I understand that you’re an environmental scientist. But you write, a LOT. And as a writer, you face a host of seemingly insurmountable challenges. First you must condense reams of technical data into a few paragraphs of language that can be easily digested by a lay audience. Then there is the multitude of audiences to consider – solicitors, legislators, economists, NGOs – and that’s oftentimes after the document passes through layers of internal review from managers who all seem to want something different.
Argument for Scientists is an excellent learning opportunity. I appreciated the personal touch Michelle put into this class. It was clearly designed with us in mind, and I could see that Michelle spent a lot of time developing the class, reading our previous work, and constructing recommendations to improve our unique situation.
You have to work within the confines of templates and regulations that feel like they’re working against the data, not with it. Climate change is a perpetual, thorny topic. And now the Plain Writing Act of 2010 has ironically added another layer of complexity to the process.
Finally, you weren’t trained for this. You’re a scientist, not a writer. You may not know a dangling modifier from a restrictive clause. But increasingly, you find yourself wrestling sentences instead of critters.
That’s where I come in.
My name is Michelle Baker, and I’m the Conservation Writing Pro. I’m here to offer you the training you require to excel in your chosen profession. I’m here to help you share resources with other professional writers like you. I’m here to encourage exploration.
My English PhD from the Catholic University of America included training in classical and modern rhetoric, composition theory, and the pedagogy of composition. That means I know how language works from the inside out.
Michelle even went so far as to learn about the specific species and challenges we deal with every day. This impresses me, and I cannot think of another instructor who has done as thorough a job. Nor can I think of one who is as good at implementing the class itself. In plain language, which I am always supposed to use, Michelle knows how to teach her stuff.
From 2000 to 2010, I taught college students how to write, both as a teaching assistant at the Catholic University of America and as an adjunct instructor at Shepherd University. But more importantly for us, in 2007 I helped instructors with the Fish and Wildlife Service design a class called Critical Writing Critical Thinking.
As soon as I met you, I realized how my training and experience could best be used. I understand your plight. And I can help you de-mystify the writing process with tools and steps for every challenge you face.
Thank you very much for putting together such a well-organized, thoughtful, and meaningful class. ~ Susan O’Toole, Riverdale, MD
You’re here because you realize that communication is key. I’m here to help. So where do you want to start?
And please, feel free to contact me directly. I look forward to helping you solve some of the challenges you face as a writer.
L. Michelle Baker, PhD
The Conservation Writing Pro
~Communication, the key to conservation~
304 283 4573
Here are a few of the government agencies I have worked with: