Thanks for coming to ScienceOnline Oceans!

sciooceans_sqThanks to you, ScienceOnline Oceans was a great success! More than 175 scientists, students, journalists, conservationists and educators joined us in sunny Miami for a fun and educational weekend. We’ll have a formal report and summary video online soon. In the meantime:

  • Check out our community Flickr page for photos of the conference and the post-conference field trips
  • Check out our Wiki “looking forward” for links to blog posts and Storify summaries of conference sessions.
  • If you haven’t yet done so, please fill out our post-conference evaluation form
  • Continue to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and continue to use the #ScioOceans hashtag!

What to bring, where/when to be

sciooceans_sqHello, friends! ScienceOnline Oceans is in ONE WEEK!
Many of you have been asking what you should bring, where you need to be and when you need to be there. This page has all of that information, so please read it carefully and bookmark it! Please let us know if you have any questions.

1) Opening reception and overall conference dress code? That’s totally up to you, but this certainly isn’t an occasion that requires formal dress. Dress fancy if you’d like. Or dress comfortably. Or dress ocean geek-y. There will be an informal ocean geek-y fashion show Saturday evening at the hotel bar with prizes. I’ll be wearing my usual attire, shark-print Hawaiian shirts, to give you a reference.

2)  If you are going on the shark tagging trip, you should wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and gross. It will be hot on the boat. Closed-toed shoes are required if you want to assist us with measuring, sampling, or tagging the sharks. Sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle are a good idea.
3)  If you are going on the Everglades field trip, bring comfortable walking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and gross. Our ranger contact strongly recommends bringing water shoes in addition to comfortable walking shoes. You will be hiking through a swamp, so expect it to be warm and expect to get muddy and dress appropriately. Sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle are a good idea. There are still spots available on the Everglades field trip: http://sciooceans.wikispaces.com/Field+Trips
*We are monitoring the government shutdown situation closely (the Everglades is a national park) and will keep Everglades field trip participants posted. Our ranger is optimistic that the situation will be resolved in time*
4) Bring a laptop and smartphone (if you have them) and chargers for both. Lots of the discussion at ScienceOnline conferences takes place (surprise) online. If you’re on twitter, plan on tweeting and checking others’ tweets extensively during the conference. If you’re not on twitter and have been considering it, this is a great time to join. Additionally, every conference session has its own online Wiki page with links to extra resources.
5) ScienceOnline believes the BEST way to communicate information about yourself, your project, your school or your organization is through one-on-one conversations. Therefore, ScienceOnline Oceans will NOT have a place for you to put out literature, information, or give-aways for your project or organization. Feel free to hand out a business card or brochure to individuals you are talking to who are already interested in more information, but do not put piles (even small ones) out in public (on tables, shelves, desks, etc) and please do not just stand and hand out something to everyone who walks by (sorry to be so specific, but this has happened and it can be awkward). Any materials left out will be removed immediately.
6) Where do you need to be and when do you need to be there (if you’re staying at the conference hotel and taking our bus transportation)? Pre-meeting workshops will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, October 11th at the Sonesta, with registration/check-in taking place at 12:30.The bus to the Friday (October 11th) evening reception will begin loading outside the Sonesta at 5:00 p.m. and will depart at 5:15 p.m.After the reception, please join us back at the Sonesta hotel bar (a rooftop pool bar overlooking the ocean). 
The bus to the conference venue will begin loading at 7:20 a.m. on Saturday, October 12th and depart at 7:35 a.m.. The buses will begin loading to leave the University conference venue at 5:30 p.m. You should be back at the hotel by 6:00 P.M., with plenty of time to get ready for the 8:00 group dinners. After dinner, please join us back at the Sonesta hotel bar.
If you’re on a Sunday field trip we’ll e-mail you instructions separately, but buses will leave from the Sonesta.
7) Where do you need to be and when do you need to be there (if you’re not staying at the conference hotel and are driving yourself)?  Pre-meeting workshops will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, October 11th at the Sonesta, with registration taking place at 12:30. Please be at the Miami Science Museum no later than 6:00 P.M. on Friday, October 11th (they have free parking). Please note that traffic on US-1 is often pretty bad, so give yourself plenty of time to get there as the panel discussion starts at 6:15!  After the reception, please join us back at the Sonesta hotel bar (a rooftop pool bar overlooking the ocean). 
Please be at the University of Miami’s Whitten Learning Center (part of the Coral Gables/ main campus) no later than 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 12th. There is free visitor parking on weekends and your best bet is the Pavia Garage. Campus map (click “Coral Gables”) : http://www6.miami.edu/communications/mobile/prod/xml/main.html
Group dinners Saturday night are all in Coconut grove. You can park at the Sonesta or at the Cocowalk garage (or try your luck looking for street parking, but on a Saturday night that’s a bold decision). After dinner, please join us back at the Sonesta hotel bar.
If you are not staying in the conference hotel and are participating in a field trip, you should plan on parking at the conference hotel Sunday morning and taking the bus from the hotel.
Please let us know if you have any questions! We can’t wait to see you soon!

Introducing ScienceOnline: Oceans!

sciooceans_sqI am thrilled to officially announce ScienceOnline: Oceans, which will take place in Miami this October! ScienceOnline: Oceans is an official event of the North Carolina based ScienceOnline organization and meeting, and we hope to incorporate much of what makes those meetings so special, but there is one key difference that regular ScienceOnline attendees should be aware of. ScienceOnline: Oceans will focus exclusively on ocean science and conservation (and, of course, how these topics relate to the internet and social media).

Who can attend? Anyone! Any interested scientist, journalist, student, blogger, communicator, activist, or member of the public is welcome. Due to logistical limits, we will have to cap total attendance at 200, including organizers, presenters, and attendees. Registration is still open, although spaces are going fast!

What if I’m a marine scientist with no experience using the internet for science communication / what if I’m a science communicator with no previous ocean science experience? Then come learn! ScienceOnline: Oceans will be an excellent opportunity to learn about these issues, as well as to network with leaders in the field.

What’s the schedule? The event will be October 11th – 13th, 2013. Friday evening will open with a welcome social and a panel discussion featuring expert local marine biologists and conservationists. We’ll have ScienceOnline-style unconference sessions and focused training workshops all day Saturday, followed by a closing social. Participants will have the option of taking part in one of three all-day field trips on Sunday: snorkeling on one of South Florida’s beautiful coral reefs, touring the Everglades, or helping local scientists (including me) with ongoing shark research projects.

You can read the session topics here (curated from suggestions submitted to our planning wiki earlier this year).

How can I help? We need lots of help to plan ScienceOnline: Oceans, from locals and out-of-towners alike! We need South Floridians to help identify possible hotels and sites for socials, as well as other logistical issues (transportation, etc). We need people to help create the program by helping us to pick the best of the suggested sessions. We need people to help us find sponsors, both local and elsewhere. We can’t do it without you! There are lots of opportunities to help, and I hope you’ll get involved.

What’s the hashtag? #ScioOceans

Can I sign up to stay informed? We’ll advertise program suggestion submissions and the registration deadline heavily through regular ScienceOnline channels, as well as ocean science channels and right here on Southern Fried Science. However, if you want to make sure that you don’t miss anything, or want to volunteer to help leave a comment below or e-mail me at WhySharksMatter at gmail dot com!  We also have an official twitter account and Facebook fan page!