Communication Initiative

Guests documenting Indigo Surveys at the Preserve - Tracy Karplus

The Orianne Society’s Communication Initiative focuses on the strategic use of communications for the conservation of reptiles and amphibians.  We continually strive to improve awareness and understanding of what we do as an organization, how we do it, and the values and mission that guide our work, and in this digital age, we are able to bring our message to a global audience using multiple modes of communication: audio-visual, blogs, campaigns, education outreach and social media.  Through these outlets, we work to continually find ways to improve our images, videos and infographics to simplify information and effectively engage, impact and inspire our audience.  

One of the keys to conservation success is to be able to communicate effectively beyond the scientific community to broader audiences.  Compelling story-telling combined with powerful images and videos, alongside research and data, makes a greater impact and helps to build much-needed support for science and wildlife conservation.  Whether we are searching for collaboration opportunities, gathering support and funding for our work, encouraging more informed decision-making on all levels, or inspiring the next generation of scientists, our ultimate goal is to make a difference by bringing reptiles, amphibians and the habitats they need into the conservation spotlight.

Modes of Communication

We want to engage our audience and create a greater impact by using a multi-sensory experience to convey information.  For example, we aim to captivate a wider audience by presenting an enthusiastic conversation about a herpetologists’ latest research, or an emotional retelling of a personal encounter with a snake on the Snake Talk Podcast.  We share photos and videos on social media to bring you to the action where we’ve got our boots-on-the-ground – our staff members hard at work in the field, analyzing data, publishing research.  We have also started to produce documentaries – The Great Northern Turtle and Rattled: Conserving Rattlesnakes in Appalachia – that we hope will not only inform and educate, but inspire and motivate our fellow conservationists to take action.

Blogging is an impactful way of instantly sharing longer-form information on the internet.  We currently maintain five monthly blogs which are a part of our greater communication projects.  Get a more in-depth look into what is going on in the field, in our research, as well as current topics or particular species on our minds – Faces of the Forest, Fieldnotes, Lighting a Match, Photo of the Month and Science of Scales.  

Multiple campaigns are designed, built and implemented each year to raise awareness and understanding about critical topics highlighting particular landscapes, species, conservation methods or the partners we work with.  These campaigns provide us with an opportunity to focus on these critical topics, and mobilize support for action.  These campaigns are often designed with accompanying merchandise, which not only helps us to raise funds to further our efforts, but is essential in raising awareness of our organization and the need for reptile and amphibian conservation.  Visit our Shop to see the merchandise available from our most recent campaigns.


The Orianne Society takes part in a variety of education outreach opportunities each year.  Presentations with our educational reptiles and amphibians allow people to meet the animals up close, learn about them and provide a memorable, hands-on experience with these remarkable species.  We also produce and send educational images, videos and other materials to schools and partners to aid in the education of our focus species and wildlife conservation in general.

High school students at a school in South Carolina getting a closer look at a Timber Rattlesnake – Tracy Karplus

The social media landscape is constantly changing and evolving, and it continues to be one of the most effective ways to reach a global audience in this digital age.  The Orianne Society currently engages social media subscribers on five platforms – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.  We need to adapt to these changes and continually find ways to improve our images, videos and infographics to simplify information and effectively engage, impact and inspire our audience.  See the latest updates on our social media live feed below.

The Orianne Society’s website houses a wealth of information we have gathered and created over the last 14 years, including scientific research articles, informational pages on species and landscapes, monthly blog post updates written by our staff, as well as news and current events.

Communication Projects

Fieldnotes is a monthly video blog hosted by Ben Stegenga, Research Assistant for our Longleaf Savannas projects.  This video blog is designed to give viewers an inside look into the fieldwork components of our various conservation and research projects being conducted in the southeastern Coastal Plain.  In addition to describing research and survey techniques, many of the episodes highlight species that Ben encounters in the field and delves into their unique ecology and role in the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem.

Watch Fieldnotes.

American Alligator – Ben Stegenga

Learn about what The Orianne Society is doing around the Altamaha River Corridor and in the region on this monthly video blog and weekly social media updates about prescribed fire and other land management techniques.  Brought to you by Caleb Goldsmith, our Director of Fire Ecology and Management.  

Watch Lighting a Match.

Caleb Goldsmith on a prescribed burn – Tracy Karplus

Science of Scales is a monthly blog written by our Director of Science, Houston Chandler.  The blog is written for a general audience and features articles on a variety of topics, including the latest in herpetofaunal conservation research, highlights of The Orianne Society’s ongoing projects, and discussions of important ecosystems and species. 

Go to Science of Scales.

Marbled Salamander – Houston Chandler

A multi-media project by Dr. Chris Jenkins, utilizing a podcast, online seminars, social media and videography to increase the public’s knowledge about snakes and lower the amount of persecution.  

Listen in and read more about Snake Talk.

Photo of the Month is an intersection between art and science. By showcasing the beauty and intriguing behavior of these often misunderstood creatures, Tracy Karplus, our Director of Communication, hopes to inspire a new generation of wildlife enthusiasts, naturalists, and conservationists, who, armed with both artistic appreciation and scientific understanding, can become the advocates these animals so desperately need.

View Photo of the Month.

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard – Kyla Garten

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Communication Archives - Indigo Magazine

From 2013 to 2021, The Orianne Society wrote, edited and published Indigo Magazine.  The digital versions are available below – see articles, news updates and images by our staff and other contributors.