People of the SWCASC is a series of profiles that highlight the important work and unique life experiences of staff members of the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.
Erin Thompson is the Science Communications Lead with the SW CASC. In this role, Erin organizes communications regarding SW CASC activities, projects, and events. She also manages the SW CASC social media channels, aids in the coordination of the California Landscape Conservation and Adaptation Partnership, and served on the planning team for the 2022 and 2024 Southwest Adaptation Forum.
Originally from Iola, Wisconsin, Erin earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a double major in Environmental Studies and Multimedia Journalism in 2021. While earning her degree, Erin was active as a student leader in climate action and fossil fuel divestment efforts. She served as the Press Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin System Divestment Coalition and founded Divest UWO, a divestment campaign with local focus. Erin was also involved in the Student Environmental Action Coalition, served as a student body representative on the Campus Sustainability Council and the Climate Action Committee, and successfully petitioned UW Oshkosh to pledge carbon neutrality by 2030. “My interests around climate change have always been very action focused.” Erin said. “I am passionate about pushing forward solutions and seeing them come to fruition over time.”
Prior to joining the SW CASC, Erin became interested in science communications while working for the Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations as a Research and Operations intern where she assisted with sustainability projects, campus communications, event planning, and managed the UW Oshkosh community gardens. Erin also worked seasonally for 1,000 Islands Environmental Center in Kaukauna, Wisconsin as their Goat Program Coordinator. In this position she was tasked with management of and communications about a goat herd that browsed invasive buckthorn within the 1,000 Islands nature conservancy.
Erin’s current work with the SW CASC has allowed her to continue contributing to climate change efforts and makes her hopeful for the future. “The work of the SW CASC is so important.” Erin said. “I really believe in our mission and vision and I value being able to work for an organization that’s so aligned with my values.” She is also excited to be working in the field of science communication and to contribute to the dissemination of important climate adaptation science. “I love reading and sharing all the fantastic SW CASC-funded research that’s published because there is such a focus within the CASC on actionable, solution-orientated science,” she said.
Erin describes herself as adventurous, driven, and dependable. She likes to try new things, which translates to her work and energy on new projects. Outside of work, Erin loves to read, camp, hike, snowshoe, and explore the Upper Midwest Great Lakes region. Erin is currently located in Appleton, Wisconsin and has worked remotely since joining the SW CASC in May 2022. She has found her experiences so far with SW CASC staff, researchers, and partners to be extremely valuable.