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April 12, 2011 / caitlynzim

My Masters Project: the beginning

Hello world. My name is Caitlyn and I’m new to blogging but oh so excited to be here. My idea for the purpose of this blog will be primarily to document the process of my masters project (and on occasion random posts about things I’m interested in). Yes, I did mean to say ‘project’ and not ‘thesis’. The program I’m enrolled in, Masters of Environmental Management at Duke University, requires not a thesis, but a project; it is in a sense like a glorified, more involved independent study.

For this project, I have decided to focus on the topic of public engagement and education. I have a background in marine science and environmental education (and I’m in the coastal concentration at Duke) and so I am specifically interested in ocean science education and pubic engagement. I will do this by working with two faculty members from Duke, determine what topic within their research they would like to communicate and the target audience and then go about creating a communication/ marketing plan for their research topics. I specifically looking at two faculty that are studying opposite ends of the charismatic spectrum. The first faculty member is my advisor, Zackary Johnson, and he studies micro algae. The second faculty member, Patrick Halpin, studies marine mammals. I want to look at the differences between communicating a topic that a layperson would naturally be interested in (because whales and dolphins are cute) versus a topic they would not (micro algae are not cute…to a layperson).

I am planning on primarily using social media to communicate this message. Programs like Twitter and Facebook will play an integral role in this project. I’m hoping to supplement these methods with blogging about these faculty members’ research or linking to articles that send the same message. I believe that the strongest way to get a message across to a wide audience is by using the internet.

I am hoping to use this blog to get feedback and suggestions about my project. Right now, I am still drafting my proposal, so I am very open to suggestions for the way this project will look. Let me know!

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One Comment

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  1. Bora Zivkovic / Apr 12 2011 8:14 pm

    Welcome to the blogosphere, Caitlyn!

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