came up with a project idea, but I lacked the necessary skills to carry it out. First, I needed to be able to communicate my project effectively, and then I needed to know how to manage and analyze a large amount of climate data. 

Searching through the GeoLatinas community, I came across a program called Code to Communicate, which seemed to hear my thoughts (and I must say that I had my doubts, I no longer know what to expect from the internet algorithm!). I carefully reviewed the program's description to ensure it offered what I needed. Moreover, a further detail caught my attention: their target audience was Hispanic, Latinx, and/or Caribbean people. This meant several things: an explicit intention to include and provide opportunities for these historically neglected communities and that language was not a barrier as the program was bilingual. 

A challenge loomed ahead, and the typical questions and uncertainties arose:  Will I have the time to complete the course and organize my usual tasks? Will I be able to write and communicate efficiently? Will Python be too difficult? Will it take up too much extra time?

I remembered that those who don't take risks don't win, so I decided to apply. I had to fill out some questions on the application form, which I assume is the point where you are now as a CoCo 2023 candidate. That's why I'm here to bring some tips:

Today, I can say that my time at CoCo 2022 was a trampoline to jump higher! Learning Python allowed me to take a Technical Certification in Data Science, increase my programming confidence and find the tools required for my project. On the other hand, I learned new and improved methods to communicate science, and I am now the editor of an Earth Science Communication magazine. And all was possible because of the CoCo Coaches. They are the best!

Coco Coaches and Coco Fellows in GeoHackeo 2022

CoCo 2023 will be an exciting and challenging time, but the most important thing is that you have fun on the way! I'm still on it, but this time as a Science Communication Coach on the CoCo Team! So,  I’ll see you again!