Nichols, Sue

Nichols, Sue
Michigan State University

Sue Nichols is the assistant director of The Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

She has 18 years of experience in science communication. Now she’s directing strategic communication and outreach for the Human-Nature Lab, which integrates ecology with socioeconomics, demography and other disciplines for ecological sustainability from local, national to global scales.Nichols on elephant in Nepal

She tries to do this without using big, scary words whenever possible to spread the word of science to the biggest possible audience. She also tries hard to show people how fascinating – and fun – science can be.

Nichols came to the center in October 2010. Prior to that, she was the marketing and communications director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute at the U-M, leading the communications effort on the broad spectrum of energy research at the university, as well as supporting initiatives that integrate science into economic recovery.

Before that, she was at Michigan State University for 15 years where she was the chief science writer and led initiatives to increase the public’s understanding of science and research in topics ranging from environmental issues and science’s role in international development. She has organized and given symposiums nationally on communicators’ roles in promoting international science.

Prior to working in higher education, Nichols was a newspaper reporter and editor.

She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She holds a BA in journalism from MSU.

Research Interests: 
Science communication, strategic planning, outreach