NCDC Insider: Meet Science Editor, Brooke Stewart
The Global Change Research Act of 1990 requires a National Climate Assessment be released every four years. It takes a dedicated and elite team to pull together the scientific expertise of 240 authors from academia, government, the private sector, and the nonprofit sector. Part of this team, based at NCDC in Asheville, North Carolina, is known as the Technical Support Unit, and one member of that team is Science Editor, Brooke Stewart, from the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites–North Carolina (CICS-NC).
Currently, Brooke’s main focus is editing the National Climate Assessment for scientific accuracy, consistency, and clear communication. As part of the Technical Support Unit, Brooke helps ensure that the Assessment is understandable for a broad audience. Brooke is also aiding in the development of a Highlights piece, which provides some of the key information from the Assessment in an easy-to-access format. To accomplish these tasks, Brooke works closely the editorial team, graphics team, author teams, and federal advisory committee co-chairs.
Members of the Technical Support Unit come from a diverse set of educational backgrounds. In addition to her editorial and communication skills, Brooke has a background in atmospheric science. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Atmospheric Science from the University of North Carolina–Asheville and her Master’s in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. “A scientific background is very helpful in ensuring that editing for communication does not inadvertently change the meaning of the science,” says Brooke.
While Brooke is currently focusing on the National Climate Assessment, she’s also going through a transitional phase in her career. As the bulk of the work and the final publication of the Third National Climate Assessment Report come to completion in 2014, Brooke will be expanding her horizons by adding a research-focused project. She will be working with other NCDC scientists to study extratropical cyclones, focusing on atmospheric blocking events that typically lead to a stagnation of weather patterns. Brooke is looking forward to the shift back to research, and she hopes that her time spent as an editor will serve her well in communicating her own scientific research clearly.
Outside of her career, Brooke is a wife and stepmother to two beautiful girls. She also is mom to a pack full of critters, including three dogs and a very rotund cat. Brooke loves learning and is frequently a student. She plans to return to college to pursue her PhD in the coming years.
Stay tuned for the release later this year of the National Climate Assessment and also for the next edition of NCDC Insider to meet more of the Center’s dedicated staff.