Schedule

Friday, March 1

The Science & Storytelling Symposium is a campus-wide event open to all current undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and UVA faculty and staff. Explore your future and gain the tools you need to take your place among the world’s leading changemakers.  

Registration is waived today; please come to Old Cabell Hall to check-in!

Science and Storytelling Symposium

Old Cabell Hall

Welcome: Emma Carrasco, Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer, National Geographic Society


09:00 AM - 09:10 AM

Keynote: Michael "Nick" Nichols, National Geographic Photographer


09:10 AM - 09:30 AM

Panel: Waterways


09:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Clean, dependable water is critical for all life, and more than half of the world's population lives on coasts and along rivers. But climate change, pollution, and development are threatening to make water security one of the defining issues of the 21st century. What is the status of the world’s water supply? How are scientists working with local communities to study and safeguard water resources? And what can we do to ensure that the world has enough water for all?

Scott Doney, Joe D. and Helen J. Kington Professor in Environmental Change, UVA // Greg Kahn, Documentary Fine Art Photographer // Andres Ruzo, Geoscientist, National Geographic Explorer // Wally Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology, UVA-Wise // Moderator: Karen McGlathery, Professor, UVA; Director, Environmental Resilience Institute, UVA

Break


11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Panel: Resilient Cities for the 21st Century


11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

By 2050, the world will have to support 9.8 billion people, and nearly 70 percent will live in cities. How can we create resilient cities that support both growing populations and the natural systems upon which all life depends?

Ellen Bassett, Associate Professor and Chair, Urban + Environmental Planning, UVA // Deborah Lawrence, Professor of Environmental Sciences, UVA // Lillygol Sedaghat, Fulbright-National Geographic Storyteller // Moderator: Rob Kunzig, Senior Environment Editor, National Geographic Magazine

Lunch (provided)


12:30 PM - 01:45 PM

Auksalaq: A Performance by EcoSono


01:45 PM - 02:15 PM

Auksalaq, the Inupiat word for “melting snow/ice,” is an opera by composer Matthew Burtner and visual media producer Scott Deal that provides an in-depth journey into the vast, remote—and rapidly changing—arctic regions of Alaska and Canada. Founded and directed by Matthew Burtner, EcoSono, a nonprofit environmental arts organization, is a collective of environmentalists, musicians, and artists working for environmental sustainability and human creativity in collaboration with nature.

 

Matthew Burtner, Professor of Composition and Computer Technologies, UVA // EcoSono Ensemble: Lisa Edwards-Burrs, voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano; I-Jen Fang, percussion; Travis Thatcher, technology

Resilience in the Era of Climate Change: A Conversation with Victoria Herrmann


02:15 PM - 02:45 PM

The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere else on the planet, but climate change is already affecting communities across the globe, including here in Virginia. UVA Ph.D. candidate Alison Glassie joins National Geographic Explorer Victoria Herrmann, president and managing director of The Arctic Institute, for an in-depth conversation about what her work in the Arctic has taught her about resilience, and how we can create more resilient communities in the era of climate change.

 

Victoria Herrmann, President and Managing Director, The Arctic Institute; National Geographic Explorer // Discussant: Alison Glassie, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, UVA

Break


02:45 PM - 03:00 PM

Panel: Building Cultural Resilience


03:00 PM - 04:15 PM

Throughout history, many cultures have disappeared while others have survived. What lessons can we learn from those cultures that have endured and even thrived despite oppression, violence, and environmental hazards? And how can we build resilience among all cultures in our rapidly changing world?

Jennifer Kingsley, Journalist, National Geographic Explorer // Giulia Paoletti, Assistant Professor of African Art, UVA // Losang Rabgey, Co-founder and Executive Director of Machik, National Geographic Explorer // Moderator: Debra Adams Simmons, Executive Editor, Culture, National Geographic Magazine

 

Picturing Race at National Geographic and UVA: Susan Goldberg in Conversation with John Edwin Mason


04:15 PM - 04:45 PM

Pictures do more than just show us the world. By teaching us how to see the world, they also teach us what to think about it. But, sometimes, pictures lie.

 

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for example, photography taught white Americans that people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America were not only different from them, but that they were inferior, as well. Images of African American delivered the same message. Photographs portrayed people of color as exotic, primitive, often dangerous, and almost always trapped in the past.

 

National Geographic magazine editor in chief, Susan Goldberg, joins UVA history professor, John Edwin Mason, for a frank discussion about how pictures both reflected and reinforced a larger cultural narratives about race, including Jim Crow segregation at home and colonialism abroad. Their conversation will address the University of Virginia’s visual and intellectual history and the early history of National Geographic magazine. They will also discuss the important steps that both institutions have taken to acknowledge their histories and transform their approaches to photography and other kinds of storytelling.

 

Susan Goldberg, Editorial Director, National Geographic Partners; Editor in Chief, National Geographic Magazine // John Edwin Mason, Associate Professor, Corcoran Department of History, UVA

 

Closing Remarks


04:45 PM

James Ryan, President, University of Virginia

 


Saturday, March 2

National Geographic Explorers—scientists, photographers, filmmakers, writers, and educators—will host hands-on workshops where you can learn or hone real-world skills. These half- and full-day programs include the opportunity to enhance your photography skills, learn what it takes to be an investigative journalist, get an in-depth introduction to virtual reality storytelling and filmmaking, and much more! Choose from our diverse lineup of options below.

Students and Postdocs: you must register for the Science & Storytelling Symposium in order to register for workshops.

Space is limited. Register today!

Workshops

  • McCormick Observatory

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Ed Murphy

    On Friday, March 1, the Leander McCormick Observatory will be opening its doors early to 40 National Geographic Symposium Students. A bus will pick up students outside Peabody Hall on Grounds at 5:30 PM and take them to the Observatory for a tour. The tour will be lead by Department of Astronomy Professor Edward Murphy who will give a talk about the Observatory's history and how it was first used. Students will then be first in line to look through the historic 26-inch McCormick Refractor telescope.

    Maximum number of participants
    20
  • The Science of Storytelling for Impact

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Jenny Adler, Conservation Photographer, National Geographic Explorer

    Many scientists want their work to have an impact outside academia—to accomplish this, they’re often told to become better storytellers. But impact means more than just telling a great story; it means reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time to create real change. Join scientist and visual storyteller Jenny Adler to explore recent findings from the field of impact storytelling and the science of behavior change that can help provide a set of best practices to guide strategic storytelling. Scientists and storytellers of all kinds are invited to this series of discussions and collaborative exercises that will help you maximize the influence of your stories.

    Maximum number of participants
    20
  • Sharing Your Story Through Citizen Science

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Wally Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology, UVA-Wise

    Citizen science, or public participation in scientific research, has revolutionized how scientists collect data and design research initiatives. But how can citizen science help us share our stories about the natural world with each other? In this workshop, you'll review several popular citizen science platforms and engage with data collected by citizen scientists worldwide. Then, you'll have the opportunity to explore ways in which you can incorporate citizen science into your own work. At the heart of this workshop will be how you can use citizen science to not only enhance your own research but share the story of your work with members of the public.

    Maximum number of participants
    15
  • The Art of Public Speaking

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Greg McGruder, Vice President, Live Events, National Geographic Society

    Legendary National Geographic grantees, from pioneering primatologist Jane Goodall to underwater scientist Robert Ballard, understand that being able to skillfully share stories about their work is an important aspect of being an effective explorer. Find out what tools they—and other speakers—use to create captivating presentations, from planning how to deliver a compelling talk and developing a stage presence to making the best use of visuals and other tips to help you produce and deliver an outstanding presentation.

    Maximum number of participants
    25
  • Writing the Nat Geo Way

    From
    To
    Speaker
    John Hoeffel, Executive Editor, Science, National Geographic magazine

    For 131 years, National Geographic has sought to tell stories that surprise, engage, provoke, enrage, enlighten, or illuminate. We do it with gorgeous, never-seen-before photography. And we do it with words that tell extraordinary stories. Our theme, as National Geographic founder Alexander Graham Bell put it, is “the world and all that is in it.” So how do we get from such a daunting ambition to the stories that appear online and in the magazine? This session will explore how we find, develop, report, write and edit stories. We’ll dig into such challenges as identifying compelling subjects, reporting them, capturing character, describing scenes, crafting a structure, and building powerful openings and satisfying endings. We are likely to discuss the reporting and writing behind the “The Story of a Face,” so students will be expected to have read it. Students should also expect to do some writing in the session and be willing to share it and discuss it. They should come equipped with a laptop, notebook, pen and smartphone.

    Maximum number of participants
    12
  • The Ethics of Storytelling: Consequences, Ego, Truth & Trust

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Lillygol Sedaghat, Fulbright-National Geographic Storyteller

    Being a storyteller is more than just taking a pretty picture, writing an article, or being at the right place at the right time. Stories have power, and with power comes great responsibility.

    Join Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow Lillygol Sedaghat in an interactive workshop on the ethics of storytelling, where we will explore the concepts of relationship building and trust, grapple with questions of truth and authenticity, and unpack implicit bias and ego in the process of learning and sharing human narratives.

    Using powerful storytelling examples from both academia and news media, the workshop will be directed as a series of open discussions and interactive activities with the end goal of providing a safe space to share challenges, raise questions, and realize your responsibility as a gatekeeper of narratives.

     

    Maximum number of participants
    20
  • Migration in Harmony: A Climate Change Simulation Exercise

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Victoria Herrmann, President and Managing Director, The Arctic Institute; National Geographic Explorer

    Join National Geographic Explorer Victoria Herrmann for an interactive exercise that will simulate an environmental disaster and migration event in real time. Based on a war game created by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you’ll be briefed and provided the parameters of the exercise, including the rules of the game, learning objectives, and actor roles based on each student’s professional interests.

    Maximum number of participants
    40
  • Visual Narrative: Building a Photo Story from Start to Finish

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Greg Kahn, Documentary Fine Art Photographer

    Go through the steps of building a photo project. From the process of visualizing data to creating a narrative, you’ll learn skills in developing a photographic vision, choosing a visual style based on the project, sequencing and editing, and basic lighting techniques. You’re encouraged to bring your own camera, but no photography experience is required to attend.

    Maximum number of participants
    15
  • Earth Music Workshop

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Matthew Burtner, Professor of Composition and Computer Technologies, UVA

    Discover music through sonic interaction with the natural world with pioneering composer, music technologist, and eco-acoustician Matthew Burtner. Participants will learn about human-nature interaction through sound, the acoustics of nature, and the sonification of environmental data. The workshop offers a chance to explore the emerging field of musical eco-acoustics.

    Maximum number of participants
    10
  • Letting the Stories Come to You: Techniques for Reporting From the Field

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Jennifer Kingsley, Journalist, National Geographic Explorer

    This interactive, hands-on workshop will cover some of the basics of field reporting. From practical recording tips and interviewing practices to taking your first steps in a new community, this session will help prepare you for life as a storyteller.

    Topics and activities will include:

    • listening for sound and learning to record it
    • principles of interviewing and why listening is your most important skill
    • approaching cultural storytelling as an outsider

    Materials required (for participants):

    • pen and paper (yes, an actual pen and paper)
    • a sound recording device that you know how to use (phones are great!)
    • headphones (any set that works with the above device is fine)
    Maximum number of participants
    24
  • Virtual Reality and Immersive Storytelling

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Mona Kasra, Assistant Professor of Digital Media Design, UVA

    This hands-on workshop will provide an in-depth introduction to virtual reality/360-degree storytelling and filmmaking. In addition to learning about the current hardware, software, and platforms available for experiencing and creating VR/360 content, you’ll gain conceptual, practical, and technical skills for creating successful VR stories and immersive experiences.

    Maximum number of participants
    8
  • Storytelling Master Class with Lillygol Sedaghat

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Lillygol Sedaghat, Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow

    Join Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow Lillygol Sedaghat for a Storytelling Master Class and group portfolio review. Open to storytellers of all experience levels and mediums, the master class welcomes 10 students to share their work in an open, collaborative session with a group of their peers to review ideas, express challenges, and receive feedback on their work.

    Come prepared with a story you are working on and questions in mind, and be ready to engage with fellow storytellers in an inclusive, safe space. Each student will receive five minutes to share their story and express any challenges or issues they face, followed by 10 minutes of group review.

    Maximum number of participants
    10
  • Writing the Nat Geo Way

    From
    To
    Speaker
    John Hoeffel, Executive Editor, Science, National Geographic magazine

    For 131 years, National Geographic has sought to tell stories that surprise, engage, provoke, enrage, enlighten, or illuminate. We do it with gorgeous, never-seen-before photography. And we do it with words that tell extraordinary stories. Our theme, as National Geographic founder Alexander Graham Bell put it, is “the world and all that is in it.” So how do we get from such a daunting ambition to the stories that appear online and in the magazine? This session will explore how we find, develop, report, write and edit stories. We’ll dig into such challenges as identifying compelling subjects, reporting them, capturing character, describing scenes, crafting a structure, and building powerful openings and satisfying endings. We are likely to discuss the reporting and writing behind the “The Story of a Face,” so students will be expected to have read it. Students should also expect to do some writing in the session and be willing to share it and discuss it. They should come equipped with a laptop, notebook, pen and smartphone.

    Maximum number of participants
    12
  • The UVA Bay Game

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Gerard P. Learmonth Sr., Professor, Data Science Institute, UVA

    Note: Students must bring their own laptop or tablets to the workshop.

    The UVA Bay Game® is a large-scale participatory simulation (a “serious game”) focused on the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The watershed covers parts of six states and the District of Columbia. The game allows players to take the roles of stakeholders, such as crop and livestock farmers, land developers, watermen, and local policymakers, in each of the bay’s seven sub-watersheds. During the game, you’ll make decisions about your livelihood or regulatory authority. You’ll also see the impacts of those decisions on your personal finances, the regional economy, and the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay. The goal of gameplay is to achieve an equitable and sustainable balance among environmental and economic outcomes.

    Over the past 10 years, The UVA Bay Game has been played well over 200 times in the United States and internationally by students, businesspersons, environmentalists, and regulators. In each gameplay, the final result differs because it reflects the varied backgrounds, experience, and values of the players. But participants always achieve increased awareness about watershed stewardship, both in the Chesapeake Bay and anywhere in the world.

    http://www.virginia.edu/baygame/

    Maximum number of participants
    38
  • The Science of Storytelling for Impact

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Jenny Adler, Conservation Photographer, National Geographic Explorer

    Many scientists want their work to have an impact outside academia—to accomplish this, they’re often told to become better storytellers. But impact means more than just telling a great story; it means reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time to create real change. Join scientist and visual storyteller Jenny Adler to explore recent findings from the field of impact storytelling and the science of behavior change that can help provide a set of best practices to guide strategic storytelling. Scientists and storytellers of all kinds are invited to this series of discussions and collaborative exercises that will help you maximize the influence of your stories.

    Maximum number of participants
    20
  • Visual Narrative: Building a Photo Story from Start to Finish

    From
    To
    Speaker
    Greg Kahn, Documentary Fine Art Photographer

    Go through the steps of building a photo project. From the process of visualizing data to creating a narrative, you’ll learn skills in developing a photographic vision, choosing a visual style based on the project, sequencing and editing, and basic lighting techniques. You’re encouraged to bring your own camera, but no photography experience is required to attend.

    Maximum number of participants
    15