Chris Johns is a digital strategist and creative director with extensive experience applying human-centered design principles and methods to content production and digital product development work that ranges widely in approach, topic, and scale. Currently, his work focuses on user-experience research and design for digital products for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Johns is passionate about using digital media to elevate the profile of important science, especially work focused on preserving natural and cultural heritage. He first became interested in science communication during his graduate work, which was funded by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and investigated the evolutionary history and phylogenomics of endangered Hawaiian micromoths in the genus Philodoria. While at the University of Florida, he developed and taught an award-winning graduate course for early career scientists on digital media production and science communication. Prior to joining RTI in 2020, Dr. Johns directed and produced a documentary funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on the ecological and cultural importance of land snails in the Pacific. His photography and filmmaking works have been supported by organizations such as National Geographic, the Disney Conservation Fund, and the National Park Service.