Webinars, whose name is derived from a portmanteau of “web” and “seminar,” have become ubiquitous in many professional fields, including the Earth and space sciences. Webinars provide convenient, low- to no-cost opportunities to present new information, promote discussion, and offer training in or demonstrations of new technologies and skills to a global audience.
The recently launched AGU Webinars are no different. The inaugural AGU webinar occurred in March 2017, and, since then, AGU’s webinar portfolio has expanded to include topics such as professional development, science policy, science communication, and, of course, geoscience. All past webinars are readily available to view in the AGU Webinars archive, and there are currently almost 30 archived webinars available to the AGU community. Recent webinars have covered best practices for effective data management, the ins and outs of science funding, the carbon footprint of superheroes, and a crash course in science storytelling.
Providing the AGU Community with New Resources
In addition to directly serving AGU community members, AGU webinars can also be readily incorporated into undergraduate classes, graduate seminars, and mentoring programs. Instructors can encourage students to attend webinars in real time or refer students to the AGU Webinars archive, which features recordings of all previous AGU webinars. Similarly, mentors involved in undergraduate, graduate, or early-career mentoring relationships can point mentees to the variety of webinars focused on professional development topics such as navigating the federal career search process, interviewing 101, networking in person and online, and exploring different career options.
How to Get the Most Out of a Webinar
Despite the remote nature of a webinar, attendees can actively participate in the discussion by posing questions, responding to webinar polls, and networking with webinar speakers afterward. Attendees can also download a “handout” of any documents or slides used during the presentation and access a recording of the presentation shortly after the conclusion of the webinar.
To ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit out of an AGU webinar, consider the following tips and tricks:
- Attend the webinar in real time – All AGU webinars are archived and made available shortly after the webinar date; however, attending in real time will help you stay engaged and allow you to ask specific questions about topics that otherwise may not be covered by the webinar presenters.
- Register ahead of time – Although attendees can register for an AGU webinar at any time and even during the webinar, registering early will allow you to receive email reminders leading up the webinar and ensure that you are informed of future related webinars. You can also easily add the webinar login information to your calendar (Outlook, Google, etc.). Can’t make the webinar? By registering for the event, you’ll get a link to the recording even if you can’t attend the live event.
- Get there early – Just like an in-person seminar, getting there early can help you get the most out of the presentation. The webinar presentation link is active before the official webinar start time, and getting there early can be a good way to test out the webinar interface and familiarize yourself with the attendee dashboard. Plus, some speakers enjoy interacting with attendees before the webinar starts.
- Prepare questions – During the webinar, attendees can ask questions via the chat box feature, and preparing your question(s) ahead of time will ensure that you are able to get your question(s) answered by the webinar presenters. Specific questions can be sent to [email protected] prior to the webinar date to be sure that your question is addressed.
- Take notes – All webinars are recorded and will be available shortly after the culmination of the webinar, but jotting down some notes during the webinar can help catalog any thoughts, reactions, or ideas you may have and allow you to return to your notes afterward.
Some of our upcoming webinars include tips for writing a plain-language abstract to accompany your abstract or paper submission and how to find synergy between science and policy at the food-energy-water nexus.
To find out about new and upcoming webinars, visit https://webinars.agu.org/webinars/.
—Danya AbdelHameid (email: [email protected]) Summer 2018 Talent Pool Intern, AGU; Nathaniel Janick, Career Services Coordinator, AGU; and Erik Hankin, Student and Career Programs Manager, AGU