Posted By

Every year, the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Washington DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter sponsors an annual competition evaluating technical communications. The competition is open to members as well as non-members, who submit samples of their work for judging by their peers. The judges decide whether the entrants can “translate technical information into plain language that is easily understood by the user.” Awards are categorized into three levels: “Distinguished Technical Communication”, “Excellence”, and “Merit.” There were 23 entrants this year, with 18 entries winning one of the three above awards (four won Distinguished Technical Communication, 4 won Excellence, and 10 won Merit).

Sea Level Solutions Center Director, Dr. Tiffany Troxler, and her team submitted their report, “Research Priorities to Incorporate Terrestrial-Aquatic Interfaces in Earth System Models,” and were one of only four winners to be awarded the Distinguished Technical Communication award (highest possible achievement). Dr. Troxler’s co-authors included Dr. Vanessa Bailey from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Dr. Patrick Megonigal from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and Dr. Joel Rowland from Los Alamos National Laboratory. The report was organized by Dr. Jared DeForest from Ohio University and Dr. Daniel Stover from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research Climate and Environmental Sciences Division.

According to the Chapter, “an entry that wins an award for Distinguished Technical Communication is clearly superior in all areas. The entry contains no major flaws and few if any, minor flaws. It applies the principles of technical communication in an outstanding way, particularly the way that it anticipates and fulfills the needs of its audience.”

The team’s report explains and analyzes the state of the science for terrestrial aquatic interfaces (TAIs). The research originated from a workshop organized by Dr. Troxler and her co-authors in September 2016. The meeting gathered 40 researchers representing a diversity of fields to discuss the representation (or lack of representation) that TAIs have in predictive scientific models. The full report can be accessed on the DOE Office of Science website.

To learn more about the STC WDCB competition winners, click here.