Eric L. Olson

Eric L. Olson


Focuses on open access, science literacy, and media literacy advocate. Communication specialist with extensive postgraduate training and experience with science outreach, science communication evaluation, proposal editing, web content development, and relationship building.



PressForward page:
National Science Communications Institute:

Email:  Phone number: 703-993-9277


■ Joined the board of directors of the National Science Communication Institute
■ Completed postgraduate coursework in science communication, science writing, crisis communication, climate change communication, social media, public advocacy campaigns, media literacy, new communication technology, and interviewing.
■ Edited proposals and technical documents for federal and regional science projects.
■ Presented many projects at academic and public conferences and conventions, ranging from social media and content management systems to public conveyances and civil disobedience.
■ Evaluated the communication strategy of a prominent science outreach outfit on the East Coast, including recommendations for future improvement.
■ Completed interviewing, presenting, and archiving training through the Library of Congress.
■ Served as a consultant for regional science and technology communication enterprises.
■ Developed web and social media outreach tools for a science communication organizations.
■ Taught mass media and media literacy courses at the college level and in the community.
■ Applied previous experience to create and manage the first worldwide collaborative network of science communication, advocacy, and outreach organizations.
■ Facilitate the development of new open access, community curated publications in the sciences.


Outreach Coordinator, PressForward Project
Center for History and New Media
March 2015 – Present (1 year 7 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area
• Assessed science and science communication organizations for compatibility with PressForward’s partnership program

• Created strategy, language, and messaging to reach out to compatible organizations

• Arranged and performed demonstrations of the PressForward plugin for interested organizations

• Collaborated with PressForward team to develop and host the PressForward Institute, a workshop for PressForward partners

• Develop wider media outreach; the first result has been published in the UK science and technology magazine, International Innovation

* Host additional PressForward workshops

* Member of the organizing committee of the Open Scholarship Initiative conference, a new annual, United Nations-sponsored conference focused on discussing and eventually implementing open access policies; I successfully lobbied for and began discussions to select GMU as the host for the inaugural conference.

* Serve as a community organizer and content producer on the American Association for the Advancement of Science social network, Trellis, making PressForward visible for an ideal audience
Organizations developing new publications include, but are not limited to:
• Public Library of Science (PLOS)
• American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
• Council for the Advancement of Science Writing
• Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institution
• Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
A free and open-source software project launched in 2011, PressForward enables teams of researchers to aggregate, filter, and disseminate relevant scholarship using the popular WordPress web publishing platform. Just about anything available on the open web is fair game: traditional journal articles, conference papers, white papers, reports, scholarly blogs, and digital projects.
Science Communications Consultant
July 2014 – Present (2 years 3 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area
• Edit and advise on science proposals, outreach materials, meeting minutes, newsletters,
web presence, and technical documents for federal and regional projects.
• Customize Google Analytics metrics and reports designed to gather data about
stakeholders utilizing Virginia Sea Grant’s website and online products.

Director of the Science Communication Network Initiative
National Science Communication Institute
January 2014 – Present (2 years 9 months)Greater Seattle Area
The Position–
• The position of “Director of the Science Communication Network Initiative” was created for me after I designed the initial project materials.

The Plan–
• Create, manage, and develop strategic plan for the first worldwide collaborative network of science communication, advocacy, and outreach organizations. The goal is to create a space where members can share best practices, concerns, questions, literature, and opportunities, which will increase each organization’s effectiveness in its unique realm of influence.

• Increased the number of targeted organizations by 300% while maintaining an information database and tethered geographic map of current and potential partners. Included is contact information, leadership, location, and strategic focus of each potential member.

• Pitch the concept to prominent science organizations and networks.

• Research and compose application materials for project-related grants and awards.

• Organize conference calls, discussion groups, and other collaborative opportunities.

• Design network map visualization materials within the Gephi data visualization platform.

• Research similar outreach initiatives found overseas and developed an evaluation tool to follow-up on initial engagement strategies.

• Consulted on attendance boosting and visualization materials for a conference hosted by the Institute, which focused on the future of publication in science.

• Participate in the Open Scholarship Initiative and and member of the OSI 2016 Conference planning committee.
The National Science Communication Institute is a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to improving communication within the scientific community.

I encourage members of the scientific community, including communicators and outreach professionals, to contact me at to learn more about the benefits of taking part in the Science Communication Network Initiative at nSCI.

Program Marketing Manager, Science Communication Program
Department of Communication, George Mason University
January 2013 – May 2014 (1 year 5 months)
The Position–
• The position of “Program Marketing Manager” was created for me after I demonstrated exceptional research acumen and commitment to strengthening the program.

The Plan–
• Created the first program materials (first program-specific website and copy) intended for external audiences. The goal was to elucidate the purpose of the program, what the faculty researches, and how joining the program will benefit the prospective student.

• Created the first program-specific web material, utilizing the Wordpress platform. My work will soon be integrated into the web materials of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

• Created training materials related to utilizing the Wordpress platform.

• Established the initial social media presence, including Twitter and Facebook.

• Published stories featuring the program in national newsletters.

• Represented the program during a VIP tour of the Scientific Visualization Studio at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

• Consulted on program strategic plan with faculty and department chair, including collaboration with faculty members in the College of Science.

• Distributed physical marketing materials on campus.

Graduate Intern for Science Communication Evaluation
Virginia Sea Grant
May 2013 – September 2013 (5 months)
The Position–
• The position of “Graduate Intern for Science Communication Evaluation” formed in the summer of 2012.

The Plan–
• Virginia Sea Grant is a broker of science information, which seeks to retain the sustainability of the Commonwealth’s marine and coastal ecosystems through collaboration with resource managers, policy makers, businesses, and communities. Communication and collaboration tools are currently in transition, and require evaluation and refinement.

• Researched and documented previous strategic communication evaluation efforts in the Sea Grant organizations and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

• Collected detailed background information on coastal science, engineering, and policy network partners and their extended user-base.

• Created an interviewing tool designed to elicit evaluation data from Sea Grant partners.

• Arranged meetings with 13 state and federal resource managers and policy makers on the East Coast to determine their evaluation of Sea Grant communication efforts and specific information needs including content, format, and frequency.

• Performed a SWOT analysis on the data to determine the status of the current communication strategy and network map. Findings, including methods, models, data, and recommendations, were submitted via written report to the Virginia Sea Grant Director and the Director of Communications

• Consulted on meetings with academic partners, seeking increased collaboration.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Cinema
Virginia Tech
August 2010 – May 2011 (10 months)
• Served as primary instructor and ran screening sessions in the professor’s absence.
• Monitored progress of 250+ students through the course managements system and lab sessions.
• Generated smaller-session review materials.

Creator and Instructor, Media Literacy: A Course for Parents and Children
Open University/YMCA (Virginia Tech)
November 2010 – March 2011 (5 months)
• Co-developed and ran a pilot and four-session media literacy course targeting parents and children in the community.
• Topics included nutrition, body image, and aggression, and were explored through the media objects recommended and frequently consumed by the students.


George Mason University
Graduate Certificate, Science Communication
2012 – 2013

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
MA, Communication
2009 – 2011

George Mason University
BA, Communication
2006 – 2009
The Library of Congress
The Field School for Cultural Documentation, Interviewing, and Archiving
2012 – 2012

Rutgers University
Invitational Master’s Student Institute, Communication and Media Studies
2010 – 2010
One of 20 students in North America invited to workshop/mini-conference held October 22-24, 2010.

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