Distributed Graduate Seminar (DGS)

 

What

The objectives of the DGS’s will be to reach an even broader audience than present at the Drought-Net meetings, and to share the most current understanding of patterns and mechanisms of differential drought sensitivity with highly motivated graduate students.

We will plan for two DGS’s during the duration of this RCN each covering different topics. The first seminar will cover: climatological characterization of droughts, plant ecophysiological, microbial, community responses and ecosystem responses to drought, and legacies of drought. Since the first DGS will occur after the initial meetings of EEE and IDE, one class session will be devoted to communicating results of these meetings. The second DGS will be designed using feedback from the first DGS and will incorporate additional results from ongoing Drought-Net activities.

How

Our DGS’s will utilize the software Vidyo, which is ideal for linking geographically distant locations
with quite different band widths while requiring minimum hardware capabilities. The software resembles
a real classroom with Power Point presentations and speakers in each of the connected locations.
Participants in each location can ask questions and make comments viewed by all participants. Sessions
will be recorded and posted on the Drought-Net website for later access by participants and a broader
audience. There will be a moderator each session and a speaker/lecturer that will rotate among
institutions. Participants will receive reading material prior to class meetings and with groups formed by
participants from different institutions. The main task of groups will be to prepare questions for the speakers. In addition, there will be a forum for open discussions.

A final activity of each DGS will be to  gather a subset of students and faculty for a week-long synthesis meeting focused on EEE or IDE data. We anticipate that these meetings will generate publications led by graduate students.