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Tuesday, March 21

PD course Kling

All -- This Fall 2017 I will again be teaching the Professional Development course for graduate students; a description of the course is given below and the syllabus is attached.  The course meets twice a week, Monday from 2-4 pm and Wednesdayfrom 9-10 am.  Enrollment is limited to 10 students, and admission preference will be given to EEB Ph.D. students in their second year or above.  To register, please email me (gwk@umich.edu) a very brief description of your standing in EEB and your interest in the course, and include your student ID number so that our staff can register you or put you on the wait list.

If you have any questions please let me know,


COURSE Abstract.  Success in all professional endeavors requires clear, effective, and persuasive communication in both written and verbal forms.  This course helps students identify key components of writing and speaking in terms of proper grammar, syntax, and organization, and focuses on the application of these components in academic and specifically in science communication.  The course is designed to be practical for graduate students at the stage of developing research ideas and writing proposals or papers and presenting seminars, and begins the term with a brief review of methods to read and synthesize the science literature effectively in support of novel research questions or hypotheses.  For the next several weeks students will develop their proposals or papers as we discuss topics of structure, argumentation, audience, and tone (different for a proposal than for a published paper).  Editing and peer-review both in and out of class will be used to build skills in recognizing logical, convincing writing.  The remainder of the course (~2/5th ) will focus on verbal communication of science in three formats:  (1) formal seminars or conference presentations, where students will present a formal talk to the class at the end of the semester, (2) informal small group discussions such as job interviews, stakeholder meetings, or oral prelim exams, and (3) outreach to the public or managers such as in lectures, town hall meetings, or media broadcasts.  Students will role-play in class on both sides of the interview process in order to better understand the nuance of answering questions yet staying on message.  The course has one 1-hr lecture period and one 2-hr discussion period per week; the text for the class is Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style.  Admission preference will be given to EEB Ph.D. students in their second year or above.