Integration & Application Network

Science Communication

Creating innovative ways to visually present data
Enhancing career development and communication effectiveness

Welcome to MEES 708T Science Visualization. William C. Dennison leads this two-credit course via GoToMeeting, an online platform that enables students to take the class from anywhere.

Students will learn data visualization techniques, including conceptual diagrams, photographs, maps, graphs and tables, in a “flipped classroom” style—lecture material is prepared by instructors and consumed by students ahead of class time will be employed. This approach enhances opportunities to have meaningful discussions and feedback on student projects. A hands-on approach to teaching will promote the development of applied science visualization skills, including producing effective PowerPoint, posters, and graphics for publication in a variety of media. Principles of good science visualization will be accompanied by case studies to illustrate science visualization techniques.

The course is structured into two major sections: Section 1 is the development of a portfolio of data visualizations, namely graphs, conceptual diagrams, photographs, and maps. Section 2 is the assembly of data visualizations into posters, reports, web material, and oral presentations. In Section 1, the data visualization modules will each be two weeks long, providing an opportunity for instructors to introduce key concepts and provide hands-on training, and for students to produce materials and receive feedback. In Section 2, students will assemble data visualizations into a variety of media and receive feedback. Course assessment will be solely on the portfolio of materials and presentations produced over the course of the semester.

Learning objectives
• Improve science visualization skills of students
• Expose students to a wide range of science visualization examples and resources
• Utilize the conceptual training and practical application projects to establish a science visualization library
• Develop a science visualization skill set that will enhance career development and communication effectiveness

Course goals
• Provide a rich learning environment through projects, lectures, discussions for students and instructors
• Stimulate improvement in analytical and communication skills
• Inspire good science visualization that serves to enhance environmental problem solving

Software requirement: Adobe Creative Suite

Meet the professional science communicators in the Integration and Application Network, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science joining Dennison to teach this course.