Alligatoroid skull,  Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, photo credit: C. A. Brochu


Introduction to the Paleobiology Database

Monday, November 1, 2021, 9am-5pm ET

This workshop will introduce the basic operations of the Paleobiology Database. Topics outlined below will include: searching for and browsing data, educational resources, entering data of all types, downloading and analyzing data. We are targeting new users of the PBDB, particularly graduate students and early career researchers, but all are welcome. This session is limited to 100 attendees.

Digital Morphology and Shape Analysis with SlicerMorph

Monday, November 1, 2021, 1:00 – 5:00 pm

This workshop will demonstrate and point out self-help resources for the open source and free biomedical visualization platform 3D Slicer, and its SlicerMorph extension for digital morphology tasks. Project can be found at This session is limited to 30 attendees.

Inclusive Science Communication

Monday, November 1, 2021, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Communicating science to the public is an essential skill. But it’s also essential that scientists make their communication as inclusive as possible. In this interactive online workshop, we will explore how to engage diverse audiences with technical topics through active listening, multicontextual storytelling, and accessible design. We will especially consider how to make our content inclusive for audiences that are often marginalized from science.

Key Skills:

  • Engage a target audience while considering the cultural context of your interaction.
  • Identify essential elements of story structure and apply them to science stories.
  • Utilize best practices for accessible design in presentations.

This workshop will be hosted on Zoom. The format will include a mix of short lectures, small-group breakout sessions, and whole-group discussions. Whole-group discussions will be held together in the main Zoom room, utilizing the chat function. This session is limited to 40 attendees.

Optimizing GatherTown for Interactive Science Education

Monday, November 1, 2021, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

This workshop will show other earth and life science education practitioners how the virtual conferencing platform GatherTown and map-building software Tiled can be used to create immersive, engaging interactive education environments. These environments can be used for formal and informal education purposes, with customizable interactive elements and a vast assortment of raw digital building objects. Primary examples will be simulated interactive field environments and museum exhibit spaces.

It is also possible to custom-make objects such as museum exhibits, flesh-on organisms, fossils, and other natural history resources in readily available digital art software, such as Pyxel. These custom assets can be easily incorporated into the digital environments. In this workshop, we’ll also explore these customization resources that can help practitioners get the absolute most out of the GatherTown system.

Finally, we’ll do an example walkthrough of designing a lesson+activity that can be done using a pre-made virtual environment, with suggestions for age-appropriate adjustments that can be made depending on individual needs. Attendees are invited to stay in touch following the workshop to get feedback on their own world-designs and associated activities. This session is limited to 40 attendees.