By Shannon Dunnigan and Kaitlyn Dietz
Preparing for an upcoming presentation is probably one of the most stressful experiences I have ever had.
Not only are you time-restricted in many talks (that evil 12-minute window), but finding the EXACT information that summarizes your research perfectly is incredibly difficult. Currently, I am developing a presentation Pam and I will be giving at an upcoming symposium at the GTM Research Reserve. The goal is not to wait until the last minute, which, as many of you may know, happens quite a lot…
Last time, I talked about how the visualization of data is an important step in the scientific process. This step allows us to draw conclusions from our data to better understand some aspect of the world around us. Arguably, however, the most vital step of the scientific process is the subsequent communication of these results. Sir Isaac Newton (you know, the guy who was hit in the head with an apple?) once said that “if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” He was not wrong. The way we progress in our understanding, particularly in science, is by building upon the knowledge that already exists. By learning what information others have gained, we can ask more [specific] questions and dive a little deeper into the unknown.
Unfortunately, this is generally the step in the scientific process that makes the majority of us anxious. One of the common ways in which we deliver results and conclusions of our research is by standing in front of a group of people and sharing it out loud. Hence…the anxiety. It is not easy getting up and presenting work to which you have devoted countless hours. Then, there is also the fact that many people also fear public speaking…
Luckily, this symposium is our annual State of the Reserve at the GTM Research Reserve and one of our personal favorites in which to present. Coordinated by the GTM Research Reserve’s Coastal Training Program, the State of the Reserve is an opportunity to share the science that is happening within the Reserve boundaries with our community and other researchers, agency representatives, elected officials. Projects are presented by staff members, visiting investigators, university/ college students that have been working on senior capstones, master theses, or doctoral programs, and our volunteer citizen scientists.
This year’s theme, “The Art of Science in Our Community,” is intended to explore the ways in which we make decisions as individuals and communities while the science to inform those decisions continues to be investigated. While we will have the oral presentations and the poster presentations as in years past, we will also have a panel session in the morning. The panel session will have 11 experts from our community with backgrounds in estuarine and oceanic processes, planning and preparedness, development, and more. With two concurrent panels being led by meteorologist Lauren Rautenkranz, First Coast News, and Mike Buresh, Action News Jax, the panels will surely be an exciting opportunity to engage in community dialogue.
See why it is one of our favorites?
If you are planning on attending, leave a comment below!