July 18, 2016

MIT Sea Grant Science Communication Intern - Morgan O'Hanlon

By Nicole Mis

Explaining complex scientific findings so they are accessible to the public isn’t easy, but Morgan O’Hannlon, a rising sophomore at Boston University, hopes to learn some new tricks this summer at MIT Sea Grant. Morgan is working as a communications intern as part of the Boston University Research, Education, and Communication of Science (BURECS) program. BURECS is a unique program for first year students at BU who are interested in integrating climate science research with education and communication.

Morgan is from Austin, Texas and double majoring in journalism and anthropology. She chose both majors with hopes of preserving cultural diversity through writing about different civilizations. Communication is very important to Morgan because she is fascinated by people’s stories, and likes to help connect people by making unfamiliar, technical concepts, more accessible. Often, scientists don’t know how to describe their research to a wide audience, Morgan sees herself as a translator between scientists and the public.

This summer, Morgan has been interviewing researchers, writing featured articles, and writing content for MIT Sea Grant’s new website. One day Morgan hopes to be a writer for National Geographic where she would writes stories about different cultures and spotlights these otherwise unknown groups of people so she can protect and preserve their cultures.

When not working on a project, Morgan likes to cook, read and exercise. She enjoys running and reading the New York Times, the New Yorker, and National Geographic. She is a features writer for the Daily Free Press, a student-run newspaper at BU, and her favorite story that she has written was one about a study performed on mice that found that the symptoms of autism could be reversed. For the article, she interviewed a woman who had a son with autism who discussed how she simultaneously holds on hope for a cure but also accepts her child for who he is. In her free time, she also likes to write short stories in the magical realism genre which incorporates elements of fantasy into an otherwise normal plot.