Sunday, January 30, 2011

Networking in science

LinkedinThree students over the past week have asked me - "What is Linkedin?"  They had each heard about it from one source or another, so I had the chance to give them a quick run down.  Have you heard of Linkedin, the "professional Facebook"?  If not, you might want to sign up for a free account, and then check out our Ashland University Science Network.  Here you can get career information from a growing number of AU science graduates and science program friends.  This social media platform also allows you to leverage the network between your connections as your own career develops.

We will talk a bit more about Linked In later in the semester, and the importance of networking in general.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Science writing and audio editing

Now that your blogs are set up and you've done some reading around the science blogosphere it is time to take these things out for a spin.  I would like you to use this week's blog post as a way to incorporate some of the science writing tips you read about over the last week.  Write a post for your blog (300-500 words) about any science related topic.  At the end of that post add one more paragraph explaining how you attempted to incorporate the writing tips we mentioned in class today.  Here is the blog post I mentioned today on

There are a few other things to do in addition to writing your post:

  • Sign up for a Google Reader account and add all of our course blogs and any other blogs you like so that you can follow new posts
  • Leave at least one comment on one of the course blogs
  • Use Audacity to play with the audio file that I email to you.  Produce a re-mix of that audio file that changes the order of the dialog.  All AU campus computers should have Audacity on them, or you can download it to your computer for free.  Email the final product of your editing to me as an mp3 file.
  • We will take a break from reading the Olson book this week.
Feel free to email me or Mike Randolph with any technical questions about Audacity.

And one quick blogging tech tip - instead of showing the actual URL for a website in your blog, make it a hyperlink from the name of the website or online resource, as I have done in the post above.  To do that simply click and drag to highlight the text in your post that will be the link and click on this button:

Have fun.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Looking for some career resources?

Greenhouse EquipmentOne request in your recent class survey was for information on careers in science.  You are probably not aware of the many things you can do with a degree in Biology, and maybe could use some advice on how to get there.  Hopefully these links will help:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some reading and blogging for next week

Blogger BarbieI hope you are all having fun tinkering with the look of your blogs.  Having technical issues?  Hopefully I can help you with some resources below.

But first, here is some reading to get you ready for next week when we will spend some time talking about the qualities of good science writing.  We will also be visited by Michael Randolph, journalism professor and advisor for AU's WRDL radio station.
And I have your first blogging assignment.  Start surfing some science blogs and pick your two favorites.  How do you find science blogs?  You can start by clicking on the links to blogs listed on the right side of this page.  Those blogs will themselves have links, and so on, and so on.  This way you will be moving through a vast network of blogs, and can discover some very popular sites and some hidden gems.  You can also check out the high-profile blogs mentioned in the article from The Scientist that you read this past week.

Once you have selected your two favorite blogs, your assignment is to write a short post to your own blog (with the awesome name that you came up with today) naming them and explaining what it is that you like about them.  The purpose for this assignment is to get you checking out the science blogosphere and to get some technical practice with using Blogger as a platform.  And try to make your post entertaining (something will talk more about next week).  This is an individual assignment, so each of you should add your own post to your group blog.

Now for the technical stuff:
  • Here is a YouTube video on posting to Blogger.
  • Be sure to proof your posts.  There is no reason for typos.
  • Use hyperlinks to link directly to other webpages.  The video above will show you how.
  • Got questions?  Leave them as a comment below to this post and I will answer them here.  Be sure to check back for the answers.
Good luck, and ask before you get too frustrated with anything.  People's grandmothers are blogging.  You can too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An introduction to your senior seminar

Welcome to our senior seminar course. You may be asking why you are here? The short answer is that if you weren't we would not let you graduate. But now for the long answer . . .

This blog will be the central location for the media and online discussion used in this course. For example, let's start with a little video:

Hopefully by the end of today you will have some sense of what I would like us to accomplish this semester.  Are you looking forward to it?  If so, bonus points for me.  If not, hang in there.

Here is some reading for next week's class: