GG410 Graduate Seminar, Fall 2011



A seminar to discuss and practice giving effective scientific presentations

Instructor: Clint Conrad
      Contact: 804 POST, 956-6649,

Office Hours: After class or by appointment
Class Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 to 1:20 PM
Class Location: POST 703

More Information: The course syllabus can be downloaded here:



  • Out-of-class evaluations: Each student should submit three evaluation sheets based on seminars they attended outside of class (for example, TGIF). Please be thorough in your evaluations. DUE DATE: By the end of the semester (Dec. 7)
  • Figure Presentations I: We will present simple x-y plots using the 5 steps we discussed in class. The goal is to present the information clearly and efficiently. DUE DATE: We will begin presentations on Wed. 8/31, so please e-mail me your figures by AM of that day.
  • Abstract Writing: Please read the following papers:
    [ Sculpting the Earth ] [ Methane, Plants, and Climate Change ] [ Abrupt Climate Change ]
    On Wednesday (9/7), we will write an abstract together in class for "Scuplting the Earth". Out of class, Group A will write an abstract for "Abrupt Climate Change "and Group B will write an abstract for "Methane, Plants, and Climate Change". We will discuss student abstracts in class on Wednesday (9/14). DUE DATES: Read "Scuplting the Earth" for Wednesday (9/7). Please e-mail me your group abstracts by the end of Tuesday (9/13).
  • Topic Introductions: During the period of 9/16 to 9/30, we will be introducing the topics for the final presentations at the end of the semester. Please prepare a short introduction to your topic, with a focus on the problem you are trying to solve and its importance. You will present this introduction to the class on your assigned day, and receive feedback.
  • Figure Presentations II: We will again present simple figures using the 5 steps we discussed in class. This time, we will present key figures that will be used in your main presentations. DUE DATE: We will be presenting on October 12 and 14. Please e-mail me your figures by AM of that day.
  • Mini-Posters: During the period Oct 19 to Oct 28, we will be giving mini-versions of our final presentations. We will show a sigle powerpoint slide (like a poster) in which we (1) Introduce the problem, (2) Show 1 or 2 key figures, and (3) State and discuss our conclusions. The presentations should only be a few minutes long, but the full scope of what you talk will cover should be clear - this will require you to focus your message. [ Poster Presentations]
  • Practice and Final Presentations: During the period Nov 9 to Nov 23, we will be giving practice talks for our final presentations, which will be Nov. 30 and Dec. 2. Please submit an abstract for your talk and be ready to give your talk on your specified day. After your talk, we will e-mail your abstract to the rest of your group (Groups A and B), who will have 2 days to return comments that will improve your abstract. Talks should be no more than 10 minutes and abstracts should be no more than 200 words. Please see the seminar schedule for the dates of your practice and final presentations, and for group compositions. [Seminar Dates]