RESESS Communications Seminar
Schedule and Content
Summer 2017

Download the comprehensive RESESS Summer Syllabus


The purpose of the class is to explore non-academic communications as a student and a scientist. How can you best communicate your work to the public? How can you best present yourself to potential advisors and employers? How can you manage your public image in this mixed public-private digital age? Communicating to non-scientists effectively is critical for broadening the impact of your work—as well as getting a job!


You will have exercises assigned for this seminar throughout the summer. Although they should be taken as seriously as your other responsibilities, they should also be fun. Your own passion in what you’re communicating will automatically engage your audience.

  1. Give you the tools you need to make a broader impact with your science, starting now.
  2. Improve your confidence in public speaking and using social media for outreach.
  3. Improve your professional presence online, including on LinkedIn.
  4. Give you the tools you need to apply for a job or graduate school, including tips on professional communication and how to sell yourself over e-mail, phone, at meetings, in applications, and in interviews.
  5. Have fun!

Location and time:

We will meet in the UNAVCO Classroom (same as your morning class) every Friday, from May 25 – August 3, from 1 – 3 p.m. with the following exception:
June 16 – all day field trip

Please check the syllabus, your notes, or the website before the seminar to make sure you’re coming prepared.

Published texts:

None. Please check your e-mail or the website for materials.

Week 1 - Friday, May 26 Overview of summer; research ethics introduction; effectively working with your mentors
Week 2 - Friday, June 2 Professional communication I: email, resumes, and CVs
Week 3 - Friday, June 9 Professional communication II: job searches, elevator speeches and informational interviewing
Week 4 - Friday, June 16 All Day Field Trip to Rocky Mountain National Park
Week 5 - Friday, June 23 Professional communication III: resume review, interviewing strategies
Week 6 - Friday, June 30 Formal communication I: best practices for oral presentations
Week 7 - Friday, July 7 Formal communication II: best practices for poster presentations; attending professional meetings
Week 8 - Friday, July 14 Informal communication I: science for the public: communicating with outreach materials
Week 9 - Friday, July 21 Informal communication II: social dimensions of science and science policy
Week 10 - Friday, July 28 Practice talk #2
Week 11 - Thursday, August 3 Practice poster presentation

* Field attire: Our field trips will not be particularly strenuous but they will, of course, be outside. Appropriate attire includes a hat, sunglasses, light raingear, sunblock, and close-toed hiking shoes.

This syllabus is subject to change. We will do our best to keep you updated and to let you know of the course expectations well in advance. But there may be some impromptu changes, as we work to refine the class. Thank you for your patience.