From #pestichat to Pi Day: thanks and farewell to Dr Melanie Harrison-Okoro

Protecting water quality from invasive species, pesticides, pollution and eutrophication from nutrient runoff is the mission of our curator of the week of March 8, Dr Melanie Harrison-Okoro (@DrHarrisonOkoro) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (@NOAAFisheries), West Coast Region. During her week on @RealScientists, Melanie tweeted about her work in helping to manage, preserve and conserve coastal waterways, as well as her interests in STEM outreach. She also crossed a lot of water during her week, all the way from California to Hawai’i…. a mission in itself, with a new baby!


If you missed any of Melanie’s week on the account, her tweets are archived here (most recent tweets at the top of the page). Melanie’s thoughts on the experience of curating @RealScientists are as follows:

How did you find your week as a curator?

It was great! I’m a casual twitter user. I usually take in information from my twitter feed rather than interact or communicate with my followers or in twitter conservation. I wanted to change that, which is one reason I requested to curate for @realscientists. So thank you for getting me out of my comfort zone.

Were there any lowlights?

Not really, only the expectations I put on myself to interact with twitter users.

It can be a shock talking to so many followers. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

At first I found it daunting, but I took the advice of the RealScientists administrators and I realize that social media interacting could be full time job. I embrace though, took a deep breath, and enjoyed the ride.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

I wanted to have a more detailed conservation on the STEM outreach I participate in. I didn’t really get an opportunity to talk with the twitter followers about that. I would have love to learn about some of their STEM activities.

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

Do not stress having to tweet about something interesting every second of the day. There is an ebb and flow to twitter. Tweet as though no one is following you. Interact by posing a question and then discuss. Oh, and use tons of photos!!!!

Other than yourself of course, are there any other people/accounts that people should follow if they liked you and what you covered?


What TV show do you think everyone should go watch right now?

Good one! Hmmm “The Profit” on CNBC, “Shark Tank” that’s about it.

Melanie's Pi Day pie

Thanks again to Melanie for her tremendous week of curation. Keep following her on Twitter, and stay tuned for more from RealScientists!


James is a recovering scientist and escaped postdoc who works in research management at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He's now retired from active @RealScientists duty, after serving from the project's beginnings in 2013 through to mid 2015. When not managing research, surviving #PlanetParenthood or pretending not to be an expat Australian in the Deep South of NZ, he tweets @theotherdrsmith.

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