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Workshops - Registration now closed.

All pre-congress workshops will be held on the weekend before and weekend during the conference (Aug 15-16, Aug 22-23).
Spaces are very limited - to sign up, add these 'offers' to your registration here.

We have applied a nominal charge for workshops to cover admin, however, if this presents a barrier and you are keen to attend a workshop please email us (workshops@imcc6.com) with details of the workshop that you would like to attend.

Accepted IMCC6 Workshops:

Title: Establishing a Space for Women of Color in Marine Science

Organizer(s): Dr. Tiara Moore, Dr. Camille Gaynus, Kelcie Chiquillo, Audra Huffmeyer

Timing: Wednesday, 26 August, 18:30-20:30 (UTC)

In order to make marine science matter, we must make the people who have devoted themselves to this field matter as well, and that starts with an inclusive and welcoming environment. Women of Color (WOC) are statistically more likely to experience microaggressions, disrespect, misogyny, white fragility, and cultural misappropriation in the workplace. Recently diversity and inclusion efforts have infiltrated the STEM community leading to the formation of trainings that address biases and usually deemed mandatory. These trainings though are disproportionately taught by cisgendered white men and lack true understanding of the social oppression experienced by WOC, causing attendees to leave disheartened and without results. This WOCShopTM (workshops developed and conducted by WOC) aims to combat these issues by providing a solutions-oriented, hands-on training. This WOCShopTM is for EVERYONE that would like to increase the quality of experiences and the presence of WOC in marine science!

Come to participate in dynamic group and individual exercises, hear true anecdotes by WOC in the field, and learn how to create inclusive and equitable workplaces that welcome diverse perspectives for the future of marine conservation. Participants of this WOCShopTM will leave with tools in hand to establish A WOC Space at their respective workplaces. The WOCShopTM will open with an inclusion icebreaker followed by a real talk session with the facilitators. We will then conduct group and individual exercises aiming to address implicit biases, stereotypes, allies, and active bystanders. We will end with group facilitated discussions on personal and organizational strategies to establish WOC spaces in marine science.

Attendance is not limited, but please register your interest here.


Title: WS-17 Live Storytelling: An Old Tool for New Conservation

Organizer(s): Ms. Melissa Cronin

Timing: Saturday, 22 August, 17:00-18:30 (UTC)

Scientific outreach is no longer an extracurricular activity. In an era marked by particularly anti-science public discourse and policies, more and more scientists are practicing some form of science communication—and this type of work is increasingly expected of scientists. But disseminating scientific results in a responsible, educational, and entertaining way in the fast-paced and sometimes fickle public fora isn’t an easy task. Live storytelling—the practice of communicating stories without slides, props, or any other support—is an old tool, but one that has powerful utility for conservation.

Live storytelling events are an increasingly popular way for scientists to communicate their work to general audience. Programs like The Moth, Story Collider, and an annual storytelling series that I host, ‘Fish Tales: A Live Storytelling Event,’ offer a novel way for the public to access science—and enjoy it while they do. This workshop is designed to share the tools of effective storytelling with scientists and conservationists who want to practice creative and engaging live storytelling to communicate their work. The workshop begins with a short description of my background in science communication and storytelling, and a description of how live storytelling events work, and what people need to know if they want to plan their own. In the second half of this workshop, participants will craft their own short live stories, then break into pairs to share a short two-minute story from their own work, and receive immediate feedback from partners. Lastly, we will come together to share our short stories, insights that came of the exercise, and thoughts about how to improve our storytelling efforts. This workshop is a collaborative experience that offers the best (and only) training to improve storytelling skills: telling stories!

Title: WS-01 Building a Better Fieldwork Future: Preventing & Managing Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Field

Organizer(s): Melissa Cronin

Timing: Sunday, 23 August, 17:00-18:30 (UTC)

Fieldwork is an important and often necessary component of many scientific disciplines, yet research suggests that it presents a high-risk setting for incidents of sexual harassment and assault. This 90-minute workshop has been developed by a team of field researchers at UC Santa Cruz. It identifies the unique risks posed by fieldwork, and offers a suite of evidence-based tools for field researchers, instructors and students to prevent, intervene in, and respond to sexual harassment and assault. Through a series of practical intervention scenarios, this workshop guides participants in how to be an active and engaged bystander, how to report incidents, and how to plan field settings to minimize risk. Armed with these tools, participants can play a role in ensuring that field settings are safer, more equitable, and more welcoming for the next generation of field scientists.

Title: WS-04 Fostering Empathy for Marine Conservation

Organizer(s): Mr. Jim Wharton. Dr. Kathayoon Khalil

Timing: Sunday, 23 August, 17:00-19:30 (UTC)

Zoos and aquariums have transitioned from animal menageries to conservation organizations. And while our collections and attention often focus on the animals in our care, conservation is about people and their behavior. We know that behavior change is complex, with many internal and external motivations and barriers (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002; Schultz 2011). Increasing knowledge about ocean animals and ecosystems is important, but not enough. There are also many important internal drivers, including empathy. Research has shown empathy to be a potentially important indicator of an individual’s willingness to take conservation action (Berenguer 2007; Chawla 2009). Yet affective outcomes like empathy have not had as much attention from conservation engagement efforts as cognitive outcomes. For our audiences to understand the inextricable link between humans and the ocean, they also have to understand their emotional connection to the marine environment.
Empathy is a more complex construct than one might initially consider, encompassing affective empathy, cognitive empathy, and motivational empathy (or compassionate concern). A consortium of zoos and aquariums including the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, the Oregon Zoo (among others) have challenged themselves to think more deeply about how our exhibits and programming might engender empathy in our audiences, and how empathy might lead to conservation action. Through a literature review and conversations with researchers, we have identified six areas of effective practice for eliciting empathy: framing, imagination, knowledge, role modeling, experience, and practice. We believe bringing affective outcomes like empathy development into the professional practice of marine conservation engagement will enrich programming and lead to more successful conservation outcomes.
This workshop will cover the social science research on empathy, explore the challenge of anthropomorphism, and share tools to enhance and evaluate conservation engagement programming. Presenters will share content and lead participants in group activities.

Title: WS-10 Ocean literacy through immersive media

Organizer(s): Dr. Boris Worm, Ms. Sonya Lee

Timing: Saturday, 22 August, 11:00-14:00 (UTC)

In this workshop we aim to work out best practices and highlight innovative approaches for using immersive media like augmented and virtual reality to improve ocean literacy in non-scientific audiences. We will share experience with a novel and free online platform (oceanschool.ca) which is being tested in hundreds of classrooms in Canada and central America. We will discuss how to best include conservation-relevant materials and how to integrate new tools with more traditional media and learning tools. This workshop aims to produce a white paper on best practices for using immersive media to improve ocean literacy.

Title: WS-12 Sequencing-at-sea: Sequencing with the MinION portable sequencer for marine biology and wildlife forensics!

Organizer(s): Dr. Shaili Johri

Timing: Sunday, 23 August, 02:00-04:00 (UTC)

We propose a workshop for capacity building in biodiversity and forsensics research among marine science researchers from developing countries. The methodology will bridge substantial knowledge gaps in the field of marine wildlife genomics, and facilitate accurate identification of well-studied and novel species. These methods will improve the accuracy of biodiversity estimates and facilitate wildlife forensic capabilities in areas with minimal infrastructure, informing conservation and management efforts. Global demand for marine wildlife products drives unregulated and exploitative fishing and poaching practices, posing significant threats to survival of species. CITES listed wildlife species are still being traded internationally, because they are disguised as non-regulated species and the infrastructure to detect trade of protected species at the national and international level is lacking. In the proposed workshop we will provide training in accessible Next Generation Sequencing methods, using a hand-held portable sequencing device, and analyses pipeline for taxonomic identification of wildlife species in field and forensics research. Using this method, the complete mitochondrial genomes and partial nuclear DNA sequences are obtained by direct sequencing of genomic DNA from a variety of DNA sources. Analyses of the nuclear and mitochondrial loci allows accurate taxonomic identification of the specimen in a few hours. During the course participants will recieve training in sequencing, data aquisition, and phylogenetic analyses for taxonomic identification. Methods discussed in the workshop are PCR independent and thus adaptable to all wildlife species and specimen type, can be conducted in low-infrastructure field or laboratory settings and provide an excellent tool for capacity building among wildlife researchers and forensics scientists. These methods will increase accuracy of biodiversity estimates in areas with most need.

Expected Outcomes:

  • The proposed course will Increase capacity among wildlife biologists, ecologists, conservationists and forensic scientists for biodiversity and forensics research without outsourcing.
  • The methodology will reduce data deficiency and improve biodiversity estimates in remote areas and in developing countries.
  • Genomics data from the methods will inform population genetics and species genomics, which in turn will inform conservation and management of priority concern species.
  • Novel species and already studies species will be identified with taxonomic accuracy without amplification bias or PCR requirements.
  • Traceability of CITES or other protected speices will increase and enforcement of protective measures for priority concern speices will improve.

Title: WS-14 Using The MPA Guide: a common language for ocean protection - REGISTRATION CLOSED

Organizer(s): Dr. Jenna Sullivan-Stack, Ms. Beth Pike

Timing: Saturday & Sunday, 15-16 August, 14:00-17:00 (UTC)

As countries and organizations move towards greater and more effective marine protected areas (MPAs) post-2020, meaningful progress is impeded by confusion around the different types and amounts of protection that exist today. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss and use The MPA Guide, a new framework developed by hundreds of marine experts and stakeholders to work with existing reporting systems and bring clarity and harmony to discussions around MPAs. It creates a common language and shared understanding to help track how much of the ocean is protected. The MPA Guide clarifies the level of protection and stage of establishment of different MPAs, as well as the likely conservation outcomes expected from different protection levels.
The goal of the workshop is to 1) introduce The MPA Guide, 2) receive feedback from workshop participants given the individual perspectives they bring, and 3) work collectively to test The MPA Guide based on the participants’ knowledge and expertise from specific MPAs around the world. This workshop will be especially useful to those who work in and with MPAs and who are interested in how these fit into global progress on ocean protection.
This is a one-day workshop. We will begin with a short overview of The MPA Guide - its purpose and goals, how it aligns with existing reporting systems (e.g., the IUCN categories of protected areas), and the details of the decision-tree approach that will allow participants to categorize individual MPAs into a specific Stage of Establishment and Level of Protection. Next, we will work through case studies of individual MPAs as a group, categorizing them using The MPA Guide and further refining the framework.

Title: WS-16 Workshop on Design of Results-Focused Knowledge Exchange - REGISTRATION CLOSED

Organizer(s): Mr. Philip Karp, Dr. Gabrielle Johnson

Timing: Saturday, 22 August, 11:00-16:30 (UTC)

NOTE:  Deadline for Registration for this Workshop is August 15.  Upon acceptance of registration, participants will receive instructions on how to connect for the Workshop as well as links to workshop materials, to be downloaded in advance of the Workshop.

As in other fields, there is a growing recognition within the marine conservation community of the power of practitioner-practitioner exchange.  Whether they take the form of “barefoot” exchanges between fishers, or more formal exchanges involving MPA managers and policymakers, such exchanges are emerging as an extremely effective way of sharing, replicating, adapting and scaling up successful solutions to the challenges of marine protection and/or to avoiding repetition of unsuccessful approaches.  Practitioner exchanges are particularly effective for sharing “how to” or tacit knowledge about solutions, as these “tips and tricks” tend not be fully codified or recorded in written descriptions or case studies.   Practitioner exchange as a modality for capacity building represents a departure from more traditional approaches such as technical assistance or deployment of expert advisors wherein external experts are relied on to share successful solutions with which they are familiar only through research, and may therefore lack a complete understanding of the full range of factors that underlie the successful implementation elsewhere or the pitfalls to be avoided.
While knowledge exchange is an effective form of capacity building, good design can spell the difference between achievement of intended results and waste of resources on expensive study tours and other exchanges that are little more than development tourism.  This one-day workshop will introduce participants to a practical, step-by-step approach to design and execution of results-focused knowledge exchange programs.  Using a knowledge exchange case on MPA management in the Philippines developed by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, participants will take a hands-on approach to objective setting, identification of knowledge gaps, participant selection, identification of knowledge providers and solutions, selection of appropriate knowledge exchange modalities, and monitoring and measurement of results. 

Title: WS-02 Enhancing MPA Effectiveness through MPA Networks- Practical Tools - WORKSHOP FULL

Organizer(s): Dr. Gabrielle Johnson

Timing: Sunday, 23 August, 11:00-16:00 (UTC)

MPA networks can greatly enhance MPA effectiveness because networks provide more protection than a set of individual, unconnected areas and they allow for management efficiencies. Biological or ecological networks are based on shared or complementary biological or oceanographic features that enhance each MPA's ability to meet ecological, biodiversity, fisheries and resilience goals. Social networks result in increased administrative effectiveness via unified management efforts, shared information, a sense of empowerment by those involved, and potentially increased political will. Management based, institutional, or governance-based networks can increase political will, and provide consistency and potential cost savings in management strategies across the network. MPA networks, when effective can magnify the benefits of individual sites, protect large-scale processes, slow the loss of endangered marine species and restore depleted fisheries (IUCN 2008). Areas of focus will include reviewing management effectiveness standards including programmatic areas, threats to target resources, infrastructure needs, and enabling environment.
This one-day workshop will introduce participants to a practical, step-by-step approach to key elements to MPA Network design. This workshop will focus on participatory, hands-on approach and is designed for no more than 20 participants. Outputs will include an implementation plan for applying the information and strategies from the workshop to their work.


Title: WS-13 Tales from the Sea: developing and sharing your science and conservation story -  REGISTRATION CLOSED

Organizer(s): Prof. Stephanie Green, Prof. Kirsten Grorud-Colvert

Timing: Saturday 23 & Sunday 23 August - 15:00-18:00 (UTC).

We are excited to offer the fourth iteration of this popular workshop and add to the growing video library of stories told by IMCC participants. 
Marine conservation scientists are witnessing first-hand how the ocean is changing. Storytelling is a powerful tool to share these experiences in a way that reaches diverse audiences and opens the door to understanding and action. During this workshop, participants will learn key elements of storytelling and use these elements to craft powerful stories to share their conservation science experience with non-scientists. This workshop involves: 1) identifying a clear conservation science message, 2) developing an engaging story for public audiences, and 3) the option of recording the story to share during the conference. 

Part 1 (Saturday, August 22) will help participants distill their work into a clear and succinct message. 
Part 2 (Sunday, August 23) will help participants share their messages in a complete and compelling story. 

Participants will take part in a combination of group exercises, live and video demonstrations, and one-on-one story development with organizers. By the end of the workshop, each participant will have developed an engaging telling of their conservation science story. The participants' conservation stories will be recorded and hosted online as part of a new legacy project co-hosted by the Society for Conservation Biology’s Marine Section. This growing archive of stories is a living library of first-hand experiences from the frontlines of ocean conservation.