COSEE OCEAN believes graduate students represent the future of ocean science on a national level, yet are isolated under the guidance of a single advisor within a program and university as not all advisors, programs or universities are connected with COSEE and its resources. Graduate students interested in pursuing the broader impacts of their research are exploring many career paths, often using Facebook as a connection tool and source of information.
The COSEE OCEAN Graduate students for Ocean Education (GrOE) Facebook page is taking off! With over 3,500 users, GrOE is committed to becoming a reliable information hub for a growing network of graduate students who are interested in ocean science education (Figure 1). Figure 2 shows demographic information.
Figure 1. Facebook treats "reach" and "engagement" as separate parameters. The advertisement placed in March, 2013 increased the reach significantly, but this figure shows that engagement is still limited.
Figure 2. GrOE user demographics downloaded from the GrOE Facebook page as of February, 2014.
GrOE began in February, 2011 and has skyrocketed over the past year. GrOE users can gain a wealth of information from the page with everything from photo caption contests to daily news articles to fellowship information. Now that the page has grown in size, the site is becoming more interactive. In addition to COSEE OCEAN members Hayley Schiebel, Adrienne Sponberg and Catherine Cramer posting content on behalf of GrOE, other users are beginning to post opportunities, photos and news articles on the site. In the works: a video competition where users will submit their ideas for a research video and the winner(s) will receive a video camera in order to shoot their video.
COSEE OCEAN PI Bob Chen is now ready to take things to the next step, hoping to form small working groups committed to ocean science education within the GrOE community. To that end, GrOE has hosted two Science Cafes in Boston, MA (August, 2013) and Falmouth, MA (November, 2013) to allow users get some face time away from Facebook. GrOE is currently organizing an additional gathering at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu in Febraruy 2014.
GrOE Facebook Page Poster
(PPTX, 2.73 MB)
mission is to leverage and connect existing networks and communities to reach ocean scientists and under-represented minority students in urban school districts.
COSEE OCEAN Bob Chen
University of Massachusetts Boston