The California Sea Grant team at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography grew in July. Caitlin Coomber joined us as the new communications specialist. I spoke to Caitlin about her thoughts on her new role.
- Tell me a little about your background and what you were doing before Sea Grant.
Prior to joining the California Sea Grant team, I served as an account executive for a communications consulting agency, working with technology and telecom clients reaching from Seattle to London. I helped high-growth tech startups, connecting them to industry influencers and ensuring they were advantageously positioned to thrive in the marketplace. The emerging technology field was exciting because it is always growing and challenging the way we see the world. Earlier, as Editor in Chief of the Echo newspaper, I led the editorial production and business operations of the California Lutheran University student-run publication with a staff of more than 50 writers and photographers.
- What drew you to this position?
The idea of working in-house at a government organization was attractive because it was an opportunity for a more comprehensive communications experience and a chance to broaden my own knowledge. The broad reach of the role meant I would get to work with a variety of media, scholars and other government organizations. I come from an agency background where we juggled multiple clients in a very specific industry. California Sea Grant doesn’t have any products to sell, so I am a public information representative that helps educate the public about the latest marine research. I am part of a communications team that serves as a bridge between scientific experts and community stakeholders along the California coasts.
- What are some of the things you hope to accomplish at Sea Grant?
I would like to increase public awareness about who we are and what we do. I think that starts with building a strong online presence and we already have plans to create a new website. Additionally, I would like raise the profile of research being done as a result of Sea Grant and strengthen our ties to the local media. Our goal is to help Californians make well-informed decisions based on the scientific information we provide. That starts with being heard!