The ability to effectively exchange information and develop trusting, collaborative relationships across disciplinary boundaries is essential for 21st century scientists charged with solving complex and large-scale societal and environmental challenges, yet these communication skills are rarely taught. Here, we describe an adaptable training program designed to increase the capacity of scientists to engage in information exchange and relationship development in team science settings. A pilot of the program, developed by a leader in ecological network science, the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON), indicates that the training program resulted in improvement in early career scientists’ confidence in team-based network science collaborations within and outside of the program. Fellows in the program navigated human-network challenges, expanded communication skills, and improved their ability to build professional relationships, all in the context of producing collaborative scientific outcomes. Here, we describe the rationale for key communication training elements and provide evidence that such training is effective in building essential team science skills.
E. K. Read, M. O’Rourke, G. S. Hong, P. C. Hanson, L. A. Winslow, S. Crowley, C. A. Brewer, K. C. Weathers. (2016). Building the team for team science.Ecosphere. Available online.DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1291