A Q&A with Bridger Photonics’ Content Strategist Christine Sundnas
Three core values guide the team at Bridger Photonics, the first of which is valuing technical excellence, integrity, and honesty. These values permeate throughout our company, especially in our content and marketing. We sat down with Christine Sundnas, our Content Strategist to learn more about how she uses her technical background to guide content and ensure accuracy in everything from a scientific study debrief to a LinkedIn post.
Q: Can you share what you do as the Content Strategist at Bridger Photonics?
Sundnas: My role at Bridger Photonics (Bridger) encompasses a wide variety of marketing and content creation activities. I work closely with Bridger’s Marketing Coordinator, CEO, VP of Sales, Director of Policy and External Affairs, and others to generate marketing strategies and content ideas, most of which are thought leadership in nature. Once we develop a game plan for a particular campaign, I help create blog articles, takeaways that summarize peer-reviewed journal articles, informational LinkedIn posts, website content, and sometimes external articles, to name a few examples. We’re a major provider of information in the highly dynamic methane detection space, and we aim to answer questions that are of interest to oil and gas operators.
Q: Tell us a bit about your background and how it set you up for success in your role?
Sundnas: I‘ve worked on many environmental projects over the years including research on methane flux from thawing arctic permafrost soils, land reclamation monitoring for oil and gas production sites, and most recently I worked in hydrogeology and water quality. I did quite a bit of GIS through all of that as well, which is a tool that Bridger’s team of flight planners and data processors use extensively.
During the oil and gas work, I visited hundreds of production facilities to monitor revegetation, soils, and stormwater. We would also identify any obvious leaks in liquid storage secondary containment and any emissions that seemed likely to be fugitives so that the operator could be notified. It was a cool experience: the clicking and hissing of process emissions, watching flares burn across the landscape, seeing the variety of ways that produced water is managed, and more. Having a basic familiarity with the anatomy of an oil and gas production site has been valuable for me at Bridger.
My past work transitioned to less and less field work and more writing as the years went on. I think this is pretty typical for environmental scientists throughout their careers. Communicating results is a key part of science—otherwise, research would just collect dust, and what’s the point in that? I eventually started a technical writing company, then started at Bridger Photonics doing content. It’s been an excellent fit.
Q: Why do you think producing content is important for Bridger?
Sundnas: When I started at Bridger, it was clear right away that the company is well-trusted and respected in the industry, and clients and colleagues look to us for scientifically rigorous and accurate information. All the way from understanding the difference between an emission rate detection sensitivity (don’t forget the PoD!) versus a minimum detection limit (which we steer away from), to what units of ppm-m mean (not the same as ppm), to making sense of regulations… we are a resource. Bridger is a leader in the methane detection space for oil and gas and has a unique understanding of emissions and sources because of our technology’s capabilities. Industry partners noticed this, and we became a sought-out information resource. We’ve continued to roll with it and now it drives our marketing.
Q: Walk us through the current process for content creation at Bridger.
Sundnas: The process can vary depending on the project, but we typically decide on the high-level message we need to convey. From there, either myself or the Marketing Coordinator creates a rough draft, and back and forth we go on edits. As we get closer to publication, we like to have someone else read over a content piece with fresh eyes. Depending on the topic, our CEO, or our Director of Policy and External Affairs might be pretty involved to help dial in the content at an earlier stage. In some cases, like a recent article we did on the comparison of emissions that are generated by Gas Mapping LiDAR (GML) scans compared to the emissions that the scans detect, one of our Accounts Managers had already done major legwork to run the calculations and model different scenarios based on leak persistency assumptions. In this case, we worked really closely with him through the whole process. So, we do have a general process we follow, but it varies by piece to ensure that we end up with high-integrity content.
Q: So would you say Bridger’s values of technical excellence, honesty, and integrity permeate through the content creation process?
Sundnas: Yes, like I mentioned above, it was obvious when I started at Bridger that these values are taken seriously. Our company is all about scientific rigor, which means that we often opt to include more detail in our content so that the reader knows exactly how we came to our conclusions. We love to get questions and feedback on our content, but we aim for it to be unshakable and to cover all the critical details from the get-go. Our GML technology and the data it generates have been a true game changer for so many oil and gas clients, and we feel that our data product stands for itself. Luckily for us, embellishment is not necessary.
Q: What content do you enjoy writing the most?
Sundnas: Some of our data-heavy content is my favorite. It takes a lot behind the scenes to really dial in highly technical pieces like our Emissions Impact, Emissions Detected in 2022, or our Gas Recapture Revenue one. Especially for the Emissions Detected in 2022 piece, it might look on the outside like we just added some numbers up and did some conversions, but it involved working with our database team to pull huge emissions datasets for an entire year, double-triple-quadruple checking unit conversions, discussing the most appropriate way to handle assumptions, and more. The data-heavy pieces can be really time-intensive to “get right,” but I always learn a lot from these, and I enjoy interacting with others on the Bridger team who I don’t often get to work with.
Q: What’s your favorite part about working at Bridger?
Sundnas: My favorite part of working at Bridger is the team, plus the nature of the work we’re doing.
I really enjoy the people I get to work with. They’re bright, motivated, hilarious, and the energy is good. The culture remains excellent even through fast company growth.
Natural gas is considered an excellent “transition fuel” as we slowly make the shift towards renewable energy. Bridger has found the sweet spot for actionable and efficient methane detection, so operators can take action to fix leaks, but also systematically track what’s happening across a broad sweep of their infrastructure. GML is an incredible tool and industry adoption just keeps increasing. I love being a part of something so huge—methane reduction is one of the biggest challenges of our time.
Christine has a BS and an MS in Environmental Science from Montana State University. She has over a decade of experience in environmental work and technical writing. When she’s not working on content and communications for emissions reduction at Bridger Photonics, she’s out skiing, mountain biking, running, exploring the mountains with her family, and listening to non-fiction audiobooks.