Short Courses:

  • Data Visualization:
    • Science communication continues to be of great importance, not only between scientists and professionals, but also among the general population. Presenting the results of comprehensive studies is imperative to facilitate the understanding of scientific research across disciplines. This short course will be directed to provide an overview of how data should be presented in a simple but informative fashion. Attendees will be provided knowledge of data processing and manipulation, and of selecting appropriate figures, schemes, and graphics to effectively present data. Special attention will be given to figure selection for publication purposes, either in scientific journals or conference presentations. The course will be provided in R, through the R-Studio platform, and will highlight the use of the “ggplot2” package.

 

  • Statistics for Environmental Data:
    • Parametric statistics have historically been observed as the “working horse” to analyze environmental datasets. However, this family of statistical analyses requires assumptions that are difficult to find in environmental data, such as the necessity of having normally distributed data. The reality is that environmental data rarely meet these requirements, compromising the resulting observations if inappropriate tests are conducted. Therefore, this short course will focus on the use of non-parametric statistics for environmental data. Attendees will have the opportunity to work with datasets following non-normal distributions, and will be directed to select the best statistical approaches given the nature of the data. Examples covered will include the use of generalized linear models, with different family distributions, and will be conducted in R, through the R-Studio platform.

 

  • Development of Resumes and CVs:
    • As young scientists move forward in their careers, the opportunity to apply to new positions brings many challenges that will decide whether an individual is successful. One of the important stages in any career is the development of a simple and concise, yet informative and strong curriculum vitae, and its summarized version, the resume. In this short course, a professional career advisor will provide examples of successful resumes and CVs to the attendees, with the purpose of highlighting the most important features and sections of a CV, as well as advice when preparing a successful job application.

 

  • Scientific Graphic Design:
    • Scientists and professionals often understand the word “graphic” as a way to present the results of scientific research, but also often ignore that non-scientists may find these graphics difficult to understand. As the necessity of effective scientific engagement continues to grow, the necessity of presenting scientific information to the general public increases in tandem. In this course, attendees will learn effective ways to present scientific information in simple, and understandable designs. The focus is to share information to create visual aids that not only will catch the attention of the public, but also facilitate the understanding of what is being communicated. This course if highly recommended for individuals interested in sharing their work in creative but meaningful ways.

 

  • Methods in Analytical Chemistry – Panel:
    • Real-world environmental analysis often includes challenges not covered in textbooks. When developing or applying analytical methods to environmental analysis, new graduate students are often delayed by troubleshooting technical errors with software. Our vision for this short course is a panel discussion focused on troubleshooting real-world issues with samples, covering topics from matrix effects to computer order of operations. In this short course, a panel of experienced environmental chemists will discuss these common issues and engage in Q & A with course participants. Participants will have the option of submitting questions early, for a more effective discussion.

 

  • Identifying Good Science:
    • The scientific community is experiencing times in which misleading information that compromises the integrity of scientific research overshadows informative studies. With easier access to millions of documents, the probability of encountering false information is high. Therefore, this proposed short course would be directed to provide tips and advice on how to differentiate good science from inaccurate and false information. This is especially important for young scientists who are developing their careers on the foundation of existing work. Identifying and using good sources enhances the opportunity to continue to make important contributions to both the scientific community and society.

 

  • Scientific Writing: from Manuscripts to Grants (extended course):
    • Developing scientific writing skills comes with many challenges which are often ignored by young scientists and professionals, leading them to experience negative results when they attempt to share their work. Manuscript preparation is a particularly important and fundamental stage in many, if not all, scientific paths. Therefore, the first half of this short course will be directed at individuals seeking to learn how to properly develop a manuscript. The first half of this course will include sections on manuscript planning, subsection structuring (introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, etc.), journal selection, search term optimization, and the submission, revision, and publication processes. The second half of this course will focus on characteristics of effective grant proposals. It will acknowledge that the search for funding represents one of the major challenges for the scientific community, especially among early career scientists, and that communicating the importance of scientific research is paramount in convincing funding sources to provide their support. With requirements from funding agencies becoming stricter over time, this course will provide example grant proposals that course attendees can use to characterize high-quality professional and technical documents, thereby enhancing their future likelihood of submitting successful proposals.

 

  • Field Techniques in Environmental Science (extended course, 20 max participants):
    • While laboratory experimentation is essential in the scientific investigation of environmental processes, field activities represent the most environmentally-relevant component of such investigations. The complexity of the environment requires standardization of techniques that can also be adapted to specific conditions. Therefore, this hands-on course will be provided to highlight common field activities in environmental assessments, and the appropriate way of conducting them. Attendees will learn processes such as water chemistry monitoring, stream discharge measurements, water sampling, and collection of freshwater macroinvertebrates. A short lecture will be given to attendees before heading to a nearby stream, where they will receive the necessary equipment to conduct their activities.