Workshops and Town Halls


Selecting and Submitting to a Scientific Journal

Tuesday, 6/22/2021, 07:00-08:00 (UTC), Room 1

Organizer: Surayya Johar ([email protected])

This webinar is designed for anyone who wants to publish in a scientific journal and is especially suitable for early career researchers. The PowerPoint presentation covers how to select an appropriate journal, understanding what the publishing process actually entails, the types of polices a journal may have (on ethics, open access and open data), and how to promote a published paper. Delegates will have a chance to ask questions at the end of this presentation.

Developing Science Communication Skills

Tuesday, 6/22/2021, 08:30-16:00 (UTC), Room 2

Organizer: Hayley Schiebel ([email protected])

Are you an early career scientist interested in learning more about how to present your work to different audiences? The 2021 NSF-funded (for the third year in a row!) ASLO Science Communication workshop is for you! This free workshop will help you better hone your verbal and visual presentation skills. Dr. Tullio Rossi, founder of Animate Your Science (, will focus on conference poster design and effectiveness. Michelle Smisek is a professional actor and acting coach in South Florida who will introduce basic poster and oral presentation communication skills. The workshop will be on Tuesday June 22, 2021 from 08:30-16:00 UTC / 4.30 AM – 12 PM EST. Please plan on attending the full workshop. You can email Hayley Schiebel ([email protected]) with any questions and the registration link can be found here:

Vital Interpersonal Communication Skills

Tuesday, 6/22/2021, 14:30-16:00 (UTC), Room 4

Organizer: Jonathan Sharp ([email protected])

To communicate effectively, speakers must connect with their audiences and that interpersonal rapport facilitates the better assimilation of their content. But scientists often struggle to reach non-scientific audiences because they focus more on the information about which they’re speaking instead of the people they’re speaking with. This workshop will share best practices for interpersonal communications by combining lecture with informal exercises allowing participants to engage experientially. Facilitator Biography: BRIAN PALERMO is an engaging actor with an impressive resume. Since 2010, Palermo has led workshops using the techniques of improvisational theatre to teach effective communications skills to professionals throughout the scientific landscape. In addition to ASLO, he has facilitated similar workshops for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, USC Keck School of Medicine, National Park Service, Google (The Google School for Leaders), YouTube, Twitter and many others. The workshop will build on the success of previous workshops by Palermo (at OSM and ASLO meetings from 2012 – 2020) organized by Jonathan Sharp (U. Delaware) and Adrienne Sponberg (ASLO). The workshop is free and is open to all, but participants must register at ​Please contact [email protected] for assistance. Financial support for this workshop has been received from the Ocean Sciences Division of NSF.

Developing Affordable Modular Imaging Platforms

Tuesday, 6/22/2021, 14:30-16:00 (UTC), Room 6

Organizer: Adam Larson ([email protected])

A major hurdle in assessing marine plankton is the global scale of the oceans and the logistical and economic constraints associated with their sampling. This is due in part to the limited amount of scientifically equipped fleets and affordable equipment. By enabling individuals or communities to construct and customize their own tools at low cost, we can scale up sampling while democratizing the process. This year we have begun to demonstrate a modular hardware/software strategy for building a versatile, re-configurable imaging platform – the PlanktoScope – that can be adapted to a number of applications in aquatic biology and ecology. We achieve high-throughput imaging of laboratory and field plankton samples while enabling rapid device reconfiguration in order to match the evolving needs of the sampler. PlanktoScope is capable of autonomously imaging 1.7 ml per minute with a 2.8 µm resolution, and are built with under $500 in parts. The strength of PlanktoScope lies in the community driven platform. Over the first year of the project we have grown a community of over 200 plankton researchers in 7 different countries. Around 30 Planktoscopes have been constructed by users of different experience levels as well as different intentions for the device; from on site HAB monitoring, to laboratory culture assessment, to educational purposes both academic and community oriented. We hope to discuss how this strategy can encourage other frugal, reconfigurable, but high-quality tools to enable sampling in areas under-surveyed for reasons of cost, logistics, or support.

Creating a More Equitable, Inclusive and Diverse ASLO: A Session with Soulfocused Group

Tuesday, 6/22/2021, 15:00-16:30 (UTC), Room 5

Organizer: Roxane Maranger, ASLO President ([email protected]); Host: Mahdi Davenport, Soulfocused Group ([email protected])

In order to create a more equitable and inclusive world, we need to confront our own personal biases with regards to race, gender, social status among others. There is a tendency however to blame the systems we are in for the perpetuation of inequities. However, we are the system. To change the system, we must work on self and how we have been socialized in order to overcome these biases and foster greater inclusivity.

ASLO strives to be a scientific society where everyone feels welcome and included to bring their full authentic selves to share their knowledge and perspectives.  We believe such an inclusive society full of diverse perspectives is imperative in order to confront the most pressing challenges of our time. A year ago, after the tragic death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement became pressing in the US and supported more globally. Since then, ASLO like other science societies, have reflected and stepped up their EDI initiatives to confront racism. As part of an ongoing ASLO effort to engage in this important and challenging work this ASM workshop will be led by Soulfocused Group ( an organisation specialized in anti-racism training for over 30 years. For this workshop, the founder Mahdi Davenport and members of his team, will guide us on the need to step into our own personal power to actively dismantle racism and other biases and engage us on how together we can support and promote the inclusion of diverse voices. You are invited to this conversation and challenge yourself to help create a more equitable scientific society.

As conversations about racism are difficult, you may feel uncomfortable in this session. We hope you will engage and find the ideas both challenging and rewarding, however you are not obliged to stay.   

How to Give an Effective Zoom Presentation

Tuesday, 6/22/2021, 15:00-16:00 (UTC), Room 3

Organizer: Camille Gaynus ([email protected])

This workshop will provide participants some tips and tricks for effectively giving a presentation via zoom.

Leadership in Aquatic Science

Wednesday, 6/23/2021, 19:00-20:30 (UTC), Room 4

Organizer: Bob Chen ([email protected])

Aquatic Science is becoming more collaborative, more interdisciplinary, and more global, thus the roles of facilitator, organizer, and leader are becoming more important for our field. However, leadership is an often overlooked aspect of the overall aquatic science enterprise. While research and teaching skills are often developed in academic settings, and stakeholder engagement and partnership-building skills evolve in government and non-governmental organization positions, how do you become an effective leader in Aquatic Science? What skills do you need? What characteristics might suggest you would be a good leader? How can you try out this pathway? In this workshop, Bob Chen, Interim Dean of the School for the Environment, UMass Boston; Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Associate Dean for Instruction, Community Engagement, & Research, School of the Earth, Ocean, & Environment, University of South Carolina; and Debbie Bronk, President and CEO, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences will lead a discussion about leadership in Aquatic Science. All have held leadership positions in ASLO. If you are interested in any aspect of leadership, what it means, what it takes, how to get there, please consider participating in this interactive workshop.

Applying to Graduate School – Getting a Game Plan

Friday, 6/25/2021, 19:00-20:30 (UTC), Room 2

Organizer: Noelle Held ([email protected])

Applying to graduate school can feel overwhelming at first. This workshop aims at demystifying the process! Future graduate students will hear from current students and early career researchers who are affiliated with a variety of fields and programs. We will discuss many aspects of the application process, including deciding where to apply, writing a personal statement, asking for recommendation letters, and handling the interview. We will focus primarily on ASLO-related fields but hope that this workshop will be valuable to students considering any field of study. Our goal is that each attendant will leave with a concrete “game plan” for attacking application season and achieving their goals. All are welcome, but this event will be especially helpful to students planning to apply in the next 1-2 years. Advance registration is recommended by filling out the form at Contact Noelle Held ([email protected]) for more information.

Exploring Different Career Paths

Monday, 6/28/2021, 15:00-16:00 (UTC), Room 1

Organizer: Camille Gaynus ([email protected])

We have invited four scientists to share their paths into academic, governmental, and private sector positions.

Town Halls

European Research Council (ERC) – Funding opportunities for aquatic scientists

Wednesday, 6/23/2021, 19:00-20:00 (UTC), Room 1

Organizer: Marie Huysman ([email protected])

The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organization for excellent frontier research, lead by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. As part of the Horizon Europe programme, ERC comes with a budget of more than €16 billion for the years 2021 to 2027. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects in Europe. To date, the ERC has funded over 9,500 top researchers at various stages of their careers. ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced, and Synergy Grants and strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to work in Europe. This session will explain the funding opportunities that the ERC offers to researchers at all stages of their careers post-PhD, as well as provide answers to questions such as how the application process works, what the selection criteria are and how long the evaluation procedure is, and will provide an overview of research funded by the ERC in the area of aquatic sciences.

ASLO Global Outreach Initiative

Wednesday, 6/23/2021, 19:00-20:30 (UTC), Room 2

Organizer: Brittany Schieler ([email protected])

Join us to learn more about the 2021 ASLO Global Outreach Initiative (GOI). The goal of this initiative is to assist ASLO members outside the U.S. in communicating aquatic science to non-technical audiences. Since the program began in 2012, the ASLO GOI has distributed funds to support 18 aquatic science outreach and education projects by groups or individuals in 14 different countries. The ASLO board has committed continued support of GOI in 2021, with additional funding for a new category of projects dedicated to outreach in First Nations and Tribal Nations. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, projects that utilize novel and innovative virtual learning and outreach approaches are welcomed! During this one-hour workshop, members of the 2021 Global Outreach Initiative review panel will be on hand to answer your questions, work through proposal ideas, and provide some examples of prior successful projects. We hope to see you there!

LOREX for Graduate Students

Wednesday, 6/23/2021, 19:00-20:00 (UTC), Room 6

Organizer: Brittany Schieler ([email protected])

Join us to learn about the Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange (LOREX) program. The program aims to foster international research collaborations through professional development training and an international research exchange for graduate students. The competitive program is open to U.S.-based ASLO student members (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) studying in a U.S. institute. Graduate student research is often constrained by the resources, ideas, and culture of the home institution. International collaborations enhance graduate students’ ability to think critically and creatively, make cross-disciplinary connections, and stretch one’s field of view while gaining competency in an international environment and increasing their network of colleagues. Professional development training will occur through webinars, web resources, and conference workshops. The international research exchanges will support up to 30 graduate students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) studying in a U.S. institute with paid travel to one of seven international host institutions in Australia, Canada, Israel, or Sweden to conduct collaborative research in aquatic science.


Thursday, 6/24/2021, 19:00-20:00 (UTC), Room 1

Organizer: Naomi Levine ([email protected])

We welcome everyone to join us for a panel discussion of the award-winning film PICTURE A SCIENTIST ( This discussion will address take-aways from the film, reactions from our panelist based on their experiences as aquatic scientists, and how ASLO can foster inclusivity and a greater sense of belonging for all in the aquatic sciences. The film will be made available for virtual viewing from June 17 – 23. To obtain the link, please register at

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