Town Halls, Workshops and Auxiliary Meetings

Workshop, Town Hall Meetings, and Other Auxiliary Meetings

The organizers of the meeting encourage the submission of requests for town hall meetings, workshops or other auxiliary meetings. All applications should be submitted using the online application form.

These events should be planned during lunch or possibly in the evening. Meeting room space will be complimentary if there are rooms available. All other costs will not be covered. Even if space is not available at the MTCCC, you may still organize your own meeting or activity at an alternative location.

If you have questions about the application or an event that you are planning, please contact Sue Rulla at


ASLO/SFS Diatom Voucher Workshop

Date: 7 June 2020, Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Instructors: Meredith Tyree, Sylvia Lee, Julianne Heinlein, Mark Edlund, David Burge, Sarah Spaulding

This workshop is directed at algal taxonomists who strive for consistent and transparent application of names to species. Analysts will learn how to produce a diatom voucher flora using Photoshop or GIMP. The instructors will provide step-by-step instructions to streamline image processing, application of scale bars to large stacks of images, and assignment of names to diatoms in a consistent manner. At the end of the workshop, participants will have created their own “plate”, or single page of a flora. We expect participants to leave the workshop with the tools to make a project flora for use within, or across labs. Finally, we will work, as a group, on the process of assigning names to species, and linking names to a reference source through USGS BioData. Instructors will provide formatted raw images, or participants can bring own images. (Instructions for formatting images will be provided prior to the workshop). We will have a library of taxonomic resources.

What is a voucher flora? A voucher flora is a collection of light microscope images for a defined project.

Why make a voucher flora? A voucher flora is created before identification and enumeration of diatoms begin. Prepared slides are examined for an entire project, and images of all diatom taxa are collected. The images are then grouped into species, or operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Analysts working on the project collaborate to discuss species boundaries and inform the final OTUs within the voucher flora. Then, as each analyst works on identification and enumeration, the voucher flora serves to coordinate analysts, so that all participants work from the same morphological understanding of species boundaries. Finally, the voucher flora is archived as a public, permanent record.

Training for taxonomic certification: The skill of creating and updating a voucher flora will be a component of the higher-level certification for Diatom Taxonomists through the Society for Freshwater Science.

What to Bring: A laptop computer with Photoshop or GIMP, and MS excel. It is beneficial to have experience working with images in Photoshop or GIMP.

Costs: $50.00 Professionals/$25.00 Students

Improving confidence with communicating and networking in professional settings

Date: 7 June 2020, Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Instructors: Dr. Juliana D’Andrilli and Dr. Kaleb Heinrich Two facilitator trainees (graduate students and/or early career researchers)

The objective of this workshop is to practice vocal and improvisation skills that will prepare participants for confident networking and socializing no matter what the communicative situation including: (i) taking the first steps/initiating a conversation, (ii) maintaining a conversation, (iii) giving a speech and/or scientific presentation, (iv) physical presence/body awareness, (v) patience and listening, and (vi) quick critical and creative thinking. Ultimately, our goal is to enhance the outreach and communication of SFS/ASLO members within and beyond their societies. Workshop goals are broken into two parts. Part I will include a brief introduction of experiences communicating with people, a discussion of common networking challenges, and the improvisation techniques for success. Following the introduction, all attendees will participate in a plethora of progressive exercises designed to strengthen communication skills and confidence in public settings. Attendees will be both participants and audience members to maximize education and reflection. Part II will build upon the experiences gained in Part I and shift towards improving science communication exercises. These exercises include preparing an “elevator pitch” of your research, how to communicate the “why do we care” aspect of your research, and effective oral presentation skills (exercise titled, “Podiums and presentations”). The workshop will conclude with discussion and feedback, self-reflection/evaluation, and closing remarks.

Costs: $50.00 Professionals/$25.00 Students

Putting your science “in the room”: Communicating science to inform environmental policy and management decisions

Date: 7 June 2020, Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Instructors: Mike Paul, Jacques Oliver, Mike Shupryt

This workshop focuses on the transactions between scientists and environmental managers/policy-makers “in the room”, where natural resource management decisions are made. Scientists will have an opportunity to broker these transactions by communicating the importance of the scientific research they are presenting at the conference to a panel of state and federal water quality managers who operate in Clean Water Act programs. Attendees will hear from decision-makers about what are the most and least persuasive ways they receive scientific information. Participants can expect actual feedback on presentations they make to real world decision-makers. Communication will occur through the preparation of a one-page briefing document that will be provided to the panelists and registered attendees prior to the conference. Scientists will be asked to deliver a five-minute brief to the panel in which they describe the environmental problem or issue, their scientific research, and the action they seek as a result of their research. The presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer period with the panelists.

Workshop Objectives: To create awareness, enhance communication skills, and strengthen science to policy connections.

  • To mutually increase awareness of relevant science and the potential application of that science in environmental policy and management.
  • To enhance science communication skills of participants.
  • To connect science practitioners to specific environmental policy and management programs.

Costs: $50.00 Professionals/$25.00 Students

Turning Your Research into Management: Evidence Banking and Synthesis

Date:  June 6, 2020, Time: 9 a.m. to 5 pm, lunch included

Instructors:  Angus Webb, Sylvia Lee, Kate Schofield, Susan Nichols, Ralph Ogden, Caroline Ridley, Micah Bennett, Alexandra Collins, Shannon Speir, Kateri Salk

This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of Evidence-based Practice for Environmental Management, and how this can be enabled through Evidence Banking and Synthesis.

We will introduce the Ecological Evidence Exchange (EcoEvidEx), an initiative designed to increase the impact of scientific research by improving its availability to environmental decision makers, both in terms of timeliness and accessibility. Few environmental managers have the capacity to search, obtain and critically review the scientific literature. This means that the potential application of research findings from many scientific publications is never realized. Scientists who care about evidence-based decision making for environmental management can help solve the problem of getting easily-understood evidence into the hands of managers. We will also introduce major methods for Evidence Synthesis, and how the types of evidence captured in the EcoEvidEx can be used to inform decisions.

Participants will learn how to atomize key research results from articles and bank them in an online Evidence Exchange, which will make them easily accessible for environmental decision makers. They will also participate in practical exercises to bring evidence together using Evidence Synthesis approaches. Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback to improve the EcoEvidEx interface. Through this workshop, we aim to help ASLO and SFS members become leaders in improving adoption of scientific knowledge to inform environmental decision-making. We highly encourage students and early career professionals to participate in the workshop and take a step toward improving research impact.

Participants are required to bring their own laptops. The workshop is free of cost and lunch will be provided.

This workshop is free of charge.  The number of participants is limited to 40.

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