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ASLO's Outreach Activities

Prepared by Adrienne Sponberg
ASLO Director of Communication and Science

ASLO's outreach activities fall into four categories:

Public Outreach Programs

Online Media Library

In 2003, the ASLO Education and Human Resources Committee launched an online media library that now has over 2300 images available for educational purposes. This is one of the most often accessed portions of the ASLO website and is accessed heavily by non-members. Anyone may submit images to the site. The Committee continues to recruit more images for the library, which is fully searchable by keyword, including habitat, organism, sampling technique, and so on.

Career Information and Mentoring

ASLO Website

ASLO has several pages on its website which are aimed at providing information about aquatic science careers. These are among the most heavily accessed pages on our website and we frequently are contacting by parents of middle or high school students who are looking for further information. Below is a brief description of the resources available.

Careers in the Aquatic Sciences
ASLO is often asked how students can prepare for careers in aquatic science. The ASLO Student Representatives ( have provided information to help you to pursue your interest in the aquatic sciences.

Careers in Public Policy
Many graduate students in aquatic sciences are interested in jobs that "bridge the gap" between science and policy, but aren't sure where they are or what they entail. The ASLO Director of Public Affairs has provided general information about policy jobs.

Society Resources and Mentoring Programs

ASLO is involved in several initiatives aimed at training and mentoring the future generation of aquatic scientists. Below is a brief list of those components along with a link to further information on each program.

Student Programs

The Student Programs page offers information and resources for undergraduate and graduate students in the aquatic sciences.

Programs for Recent PhDs

This program is aimed at recent Ph.D. graduates in the aquatic sciences. Both DIALOG (pronounced dialogue - Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Limnology and Oceanography Graduates) and DISCCRS (pronounced discourse - Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research) are sponsored by multiple organizations, and their goal is to provide connections across distant disciplines and to establish a global network of colleagues from divergent backgrounds. The programs are coordinated by Dr. Susan Weiler and include:

  • Symposia - designed to foster interdisciplinary understanding, communication, career development and networking. Participation is by application. Program reports are generated to characterize demographic information of graduate population and to archive symposia results.
  • Resources - annotated list of resources developed by symposium participants.
  • Ph.D. Registry -highlights accomplishments of registered graduates and provides a concise overview of emerging research.

Public Policy

In addition to advocacy events such as congressional visits day, signing letters of support for various science policy initiatives, publishing aquatic science policy reports and working with larger science coalitions such as the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), ASLO's Public Affairs Office conducts several activities geared towards policymakers that would fall under the umbrella of outreach. Below is a brief description of those activities.

Informational Briefings

On occasion, ASLO will host or co-host topical briefings on Capitol Hill aimed at facilitating dialogue between leading scientists and policy-makers on a specific topic, such as iron fertilization of oceans.

Participation on national advisory committees

ASLO maintains a seat on a subcommittee of the federal Advisory Committee on Water Information. Two ASLO members share responsibility for filling ASLO's seat on the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. ASLO has also nominated members for seats on other federal policy advisory boards, such as scientific advisory boards and working groups for federal agencies.