By Jason Geck, Environmental Science
Toward the close of every Fall and Spring semesters, right around the time of Senior Project Presentations, the Environmental Science Department of Alaska Pacific University organizes a student project Scientific Poster Session. We organize these sessions regularly at APU to provide students with an opportunity to advertise the results of their individual science class projects.
But there’s more to it than this.
Part of doing science means communicating like scientists. Posters, just like the ones you see covering the walls and windows of the Leah Peterson Gallery every semester, are created by scientists using text and graphics as a way to “tell the story” about research findings at scientific conferences. Oral presentations are another. Learning the skills to orally communicate main research results effectively and capture them well in a poster are both necessary for professionals in scientific research fields.
Here at APU, we consider learning these two skills as integral to our students’ education, just like learning scientific concepts or research methods. Student projects for science classes culminate at the end of each semester with the creation of posters and oral presentations of these at sessions – just like in the real world – so that when our students graduate, they have already had the chance to develop and practice these important professional skills.
These biannual poster sessions at APU are packed and noisy affairs and this year was no different. Students practiced their professional skills and showcased their hard work while great conversations took place over Moose’s Tooth pizza in the midst of over 60 posters in classes like Introduction to GIS, Principles of Glaciology, Research Methods and Marine Impacts.
What’s that? You missed the Fall, 2014 Poster Session last week?? You can still catch a glimpse of it here.