Introducing ScienceOnline: Oceans!

I am thrilled to officially announce Science Online: Oceans, which will take place in Miami this October! ScienceOnline: Oceans is affiliated with the North Carolina based ScienceOnline organization and meeting, and we hope to incorporate much of what makes those meetings so special, but there is one key difference that regular ScienceOnline attendees should be aware of. ScienceOnline: Oceans will focus exclusively on ocean science and conservation (and, of course, how these topics relate to the internet and social media).


Who can attend? Anyone! Any interested scientist, journalist, student, blogger, communicator, activist, or member of the public is welcome.  Due to logistical limits, we will have to cap total attendance at 200 (previously it was 150), including organizers, presenters, and attendees. Registration will open in March, stay tuned!

What if I’m a marine scientist with no experience using the internet for science communication / what if I’m a science communicator with no previous ocean science experience? Then come learn! ScienceOnline: Oceans will be an excellent opportunity to learn about these issues, as well as to network with leaders in the field.

What’s the schedule?  The event will be October 11th – 13th, 2013. Friday evening will open with a welcome social and a panel discussion featuring expert local marine biologists and conservationists. We’ll have ScienceOnline-style unconference sessions and focused training workshops all day Saturday, followed by a closing social. Participants will have the option of taking part in one of three all-day field trips on Sunday: snorkeling on one of South Florida’s beautiful coral reefs, touring the Everglades, or helping local scientists (including me) with ongoing shark research projects.

Can I lead a session? As with the main ScienceOnline meeting, the program will be determined based on submitted suggestions from the attendees. If you have an idea for a great session topic focusing on ocean science and conservation issues, let us know! We will begin to officially take submissions in February, so start thinking of good ideas! For the main sessions, will follow the ScienceOnline “unconference” model, in which session leaders briefly present their thoughts on a subject and then facilitate discussion from the audience. We will also have focused workshops (focusing on learning technologies or learning about marine conservation issues) , which will be more strongly guided by the session leader.

How can I help? We need lots of help to plan ScienceOnline: Oceans, from locals and out-of-towners alike! We need South Floridians to help identify possible hotels and sites for socials, as well as other logistical issues (transportation, etc). We need people to help create the program by helping us to pick the best of the suggested sessions. We need people to help us find sponsors, both local and elsewhere. We can’t do it without you! There are lots of opportunities to help, and I hope you’ll get involved.

What’s the hashtag? #ScioOceans

Can I sign up to stay informed? We’ll advertise program suggestion submissions and the registration deadline heavily through regular ScienceOnline channels, as well as ocean science channels and right here on Southern Fried Science. However, if you want to make sure that you don’t miss anything, or want to volunteer to help leave a comment below or e-mail me at WhySharksMatter at gmail dot com! Also, check out the official ScienceOnline: Oceans website, which will have more information soon!  We also have an official twitter account and Facebook fan page!

Important upcoming dates: We expect to open the planning Wiki in early March, and leave it open for approximately a month. A planning Wiki is just like a conference abstract submission, except everyone can see what everyone else has submitted. We expect to open for registration in early May.


  1. Jason Robertshaw · February 1, 2013

    Sign me up!

  2. Chuck Bangley · February 1, 2013

    Save a spot for me on the shark boat!

  3. jebyrnes · February 3, 2013

    Do you have a mailing/announcement list setup for this yet? Would be great for those of us whose brains can only hold on for so long (eep! brain slipping!)

    • David Shiffman · February 4, 2013

      Not quite yet, but in the meantime I’ll keep you in the loop.

    • jebyrnes · February 4, 2013

      Bueno. FYI – loving the ease of mailchimp for this sort of thing. It’s what we’re using at openpub and it took about 5 minutes to setup.

    • David Shiffman · February 4, 2013

      Helpful suggestion, thanks!

  4. Matt Fitzgerald, Upwell · February 4, 2013

    This is awesome news. Hope to make it.

  5. Mark Skinner · February 6, 2013

    Hi, I am in Australia. Is this conference normal as in you have to be there or is the conference actually online and I can participate through the internet?

    • David Shiffman · February 6, 2013

      Hi, Mark! It is a normal conference, but there is a strong online component. At the recent main ScienceOnline meeting, 90% of the conversation on twitter was from people not physically attending the event. We were also able to arrange “watch parties” around the world, and some sessions were livestreamed. We are as yet uncertain if we’ll be able to do that here, but at the very least you’ll be able to follow along on twitter, and we can almost certainly film some sessions and place them online.

  6. Ariane · February 7, 2013

    please keep me in the loop to!

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