I was really impressed by his insight and the general maturity of his post. I am on Justin’s committee but I haven’t interacted with him enough to get this clear a sense of what he is doing and thinking. Like so many newish grad students, Justin is really into blogging and science outreach. I worry sometimes about students putting time into outreach, but one clear benefit is that it enables them to communicate ideas and opinions with their mentors and community. So go check out his piece and some of his other posts at his website or the superb grad-student-run Under-The-C-Blog.
1) Benthic Ecology Meeting is incredibly student friendly!
According to the official conference booklet, 67% of all oral and poster presentations were given by students. As a conference attendee, I would say that it was safe to assume that students outnumbered faculty by at least 2:1, if not more. There were students everywhere. I’ve never been to so many student talks. This conference is not ASLO Ocean Sciences, it’s smaller, more personal, and less overwhelming. It offers students (both undergraduate and graduate) a great platform for being introduced to a conference and for giving a presentation to a large group of peers without feeling extremely overwhelmed. As someone who gave their first major research presentation in front of a room of the most well known faculty in my field (International Coral Reef Symposium), I would say that coming to Benthics first would have been dramatically better. Plus, since most of the attendees are students, it is a great way to meet colleagues in the field and discuss ideas without being overly intimidated. If you are a marine science student and you have never presented at a conference or want to work on your presentation skills, I suggest that you give Benthics a try!
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