Kelp Lab

Our lab focuses on researching and developing methods for science communication education. The field of science communication (or “SciComm”) is growing, as scientists begin to recognize the need to engage with the public about their work. However, the nuances of SciComm have yet to be fully deciphered. For instance, how should scientists communicate about the uncertainties inherent in their data? How should we train STEM students at various levels – undergraduate, graduate, medical, etc – in the skills necessary to communicate about science in various forms with diverse audiences? And how can we empower and train non-scientists to engage in productive dialogue about science? The Kelp lab aims to provide answers to these and other questions in the field.

research project

Investigation of Best Practices for Communication of Scientific Uncertainty

In collaboration with Gaya Sivakumar in Journalism & Media Communications and Jessica Witt in the Psychology, the Kelp Lab is analyzing how scientists communicate about scientific uncertainty, and how non-scientists respond, during emerging scientific issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

research project

Development and Validation of Tools to Assess Science Writing Quality

The Kelp Lab is creating tools to analyze and improve the quality of STEM students’ writing about science for various audiences.

research project

Development of science communication educational activities for diverse students

The Kelp Lab is creating educational activities for students at the K-12 and higher education levels to learn how to think about and communicate about scientific processes, including complex, emerging, and uncertain issues. This includes collaborations with CSU STEM Extension specialists to develop health literacy and science communication skills among K-12 students.


Pisano A, Crawford A, Huffman H, Graham B, Kelp NC. (2021). Development and validation of a Universal Science Writing Rubric that is applicable to diverse genres of science writing. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, in press.


Nicole Kelp, Ph.D.

Lab Principal Investigator (PI)
Assistant Professor

Amanda Crawford

Masters in Public Health Student

Sydney Alderfer

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Heather Huffman

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rachel McMillan

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Katlyn Murphy

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alycia Pisano

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Randy Vickery

Undergraduate Research Assistant

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