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Professional Seminar in Geography
The focus of this class is on the professional development of
graduate students in geography, and thus will emphasize three objectives:
(1) reaching an improved understanding of geography as a discipline
and, in particular, the specialty areas of the OSU Geography Program
(resource geography, physical geography, geographic information science);
(2) developing graduate research projects from general interest areas to
a research proposal, including a literature review, research questions
and hypotheses, methods, and a timeline and budget; (3) developing and
improving well-rounded scientific communication skills, including
written, oral (formal and informal), and visual. Much of the work during
the term will focus on developing your thesis proposal, and we will use
that as the context for you to present your work in each of these
Mondays, 3:00-5:20 p.m., Wilkinson 231
This course is:
Required for all incoming Geography Master of Science students.
Optional but Recommended for all incoming Geography Doctoral students
(please consult with your major advisor).
Effective communication is learned through practice and feedback. Therefore,
most of the course will be in the format of a graduate seminar. We will have
some formal lecture time, but the emphasis will be on interaction, discussion,
Students completing GEO 518 will be to:
|(1) Formulate a testable and tractable research hypothesis
related to their proposed research topic.
|| Writing assignments and in-class discussion.
|(2) Assemble and evaluate a feasible thesis project.
|(3) Compose a well-written draft of their thesis proposal.
|(4) Evaluate scientific writing, including editing and
critiquing other students' work.
||Writing assignments and in-class work.
|(5) Present a prepared scientific talk.
|(6) Help lead a panel discussion and actively participate|
in classroom discussions.
||Class presentation and participation.
|(7) Introduce a speaker.
|(8) Critique a scientific poster
Davis, M., 2004. Scientific Papers and Presentations: 2nd Edition, San Diego, CA, Academic Press, 384 pp., ISBN: 0120884240.
Lowenthal, D., 2005. Fruitful liaison or folie a
deux? The AAG and the AGS, The Professional Geographer, 57(3): 468-473.
Gopen, G.D. and Swan, J.A., 1990. The science of scientific writing, American Scientist, 78: 550-558.
Purrington, Collin, Advice on Designing Scientific Posters
American Geophysical Union, Guidelines for Oral Presentations
ProjectionNet.Com, Presentation Style Guide
A Humorous Look at Giving a Bad Talk
Schoeberl, M., and B. Toon, Ten Secrets for Giving a Good Scientific Talk
Toastmasters, a good organization to help you learn how to speak in public.
There are several local clubs.
Additional required readings will be assigned by the student-led panels and made available on this class web site.
Not required but a useful text:
Tufte, E. R., The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd ed.,
Graphics Press, 197 pp. 2001. QA276.3 .T83 2001
Course Grading:20% - Attendance & participation, as well as short in-class and take-home assignments.
20% - Homework assignments.
20% - Student-led presentations-discussions of their specialty areas.
40% - Research proposal including: (1) outline (with some detail); (2) written proposal; (3) presentation of proposal; and, (4) appendix of an annotated
bibliography of 10 scientific articles.
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Last updated: November 9, 2005
© Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University