For a second consecutive year, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) held a Virtual Poster Showcase in conjunction with the AGU Fall Meeting. This showcase was only open to undergraduates who were interested in presenting their research using posters.
Students from the United States and United Kingdom submitted abstracts on diverse topics. Abstracts spanned disciplines such as biogeochemistry, air quality monitoring, stream flow measurements, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and impacts of fires on forests. The students submitted abstracts to the Fall Meeting program the same way that in-person presenters did. However, once these abstracts were accepted, the students submitted their posters electronically along with a short video of themselves explaining the science. Following that, each student was invited to judge and provide feedback to two of their peers. The students were excited about this process and asked probing questions about the research and also provided constructive criticism about poster design. Following the peer-judging portion of the showcase, scientists and faculty conducted the expert-judging phase of the showcase.
As determined by the judging, the most highly rated poster and presentation was authored by Texas A&M University undergraduate Carlos Martinez along with his coauthors from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Their computational research discussed the relationship between atmospheric blocking and variability in the North Atlantic Ocean. The second-place poster was by Michael Allen, an undergraduate from the University of Portland, and his colleagues. This poster reported on a study analyzing microclimates in an urban area and applications for energy conservation, as well as an assessment of local air pollution sources. The poster by Rachael Treharne, an undergraduate at the University of Sheffield, along with her coauthors from several institutions took third place. They reported about their work on the long- and short-term impacts of fire on boreal forest nutrient cycling and implications for vegetation recovery.
All three awardees received a team plaque and a gift certificate for their participation. The lead undergraduate author from each team received a complimentary 1-year student membership to AGU. As the first-place winner, Carlos Martinez will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the 2015 Fall Meeting. Upon learning of his prize, Carlos, who is a junior working toward his degree in meteorology, said he was humbled and ecstatic at the same time and that he is looking forward to attending his first Fall Meeting in person in 2015.
The Virtual Poster Showcase was cosponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program of NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences, UNAVCO’s Research Experiences in Solid Earth Sciences for Students program, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science program, and AGU.
Professional societies, along with federal agencies, national research centers and laboratories, academic institutions, and private industry all play a key role in educating the next generation of Earth, ocean, atmospheric, and space scientists by offering programs and opportunities that attract students to the field, engage and retain them by supporting them through their formal education, and provide training for a career in this field. AGU is committed to helping students who are not able to attend in-person meetings to have an opportunity to showcase their research through the Virtual Poster Showcase. To learn how to engage in the 2015 Undergraduate Virtual Poster Showcase, please look for updates from AGU via Eos.org and other communication vehicles.
—Pranoti M. Asher, Manager, Education and Public Outreach, AGU; email: [email protected]g; and Harry Furukawa, Director, Product Development, AGU
Citation: Asher, P. M. and H. Furukawa (2015), Virtual poster showcase at 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO023821. Published on 11 February 2015.