The 2018 Graduate Symposium

Defending Our Coasts:Ensuring Military Readiness and Economic Viability as Waters Rise
December 4, 2017
Economic Impact:Collaborative University-Industry Aquaculture Research
January 26, 2018

Research strategies that make a difference, professional skills development for tomorrow’s workforce.

Virginia Sea Grant is excited to bring together graduate students from across the Commonwealth with interest in coastal and marine disciplines—with employers, faculty members, and professionals in the field for a daylong research symposium. The event is designed to spark scientific and professional imaginations, highlight cutting-edge graduate research, and expand professional networking channels; and will serve as a forum for researchers, policymakers, resource managers, and employers, with concurrent panel discussions facilitated to drive innovative thinking in an engaging manner.

Highlights will include

  • A dynamic keynote presentation and training workshop by Laura Lindenfeld, the director of the Alan Alda Center Center for Communicating Science, and professor in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University.
  • A panel discussion on the science-policy interface that will explore how science is faring in coastal and marine policy today, when and why science makes a difference, and when and why it may not, along with the challenges and opportunities that exist for science moving forward in the current federal environment.
  • A science communications panel discussion focused on the importance of branding science communications with hope in order for it to be successful, and for it to be shared. This panel will discuss the experiences, best practice, and research for communicating hope in a challenging socio-cultural, and political climate.
  • The NOAA Coastal Storms Program has funded initiatives across the nation to bring together federal, state and local organizations that increase community resiliency and reduce the negative impacts of coastal storms. During this interactive session, Coastal Storms partners share their reflections on how to develop mutually-beneficial partnerships that transfer research to the end-users who benefit from the science.
  • Educators from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s (VIMS) Marine Advisory Program, and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia (CBNERRVA) created the Virginia Scientists and Educators Alliance (VA SEA), a network of graduate students, teachers, and educators who work to transfer scientific research into usable lesson plans. The Science into Educational Curricula panel will discuss lessons learned and best practices.
  • Creative TED-like talks and presentations throughout the day and in different formats. For the morning plenary presentations, there will be a judged and People’s Choice award to the best speaker.
  • A presentation of a final creative product by VASG graduate and post-graduate fellows who are enrolled in the VASG Advanced Science Communications Seminar.

The Graduate Symposium will be held at the Wyndham Virginia Crossing Hotel & Conference Center, Glen Allen, Virginia on February 9, 2018. Please visit this link for more information on how to become an exhibitor or sponsor, or to register.

Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting the Virginia universities and their students, Commonwealth communities and Virginia Sea Grant.


Arcadis Design & Consultancy
George Mason University Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center
George Mason University Science Communication Department
Old Dominion University
NOAA Coastal Storms
Science Matters
Middle Peninsula Planning District Commissions
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, department of Academic Studies
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
Virginia Marine Resources Commission