March 20, 2018 by Dr. G
I wrote ten blog posts documenting my journey at OCEANDOTCOMM. You can find those posts through the tag #odotcomm18.
This was the final day of OCEANDOTCOMM, the final day where 40 people with a passion for science communication came together to find ways to share our theme of “coastal optimism” for the Louisiana coast.
The morning was set aside as time for everyone to work, with a few optional, fun activities. I started the morning on an airboat exploring the local marsh, worked for some time, then joined a group to head to the Cecil Lapeyrouse Grocery in Chauvin, the oldest and most unique general store I have ever visited (this is a short video about the store).
After lunch, myself and several other workshop participants assisted in testing an educational activity developed by one of the teams. Instead of being a part of an escape room, we were trying to break in to a box (the product is known as BreakoutEDU). We raced around the laboratory and against the clock to find clues that would allow us to remove several locks to get an object inside. This was so much fun and allowed us to learn more about LUMCON and our own abilities to work as a team. As you can tell from the photo, we were successful!
Shortly after my “Break Out” experience, everyone got together for the individuals and team to report out on what they accomplished, what they are still working on, and what is just beginning! Out of our entire group, there are 27 completed and ongoing projects, which is a very impressive number considering the amount of time we had to come up with an idea, gather our data/images/video, and pull something together. Keep in mind that most of us were complete strangers and had never met each other before, much less worked together. So students, those group projects you “enjoy” so much in college – trust me, they continue to happen once you graduate!
The projects ranged from podcasts to videos, to articles for scientific magazines and newspapers, to artwork and 360 video… I can’t wait until the finishing touches are put on some of these projects and they are ready to share. There are some excellent projects on oysters and salt marshes I want to use in my EARTH 107 (Coastal Processes, Hazards and Society) course next year. But I thought I would share this one with you, as March is Women’s History Month. One team of female scientists and communicators came together to create “Bayou Women” – a collection of text and audio from women we met during our time in Louisiana. This video overview of the project is a powerful snapshot of what they pulled together. Again, I can’t wait to share their Spark page and audio files as well!
After an amazing prime rib dinner (Chef Michael treated us well during our workshop – he told me he also makes an excellent Philly cheesesteak, which unfortunately we didn’t have during our stay), we had an impromptu session on sketching science. One of the participants took us to a collection room at the center, where we could each select objects to draw. It was so much fun – and clearly, I need more than one session to even draw an oyster…
Alas, with this final sunset on my final day, my time at OCEANDOTCOMM has come to an end. I’ll have a couple of additional blog posts to (finally!) describe my project, beyond the ABT stores that match the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and a workshop reflection.