Professional Development Workshops at AAS 217 in Seattle

In a continuing effort to expand the professional development offerings at the AAS Meetings, I have again put together some workshops and seminars at the upcoming Seattle Meeting in addition to the other workshops and special sessions. And this time, they are NSF sponsored! The three small, intensive workshops are on 1) Conveying Messages with Graphs, 2) Emerging Leadership, and 3) Basic Negotiations and there is a seminar on Making the Most of Your Scientific Presentations. Details on the topics covered and intended audiences of these sessions are available below (and on the OASIS meeting program). The fee for the workshops and seminar is $50 each and pre-registration is required. (Unlike last year, gate crashers will be turned away!) See below for details about registration and fee waivers.

Conveying messages with graphs
Monday, Jan 10, 8:30–12:30pm
Intended Audience: Anyone who wants to make better figures. Limited to 25 Participants.
Although widely used in research to analyze data and to communicate about them, graphical displays are still poorly mastered by researchers, who often use the wrong graphs or use them in the wrong way (and popular software does not exactly help). At the hand of examples submitted in advance by the participants, this workshop will discus how to choose the right graph fora given data set and a given research question, how to optimize the graph’s construction to reveal the data, and finally how to phrase a useful caption. It will be run by Jean-luc Doumont (, a world-renowned expert on scientific communication with a PhD in applied physics from Stanford. Dr. Doumont is the author of Trees, maps, and theorems, a book on “effective communication for rational minds.”
Making the most of your presentation
Monday, Jan 10, 3:40–5:30pm
Intended Audience: Anyone who wants to give better talks. No limit on number of registrants.
Strong oral presentation skills are a key to success for engineers, scientists, and other professionals, yet many speakers are at a loss to tackle the task. Systematic as they otherwise can be in their work, they go at it intuitively, sometimes haphazardly, with much good will but seldom good results. This lecture proposes a systematic way to prepare and deliver presentations. Among other topics, it covers structure, slides, and delivery, as well as stage fright. It will be presented by Jean-luc Doumont (, who holds a PhD in applied physics from Stanford. Articulate, entertaining, and thought-provoking, Dr. Doumont is a popular invited speaker worldwide. He is the author of Trees, maps, and theorems, a book on “effective communication for rational minds.”
Emerging Leadership: Development of leadership skills in problem-solving and leading change
Tuesday, Jan 11, 1:00–4:30pm
Intended Audience: Early-career scientists who are or wish to be in a leadership position in the near future (e.g, postdocs, junior faculty, and staff). Limited to 25 Participants.
This workshop focuses on some of the skills that are necessary to perform effectively in common leadership roles. Participants increase their leadership skills by understanding effective and ineffective leadership characteristics, personal leadership strengths and development needs, leadership negotiation and problem-solving, how to lead change, among other topics. Attendees select a case to practice in a role-play exercise. Participants practice leadership skills; get feedback from coaches; and discuss best techniques for leading successfully. The workshop will be run by Jane Tucker and Barbara Butterfield, who both have many years of experience in higher education, faculty development, and executive coaching.
Basic Negotiations, Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution
Wednesday, Jan 12, 9:00am–12:30pm
Intended Audience: Graduate students and Postdocs. Limited to 25 Participants.
This workshop is designed to build understanding of mutual interest based negotiations or solution finding by developing understanding of the parties’ interests and identifying alternatives that enhance the possibility of reaching agreement. Participants evaluate their personal conflict resolution styles. Case studies reinforce the use of effective styles in negotiating and problem-solving. Case practice include a competitive job offer, committee service, salary increase and assuring research resources. These cases help define patterns of negotiations when choice and stress are factors. Development of supporting data, options and packaging solutions are examined relative to these cases. Several methods of responding to difficult tactics are demonstrated and discussed. The workshop will be run by Jane Tucker and Barbara Butterfield, who both have many years of experience in higher education, faculty development, and executive coaching.


If you haven’t registered for the meeting yet, you can add the workshops to your cart via

If you have already registered, please fill out the Workshop Registration Form and then fax to 202-234-7850 or scan and email to

If you would like to request the fee to be waived, please send a short justification of need to Preference will be given to early-career scientists.

See you in January!

3 comments… add one
  • Catarina Nov 1, 2010 @ 14:47

    I was curious about Dr. Doumont’s book, Trees, maps, and theorems, but found out it is rather expensive. Has anyone used it? Is it really worth that price? Or would I be better off waiting for one of his workshops to come near me? Truth is, it is still cheaper than going to the AAS all the way from Europe…

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