GeoLog

Early Career Scientists

Communicate your Science Video Competition finalists 2017: time to get voting!

Communicate your Science Video Competition finalists 2017: time to get voting!

For the fourth year in a row we’re running the EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition – the aim being for early career scientists to communicate their research in a short, sweet and public-friendly video. Our judges have now selected 4 fantastic finalists from the excellent entries we received this year and it’s time to find the best geoscience communication clip!

The shortlisted videos will be open to a public vote from now until midnight on 27 April; – just ‘like’ the video on YouTube to give it your seal of approval. The video with the most likes when voting closes will be awarded a free registration to the EGU General Assembly 2018.

The finalists are shown below, but you can also catch them in this finalist playlist and even take a seat in GeoCinema – the home of geoscience films at the General Assembly – to see the shortlist and select your favourite.

Please note that only positive votes will be taken into account.

What sounds are in space by Martin Archer. Like this video to vote for it.

Soil moisture and GNSS Explained by Tzvetan Simeonov. Is this your favourite video? Like to vote for it.

Lost rivers by Elisha Teo. If this is your favourite then vote for it here!

A tale of water kidneys and flying doctors by Valentin Heimhuber. Like this video to vote for it!

If watching these videos has inspired you to try your hand at using videos to communicate your research to the public, but you aren’t sure where to start & how to finance the whole enterprise, then why not come along to the finding funding for your science film short course during the 2017 General Assembly? Professional outreach and science filmmakers Dan Brinkhuis (Science Media.nl) and Saskia Medler (77th Parallel Productions) will take you through three different outreach video projects and funding scenarios of varying qualities and their associated costs. They will also give insights on whether the investments paid off by assessing the success of each film in terms of how many views, likes, or even awards they garnered, or how much publicity they generated. Join us in the GeoCinema room (0.90, Yellow Level) on Wednesday the 26th April from 10:30am (CET) onward.

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 28 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website.

GeoEd: Do as I say… AND as I do

GeoEd: Do as I say… AND as I do

Bridging the gap between student and teacher is not always easy. For students, the educator might seem ‘untouchable’ and inaccessible. A sense exacerbated when assignments are set and they turn out to be new, complex and unfamiliar. In this new installment of our GeoEd column, regular guest blogger Rhian Meara of Swansea University, discusses a simple approach to overcome some of these barriers, which can yield surprisingly positive results.

As teachers, lecturers and professors, it’s easy to forget quite how scary it is to be an undergraduate student. Everything is new – lectures, seminars, practical classes, buildings, cities, and friends. Workloads are increasing and expectations are much higher than at school. We can also be guilty of setting and marking coursework based on our present professional standards including expectations that students will automatically understand what is expected of them. The fallout of this is that students can get overwhelmed, scared to ask questions and plough on despite not understanding what is required of them.

During the last few years, I have taught on a second year module which includes a literature review as part of the continuous assessment. Students attend lectures, workshops and tutorials to learn what a literature review is and how to write their own reviews. However, despite the extensive preparation, there is a communication barrier and a task as simple as a literature review (to the staff) is a monumental and incomprehensible task (for the undergraduates). The students have a tendency to get incredibly hung up on the fact that a literature review is “not an essay” rather than understanding what it actually is and how to complete one.

To counteract this, I have started running an extra tutorial session for my students. In this session, I provide the students with copies my own undergraduate literature review that I completed as part of my undergraduate geology degree at the University of Leicester. The review focusses onto emplacement mechanisms for flood lavas both on Earth and across the Solar System, and was completed during the third year of my degree. In the review, I introduce four models that explain how flood lavas are erupted and transported, critique each model and reach a conclusion as to which model, if any, is most accurate. The majority of the students in the group are physical or human geographers and not avid hard-rock igneous petrologists like I was back in the day, so initially the students are quite intimidated by the subject!

As a group, we then read and discuss the literature review to identify the essential components. These include, but are not limited to, a brief but thorough introduction to the subject, headings and sub-headings, relevant images and maps, appropriate use of references and citations, thorough explanations of the subject material, critical evaluations and conclusions.

Immediate comments from the students included bewilderment at how “professionally written” the work was which led to a useful discussion about academic writing, editing and the appropriate use of jargon. The students also felt that despite their initial intimidation of the subject area, that the review gave them a thorough introduction and explanation of the subject and its associated literature – one of the key aims of a literature review.

At the end of the discussion I asked the students to grade the literature review. As a group the students agreed that the work was a very high quality and merited a 1st class mark (˃70%*). In reality the work had been awarded a 2:1 mark (c. 64%*); however as the work was submitted for a 3rd year module the mark can be translated to a 1st class mark at the 2nd year level. The students were able to see therefore what sort of level they should be aiming at with their own work.

When the students submitted their own literature reviews, I was pleased to see that most of the elements that we discussed had been included into their work. Subjects were clearly introduced and explained, relevant images were used to highlight arguments, ideas were critically discussed and logical conclusions were reached.

Feedback from the students noted that the experience of seeing my own work was incredibly useful as it allowed them to see clear examples of similar work. The students now understand what expectations I have for them in the 2nd year of their undergraduate degree based on my own experiences (do as I say, and as I do!). The tutorial also allowed the students to better understand the process of researching and academic writing.

Getting to see and read through a staff member’s work was very informative. It helped me to understand the level at which to pitch my own work and how the use of appropriate figures, even within essays, could improve the overall quality of the piece. I also found that it broke a perceived wall between the complicated published articles and undergraduate work as it showed how the skills I’m learning now can help with more advance writing in the future.”  (Ben, 3rd year student)

Getting an example of a literature review from my tutor was not only useful as a tool, but felt more personal. Allowing me to ask questions I wouldn’t have, if we didn’t have her work as an example.’  (Tom, 2nd year student)

It was a great help to see a good example of a literature review because I had no idea how to even start! I liked the fact that I could refer back to the example for guidance during the process of writing my own literature review, and I believe that I would have had much worse marks without the possibility of seeing an example beforehand.” (Ffion, 2nd year student)

I ran this tutorial last year for the first time and was pleased with the results. This academic year, the original students who are now in their 3rd year have asked to continue the practice as they write their independent research dissertations. During individual and group tutorials I have shown the students my undergraduate research project on the geochemistry of the Siberian Traps lavas and my PhD thesis on tephrochronology in Iceland. Again, feedback from the students has been positive as they appreciate seeing and comparing with their supervisor’s undergraduate work.

The only negative element of this experience was needing to ensure that students did not re-use the same topics for their own projects as this would be considered as plagiarism. However as previously noted, the academic background of the students somewhat precluded this.

Finally, a piece of advice: if you want to share your work with your students, make sure you develop a thick skin! Once the students get going they are surprisingly harsh during the marking and critiquing element of the tutorial!

By Rhian Meara, Physical Geography and Geology Lecturer at Swansea University

* In UK marking schemes, anything given 70% is considered to be of excellent quality.

GeoEd, is a series dedicated to education in the geosciences. If you’d like to share your teaching and educational experiences, anything from formal classroom teaching, through to outreach project ideas, please do get in touch. We always welcome guest contributions to the blog. To pitch an idea for a post, please contact Laura Roberts Artal (the EGU Communication Officer and GeoLog editor) at networking@egu.eu or take a look at our submission page.

Presenting at the General Assembly 2017: A quick ‘how to’ from the EGU

Presenting at the General Assembly 2017: A quick ‘how to’ from the EGU

The schedule is out, presentation slots have been assigned and it’s time to start thinking about putting yours together. Whether you have an oral, poster or PICO slot, we have a suite of simple guidelines to get you ready for the conference!

Orals

The guidelines for oral presentations are online. All oral presentations should have the dimensions 4:3 or 16:9 and last about 12 minutes, with 3 minutes for questions. Oral presentations take place over four 90-minute time blocks. Make sure you’re in the presentation room approximately 30 minutes before your time block starts, so your presentation can be uploaded or so you can connect your laptop to the system. There will be a lecture room assistant to help you get everything ready.

Posters

Guidelines for poster presentations are also online. Importantly, the poster boards landscape and are 197 cm by 100 cm. Posters should be hung between 08:00 and 09:00 on the day of your scheduled poster presentation using tape available from roaming student assistants.  Please retrieve your poster at the end of the day (between 19:00 and 19:30). Those that are not collected will be disposed of. By the start of the Assembly, EGU will have sent your Authors in Attendance Time – during this time, you must be present at your display.

If there is a gap in the corresponding oral session, conveners may call upon poster presenters to give a short ad hoc summary of their posters. Therefore, it might be useful to have a couple of slides (1-2) prepared in advance to help illustrate your findings.

PICOs

For the fifth year now we have got a different kind of presentation: Presenting Interactive COntent (PICO). The guidelines for PICO presentations are available online. PICO sessions combine the best of oral and poster presentations. Every PICO author presents their slides in a “2 minutes madness”. After these short presentations, all attendees have enough time to watch the presentation again on interactive screens and hold discussions with the author and other attendees. These presentations are shown on widescreens, but some of the screen space is used for branding of the contribution and navigation, so the ideal dimensions for your presentation are the classic 4:3 format. You can also use the 16:9 format, just alert one of the conference assistants if this is the case, as they’ll help you determine the best position of the navigation buttons, so they don’t detract from your presentation. One thing to keep in mind is that, unlike in the past, PICO presentations no longer support Prezi.

For tips on how to make a PICO presentation, why not download the How to make a PICO guide. For a first-hand account of what it’s like to take part in a PICO session, take a look at this post by early career scientists in the Seismology Division too.

Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards

If you are presenting a poster or PICO at the upcoming General Assembly you can have your presentation considered for an OSPP Award. Stay tuned to GeoLog for an upcoming post where we’ll tell you how to register yourself for the award, as well as a video featuring past OSPP judges explaining what it is they look for in a winning poster.

Time Blocks

Timetabling at the General Assembly is organised into the following time blocks:

  • TB1 08:30–10:00
  • TB2 10:30–12:00
  • TB3 13:30–15:00
  • TB4 15:30–17:00
  • TB5 17:30–19:00 (not on Friday)

There is free tea and coffee available in the poster halls in the breaks between TB1 & TB2 and TB3 & TB4, and wine available during TB5.

No-shows

If you already know that your abstract will not be presented, you are kindly requested to withdraw your corresponding abstract as soon as possible.

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 28 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website.

 

EGU 2017 General Assembly programme is now online!

EGU 2017: Registration open & townhall and splinter meeting requests

The EGU General Assembly 2017 programme is available here. Take a look and – if you haven’t already – register for the conference by 16 March to make the early registration rates!

Last year, we updated the scientific programme of the General Assemby and it includes Union-wide Sessions, such as Special Scientific Events (Medal Lectures, Great Debates and many more) short courses and topical meetings, feedback and networking events and outreach, education and media sessions, to name a few.  The Disciplinary Sessions, encompass the oral, poster and PICO sessions covering the full spectrum of the Earth, planetary and space sciences.

There are several ways to access the programme, so you can explore the sessions with ease:

  • Browse by day & time: view the oral, poster and PICO sessions by their time and location, each sorted chronologically by conference day, time block and programme group
  • Browse by session: view the scientific sessions and their oral, poster and PICO sub-sessions by programme group
  • Personal programme: a great tool to generate your own personal programme, just select the specific presentations or sessions you’re interested in to create your own personal schedule
  • Sessions of ECS interest: this is a list of sessions of particular interest for early career scientists
  • Papers of special interest: take a look at the abstracts that were selected by their respective session conveners to be of interest to the press, media and the public

Want more ways to browse the programme? We’ll be releasing the EGU 2017 mobile app closer to the conference, stay tuned!

We look forward to seeing you in Vienna for the General Assembly (23 – 28 April 2017).

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