CBL's Beavan Hall
CBL Faculty HandbookHosting Seminars

Seminars are a traditional feature of life at any marine lab, and because we are so much more diverse than would be typical for a university department, our seminar offerings are also diverse. We offer three seminar series

Distinguished Scholar Seminar Series

This is the principal academic seminar series that we host at CBL. It is held on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-4:30 in BFL 1101. Faculty, research staff and students are strongly encouraged to attend. Make the seminar a habit!

The seminars are organized by pairs of faculty who serve as hosts for a semester. The seminar hosts are expected to work to invite, organize and host the seminars. Seminar hosts will be identified in the middle of each semester for the subsequent semester to give them time to begin arranging the schedule. Upcoming hosts are:

Autumn 2016 Andrew Heyes/Ryan Woodland
Spring 2017 Michael Gonsior/Mike Wilberg
Autumn 2017 Laura Lapham/Genny Nesslage
Spring 2018 Carys Mitchelmore/Jeremy Testa
Autumn 2018 Solange Filoso/Dave Secor

Seminar hosts should work with faculty, research staff and students to identify potential seminar speakers. Whenever possible, we should try to use local speakers – Virginia, Maryland, DC and Delaware – or speakers who you know will be in the area for other meetings to minimize travel costs. For example, if a colleague is coming in for an NSF panel meeting, invite them to give a seminar at CBL by staying an extra day or two. Ideally, the total budget for the semester should be below $2,500. However, if there is a particularly compelling speaker who we would like to host, additional funds may be made available.

The seminar hosts should set up the semester schedule as early as possible. Please email Jeanette Duran with the list before the semester starts, even if it is partial. Jeanette will make travel arrangements. Once you have confirmation that a speaker has accepted an offer, please send them an email, copied to Jeanette, indicating that we will reimburse expenses and that they will need to complete a TAR form. An example of such an email can be found here. Once Jeanette is copied on the email, she will follow up with individual speakers. Speakers can stay in one of the CBL apartments if needed - If you want to request lodging, please send an email to Lodging to make a reservation. Please include the name of the guest speaker and dates the reservation will be needed.

During the visit, each speaker should meet with interested faculty, research staff and students. Hosts may need to email CBLers frequently in the run up to the seminar to ensure high levels of participation. Hosting may involve taking the speaker out to dinner and/or breakfast, as well as arranging individual meetings with interested CBLers. This can be arranged by setting up a sign-up sheet at

p:\Events\CBL Events|201X Season Seminar Series\Speaker Name Date.docx.

When hosting a dinner or breakfast for the guest, please invite up to two of our own faculty members to go with the speaker – you do not have to attend all the meals. For each meal, be sure to get an itemized signed receipt for the dinner. Costs for beer and wine must be separate from costs for food. Any reasonable tip (~20%) you give the wait staff is reimbursable. Please turn this receipt into Elissa Lee in the Director’s Office for reimbursement.

Remember to send out a seminar email reminder 15 mins before each seminar. As hosts, you are also responsible for running the seminar on Wednesday. Facilities staff will make sure refreshments are available.

Brown Bag Seminars

The Brown Bag is an informal seminar series aimed at providing opportunities for students to present research ideas, research updates and practice presentations prior to national/international meetings. The seminars occur on Fridays at noon in BFL 1101. Faculty, research staff, and students are welcome to attend. Make Brown Bag a habit!

All students are expected to present at least two presentations during their tenure at CBL – one as an informal proposal of what they hope to do, and at least one seminar that provides a summary of the outcome of some aspect of their research.

The Brown Bag seminar has also been used for professional development activities – how to put a budget together, what is a cv, how to work with email, do a presentation…..

The seminars are arranged on the first Friday of each semester with an organizational meeting at which people are encouraged/ shamed/ cajoled into giving a seminar. Typically any student receiving support from the GEC to attend a meeting is expected to present a draft of their presentation at Brown Bag. When this occurs, multiple students often give presentations on the same day. Questions and comments at the end of each seminar are offered as much to help students improve their presentation skills.

Science for Citizens Seminar Series

The Science for Citizens series is a series of five public lectures that we offer each semester. The series is an outgrowth of our docent training program and is intended for the general public. The Science for Citizens series is organized by ourOutreach Coordinator.

We try to organize each year’s series early in the spring so that we have speakers lined up and committed early on. Each seminar is presented by a CBL or UMCES faculty member on a topic of local interest. We will contact you to ask if you would be interested in giving a seminar on a specific topic. If you are interested in giving one, please think of a presentation of about 40 minutes in length.

We typically get between 30-60 people attending each event. Most of the people are from the local community – but if the topic of the seminar is of particular interest to a group, you may have a more diverse audience. For example, seminars on fishes can bring out local recreational fishermen hoping to learn something that will give them an edge. Some of the people attending our Science for Citizens evening are former professional scientists, some are simply interested in the environment. Attendees will vary in age from 10-90. The material should be presented at a level suitable for an interested / informed member of the public. To the extent possible slides should be image based rather than text heavy. At the end of the seminar, please expect to be peppered with questions. Some will ask very knowledgeable questions – some questions will be completely off the wall. Be prepared for some to have very clear ideas on what the problem is and what should be done. Please also be prepared to hang around for a few moments afterward to speaker to individual attendees one-on-one.