CSPO People

Other CSPO Affiliates

Faith Kearns

CSPO Affiliated Scholar


I live at the intersection of science communication, community engagement, and relationship-building, particularly focused on the environment, freshwater, and people. I’m passionate about approaches for increasing the relational capacity of the science community at both the institutional and individual levels. I am interested in how individual-level practices such as reflection, contemplation, mindfulness, and conflict resolution — with an eye toward compassion, empathy, and gratitude — can help scientists inside and outside academia, but particularly practitioners, to engage effectively and build relationships with themselves, each other, and communities. This work evolved from being a scientist and science communication practitioner for close to 20 years, where my experience is that relational skills, particularly the ability to listen deeply and contend with conflict, are vital. I write about these things on my blog, the Science Unicorn, and tweet at @frkearns.

I earned my bachelor’s degree in environmental science, geology, and political science from Northern Arizona University and my doctoral degree from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley, where I focused on urban freshwater ecosystems, landscape ecology, and web-based citizen science tools for natural resource management. I have extensive experience in graphic and web design, marketing, and public affairs. I have developed science communication projects at the Ecological Society of America, served as a AAAS Science and Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, managed a wildfire research and outreach center at the UC Berkeley, and worked to bridge science and environmental policy with innovative research and outreach projects as part of the science office of the environment program of the Pew Charitable Trusts. I currently do water-related science policy and science engagement work at the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, California Institute for Water Resources.