Webinars: The next wave in professional updating
15 May 2012 | News story
Andrew Alm is the first CEC member to post an entry in the new IUCN blog. His topic is the webinar, a versatile and cost-effective online communication channel.
The next wave in professional updating
Posted by IUCN | April 13th, 2012 at 9:31 am |
By Andrew Alm, member of IUCN's Commission on Education and Communication
A recent series of three "webinars" on "Assessing the Vulnerability of Water and Watersheds to Climate Change" shared new work done on 12 National Forests in the United States, and clearly showed how online communication can be a channel to rapidly share new knowledge among scientists and on-the-ground managers.
Three two-hour seminars used an "Instant Net Conference" service (from Webex.com), and included live video of presenters from 14 different locations, along with their slides, broadcast to more than 100 participants each session, across the agency's nine regions. Audience members used phone lines to connect to the audio portion of the presentations, and posted questions via a text chat window.
Earth scientists and biologists reported on a pilot project developed to assess the relative vulnerability of water resources to climate-based hydrologic change. They described how assessments were used to provide managers with a relative rating of water resource vulnerability to climate change, and to develop recommendations on the actions each forest might take to best respond to predicted climate-based hydrologic change. Forests evaluated a variety of resource issues in their assessments, including numerous aquatic species, water diversions, and infrastructure.
"I think this stuff represents the future of info sharing", said Sarah Hines, who facilitated the online meetings.
"Video-enabled web sharing technologies provide an alternative to making the many costly day and overnight trips to workshops and seminars. It also makes information-sharing more egalitarian and timely. We were able to produce and share the presentations within a matter of weeks, rather than the months required to plan a face-to-face workshop."
"The ease with which we can make recordings available ensures that individuals can re-visit lessons learned or encourage others not present at the live event to consider new approaches," she added. The recorded seminars are available on the Forest Service's Climate Change Resource Center site.
Andrew is the CEC Specialty Group Leader on Knowledge Management.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BLOGGING FOR IUCN?
Rod Abson, CEC Focal Point, would like to see more CEC members contributing to the IUCN Blog, which provides another tool to showcase what CEC members are doing. If you are interested in contributing an article (it’s only 300 words and a photo) please contact Anna Knee: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy email@example.com
Blog entries should reflect:
- IUCN’s impact and influence; how our knowledge and tools are being used in the wider world.
- Stories or insights that highlight concrete action on the ground to save biodiversity and improve people’s lives.
- The relevance of the issues at our key events such as meetings of the World Heritage Convention or the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Knowledge Management Officer and CEC Focal Point, Commission on Education & Communication
Science and Knowledge Management team