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April 11, 2016

How to create conceptual cross-section diagrams

Conceptual cross-section diagrams are a new technique developed by the Integration and Application Network (IAN) team of Science Communicators. This style of conceptual diagrams, using the IAN symbol library, allows for a geographically accurate depiction of coastal waterways. The first use of these cross-section approach was for New York Harbor, developed because of the complex […]

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March 25, 2016

A new style of conceptual cross section diagrams developed for New York Harbor

Judy O’Neil led the effort to write a synthesis paper about New York Harbor, as part of the Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (CCERS), a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project, focused on the expansion of concepts imbedded within the Billion Oyster Project. The paper will contribute to the World Harbour Project. In […]

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February 17, 2016

Just Right: Goldilocks and conceptual diagrams

Marybeth Shea During our class I kept thinking about revision and the Goldilocks problem: Getting things “just right” is a challenge for conceptual diagram design. I could see in the analysis of what worked in our diagrams — and what did not work — applications of “just right.” How do we get there? IAN offers […]

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February 10, 2016

A picture is worth a thousand words… but what about a conceptual diagram?

Christina Goethel Often times dissecting and reading a description of a scientific process can be time-consuming, tedious, and frustrating. As visual creatures, paragraphs and paragraphs of words on a page may elude us. To remedy this, we can turn scientific concepts and ideas into different forms of visualizations, diagrams, and pictures. One such visualization tool […]

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October 30, 2014

Communicating science with marine laboratory and field station directors at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

I was asked by Mike DeLuca from Rutgers University to present a plenary talk at the annual gathering of the National Association of Marine Laboratories (NAML), which was held jointly with the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. The meeting was titled ‘Windows to the World: […]

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September 2, 2014

Louisiana Sea Grant Discovery, Integration and Application initiative (LA DIA)

Tracey Saxby and I traveled to Baton Rouge for a two-day training session for the Louisiana Sea Grant Discovery Integration and Application (LA DIA) scholars. Robert Twilley, Louisiana Sea Grant Director, and his staff helped us develop this training session. Tim Carruthers, the former Program Director for the Integration and Application Network and now working […]

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March 13, 2014

The poetry and art of Alexander von Humboldt

‘Scientists who made a difference‘ series This blog accompanies the biographical sketch of Alexander von Humboldt that Bill Nuttle recently posted provides a selection of his writings as poetry and one of his scientific sketches as art. The ‘Poetry’ uses von Humboldt’s exact words (translated from German) in prose form to focus on cadence and […]

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March 11, 2014

Conceptual Diagrams Can Get You Places

‘Scientists who made a difference‘ series Alexander von Humboldt became world famous by illustrating how nature works. If you ever get to Humboldt, Nebraska (40°9′54″N 95°56′45″W) you will have gotten someplace special. Humboldt lies almost exactly at the geographic center of the Mississippi River watershed; motto: “Heartbeat of the Heartland.” It is also one of […]

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December 31, 2013

Visual science communication: Using data visualization, conceptual diagrams and photographs to convey science information

Science communication using visual elements can convey unambiguous information that words cannot. Words are often used by lawyers and journalists to argue cases or make points – science is an attempt to base arguments on all the facts available, not just the ‘convenient’ facts used to support an argument. Words can be interpreted in a […]

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December 3, 2013

Ten classic conceptual diagrams: Powerful examples of communicating knowledge

Classic conceptual diagrams are those ‘thought drawings’ that have been judged over time to be effective ways to communicate knowledge. Classic diagrams are emulated repeatedly and appear in text books and in popular media. In order to select a diverse top ten list from many worthy candidates, I selected a representative diagram from different fields […]

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