SMM Conference 2001 - Important Student Info (fwd)

From: Pita Admininstrator (
Date: Thu Sep 20 2001 - 17:46:12 EDT

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    We, the Northwest Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy
    (NWSSMM) in collaboration with Leslie Cornick, the Student Member-At-Large,
    are in the process of planning and organizing the student program for the
    14th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals here in
    Vancouver, BC. As the success of this program is largely dependent on the
    input and contributions of the entire student body, we would like to
    provide you with an outline of planned events, asking for your feedback and
    participation in order to make the student program a rewarding and
    satisfying experience for all of us. We will try our best to incorporate
    all comments and contributions that we receive from you.

    Regular updates and information about the student program, registration for
    events and other items will be available on a website set up specifically
    for the student workshop: If
    you have any suggestions, questions, concerns or would like to contribute
    in any way etc, please contact us at:

    Outline of student program
    The format and content of the student program as presented here, was
    largely developed based on the results of last year's SMM Student Survey
    addressing these issues. During past biennial meetings the student workshop
    has been a single meeting that tried to meet the needs of both graduate and
    undergraduate students. Based on the input provided by students through
    last year's survey, we concluded that the needs of all students could be
    better met by organizing two separate events. Although, of course, open to
    all interested students the main student workshop at this year's meeting
    will be tailored to address issues that primarily concern graduate
    students. In addition, we have planned to introduce an undergraduate
    program specifically catering to students in the early stages of their
    postgraduate career. The format and content of both events are described in
    more detail below. Registration forms for student events are available
    online on our website.

    Student Workshop
    The graduate-level workshop will be in the evening of the second full
    conference day (30/11/01). The overall format of this event will be similar
    to previous workshops, i.e. there will be an informal dinner, three invited
    keynote speakers and small group discussion with leading international
    professionals in various fields. However, as indicated above, we will try
    to get speakers and discussion leaders to specifically address topics that
    are of interest and concern for advanced students.

    Undergraduate luncheon and mentor program
    The focus of the undergraduate program will be the implementation of a
    conference-long, graduate-student led 'mentor program' that we hope will
    provide helpful insight for the large number of undergraduates that attend
    the conference. The mentorship program will be introduced and launched
    during an undergraduate luncheon, which will take place during the lunch
    hour of the first full conference day (29/11/01).
    The idea of this program is to set up a networking system in which willing
    graduate students may act as mentors for interested undergrads, providing
    advice, guidance and support, answering questions, possibly facilitating
    meetings with useful contacts, etc.; - in short introducing them to the
    "ways of the marine mammal science world" throughout the course of the

    Recruitment of mentors
    We are currently looking for mentors, i.e. students who feel that they are
    in a position to provide useful advice to others and would like to
    participate in the program. If you are interested in becoming a mentor,
    please refer to our web page for more information and to fill out the
    registration form posted there. If you have already contacted Leslie or the
    Northwest Student Chapter at an earlier stage, indicating your interest in
    becoming a mentor, but have not yet filled out the on-line mentor
    registration form, we would ask you to please register again on the webpage
    in order to provide us with all the necessary information requested in the

    Student chapter participation
    The marine mammal student community is constantly growing and quite a large
    number of SMM student chapters have been set up by now. Since we think that
    all of us would benefit from getting to know each other a bit better, we
    would like to help to improve communications, networking and the informal
    exchange of ideas amongst chapters. We would therefore like to invite all
    chapters to put together a poster which could provide an introduction to
    their student chapter activities and organization. These posters will be
    displayed at both student events and throughout the conference. Chapters
    will be receiving more detailed information about the format and content of
    these posters shortly.

    So, to summarize we would like to ask you to please:
    - check the website regularly for updates
    - register on-line for the student events
    - participate in the mentorship program
    - let us know what you think about all of this

    Please help us to make this a great conference for students!

    Amanda Bradford, Carlos Alvarez, Kristin Kaschner, Alison Keple, Josh
    London, Alexander Zerbini (Northwest student chapter SMM 2001 student
    workshop organization committee)
    & Leslie Cornick (your Student Member-at-Large (<>)

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