SACNAS National Conference
October 27 – 30, 2011
San Jose, CA

Over 3,000 people attended the 2011 SACNAS National Conference in San Jose, California. The conference featured a record number of exhibitors, student presentations, and overall attendees. There were more than 1,200 graduate students and about 1,400 undergraduate students in attendance.

Conference Sessions

Empowering Innovation and Synergy Through Diversity in Marine Science and Conservation The complexity of the marine environment and the communities that use marine resources suggests researchers must use synergistic approaches to study the causal factors and solutions for sustainable use of marine resources. In this session, marine researchers will describe multidisciplinary research aimed at mediating human impacts on marine systems. Approximately 50 people attended the session.

Session Chairs: Corey Garza, Assistant Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay; Sarah Mesnick, Ecologist, NOAA Fisheries

Session Speakers: George Boehlert, Ph.D., Oregon State University; Carlos G. Garcia-Quijano, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Rhode Island; Francisco Werner, Ph.D., Director, Southwest Fisheries, NOAA

Diversity in Ocean Sciences Empowering Innovation A panel of ocean scientists will present perspectives on higher education and careers in ocean sciences, particularly as they pertain to growing challenges facing society. The workshop will include formal presentations and an interactive question-and-answer session. Speakers will address how diversity promotes innovation with specific examples. The workshop will include a mix of formal presentations, a student-to-student discussion panel, and an interactive question-and-answer session between the audience and the invited speakers. Approximately 65 people attended the session.

Session Chairs: Corey Garza, Assistant Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay; Gail Scowcroft, COSEE Executive Director, University of Rhode Island; Liesl Hotaling, COSEE

Session Speakers: Jacquelyn Bolman, Ph.D., Director, Indian Natural Resources, Sciences and Engineering Program (INRSEP), Humboldt State University; Tony Haymet, Ph.D., Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor, Marine Sciences, University of California, San Diego; Ari Daniel Shapiro, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates PI Meeting Collaboration

For the first time, 19 PIs from ocean-themed REU programs gathered to meet during the SACNAS conference. The COSEE NCO coordinated program materials dissemination through the COSEE Exhibit Hall booth.

Conversations with Scientists Session

The COSEE NCO and Dr. Corey Garza collaborated with SACNAS to arrange for several tables within the Conversations with Scientists program to represent the Ocean Scientists. REU PIs and COSEE Network staff attended the event to meet with undergraduate and graduate students to recruit them to consider pursuing studies in the ocean sciences.

Community Day

COSEE represented Ocean Sciences in the first Community Day Program offered through SACNAS. Five hundred students and local residents were invited to the program. The National COSEE Office partnered with the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center to offer hands-on activities to engage student attendees. Hands-on activities included activities from the Teaching Physical Concepts in Oceanography publication and MATE ROVs.

Exhibition Hall Booth

The booth was staffed by Gail Scowcroft, Liesl Hotaling and Romy Pizziconi, National COSEE Office Staff. Staff greeted conference attendees, mostly undergraduate and graduate students and engaged them in conversation to better understand subjects represented by the professors, teachers and students and where they are located. Based on the information gathered, booth staff attempted to connect attendees with COSEE Centers located near their homes and give them information on scholarship, internship, and research experiences offered by COSEE Centers and their partners.

For the first time, COSEE partnered with Dr. Corey Garza and SACNAS to create an Ocean Sciences Row on the Exhibit Hall floor. Together, we successfully recruited several organizations, including NOAA; California State University, Monterey Bay; CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Sciences Technology (COAST); Center for Coastal Margin Observation Prediction; Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi; University of Alaska, Marine Ecosystem Sustainability IGERT; University of Maryland – Eastern Shore to locate their booth on the row in order to create a strong ocean sciences presence. We will continue to build the number of organizations located on the row for the 2012 conference.