Coastal Connections: UL Lafayette

Coastal Connections at UL Lafayette

Louisiana Sea Grant hosted the Coastal Connections competition at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Thursday, March 30, 2017 in Oliver Hall Auditorium. The competition, modified from the Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) approach to research communication, was an exercise in developing academic, presentation and research communication skills while supporting the development of students’ capacities to effectively explain their research. Graduate students had three minutes to present a compelling oration on their research topic and its significance using two slides. Coastal Connections focuses on the ability of students to consolidate their ideas and crystalize their research discoveries.

Winners

  • Jaylyn Babitch, Untangling phytoplankton from estuarine food webs
  • Ryan James, Anti-predator responses may alter energy dynamics in coastal habitats
  • Claudia Laurenzano, The role of fiddler crabs as indicators of food web responses to environmental change

Eligibility
Any currently enrolled graduate student at UL conducting research relevant to coastal issues is eligible to participate in Coastal Connections.

How to Apply
To be considered, students need to download, complete and return the following application, including short abstract (no more than 250 words), to Katie Lea at klea@lsu.edu. Abstracts that demonstrate strong written communication skills will be given favorable weight. They are not intended to be copied from a manuscript, as they should be written for an educated, non-specialist audience.

Applications Timeline

  • Submission Deadline: March 10
  • Notice of Acceptance: March 17
  • Competition: March 30

 Coastal Connections Application (Adobe Acrobat fillable form)

Rules

  • No more than TWO static slides are permitted (no slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any type).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to a maximum of 3 minutes. Competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified.

Judging Criteria
A panel of three independent judges will make the decision on the three travel award prizes. The decision of the judging panel is final. Competitors will be evaluated on:

  • Communication style: Does the communication style draw the audience in?
  • Comprehension: Is the content of your remarks easy to understand? Did the presentation help the audience understand the research? Was the research topic and its significance to coastal issues communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Engagement: Did the presentation leave the audience with new knowledge and a wish to learn more?

Training
A webinar was held in 2014 to provide instruction on how best to prepare for the competition (formerly known as Coastal Communication Clips). The webinar was led by Dr. Bill Dennison of the University of Maryland and Amy Clipp of New Orleans. View a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation from the webinar and read the blog for a more detailed explanation of the webinar.

Presentation Examples:

Prizes
Louisiana Sea Grant will offer travel awards of $500 to three students based on effective presentation. These travel awards are for professional meetings to which presentations abstracts have been accepted. These awards are to be used for meetings within a year from the Coastal Connections competition.