Below are the final drafts of my project. I have passed it around to a few family members/friends as my “general public” audience to gain feedback on parts that may be confusing. Overall, I am very happy with my products!
For my project, I ended up deciding to create two infographics, each of which are separately described below:
1) The aim of my first infographic is to present general information to the public/local community about the issue of stranded turtles in the Bay. My main points I wanted to get across is what strandings are and the fact that it is a local issue that happens right here in Chesapeake Bay. I also wanted to inform the audience what they should do if they find a stranded turtle (call it in to the stranding center). I also briefly mentioned some current efforts that are underway to study these events, including the stranding center and my research at VIMS. I thought this was a nice segway to lead into my second infographic.
2) The aim of my second infographic is to provide a little more information about efforts to study sea turtles strandings, specifically introducing my graduate research project. Specifically, i wanted to create a graphic to better explain the computer modeling aspects of my research methods. I want the audience of this infographic to still be the general public/local community, but target those who are a little more knowledgeable in the realm of science as it is a bit more advanced of a topic than the previous infographic. Some current challenges/questions I have with this product is whether or not the current introduction is necessary and if the text associated with the image is easy to understand. I was also struggling with a way to wrap up/conclude this infographic, so I currently placed a panel of global threats that sea turtles face on the bottom. I am not sure if this would be good to have, for if I include this I want to audience to be clear that these are global threats and not necessarily bay-specific threats since causes of mortality are mostly unknown in the Bay (hence, my research!)
For the VASG final symposium, I would like to present my product by turning my infographics into two posters. I would also like to have a few copies of my infographics in flyer form, so that I can distribute them as needed to interested personnel.
The Chesapeake Bay and its coastal waters are significant developmental habitats for thousands of juvenile sea turtles who use bay waters seasonally. However, each year, hundreds of turtles are found stranded on local beaches. Stranded sea turtles are any ocean turtle found floating on the ocean surface or washed up along the coastline, often deceased or severely injured. Since all species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered, identifying the sources of mortality and causes of these stranding events are crucial to the conservation and recovery of sea turtles populations. Furthermore, as most sea turtle mortality likely goes unobserved due to low likelihood of landfall and carcass decomposition, these stranding events provide a unique opportunity for investigating causes of sea turtle mortality. The high number of stranding events that occur in the Bay are of concern especially as the cause of mortality is largely unidentified. For my research, I am developing an oceanographic drift model for the Chesapeake Bay simulating the drift patterns of turtle carcasses after death and upon washing up at stranding locations. This model will be used to identify likely mortality hotspots in the bay and will be associated with indicators of possible anthropogenic or environmental causes.
For my project, I aim to develop an infographic about local sea turtle stranding events that can be disseminated to the general public. I am regularly surprised by the vast quantity of the local community whom do not even know that sea turtles exist in the bay, let alone that turtles are dying in these waters in such large quantities. Thus, I foremost wish to use my infographic to generally inform the public of this stranding issue at large. I hope to make the information on this product broad enough and easy to read for a general public audience, including the local community and any other interested personnel. It will be a general tool I hope that I can utilize in the future to hand out at a variety of outreach programs I may be involved with (ie. Marine Science Day, presentations, seminars, my GK12 classroom, etc.).
I would also like to create a second infographic that explores my project goals and methods specifically. A central component of my research is computer modeling and simulations – a concept that can be very difficult for others to grasp. Therefore, I hope to find a simple way to describe the different parts of my project. I hope for this infographic to focus around a graphic/image that I create explaining my methods which can be then adopted as needed in the future (see sketch below). Depending on product design and space, I may also create a third infographic that highlight general threats to sea turtles and ways the public can help mitigate these threats (or, this might end up being on the first infographic if appropriate).
Ideally, I imagine these infographics as several separate products in the form of flyers, but, I would like them to be adaptable to enlarging into a poster if needed in the future. I have identified a variety of websites that provide free infographic templates that I can adapt in my own design, such as www.venngage.com or www.piktochart.com. These flyers will be useful in that they will inform the public of not only the issue of sea turtle strandings in the Chesapeake Bay, but allow the public to also pick up a second flier specifically about my project/research efforts to combat this problem if they are further interested. I hope that these products can complement each other to paint a fuller picture, while also stand-alone as separate products.
1. I lived in Alaska for two months.
2. I went cage diving in South Africa.
3. I studied abroad in Jamaica.