Next Wednesday, November 17th, the College of Arts and Science has asked that I give a workshop on how to put together a poster. Although posters are well-known vehicles for information dissemination at conferences for students in the sciences, they are less well-known for students in the Arts or Humanities. The session will be in advance of the now-annual poster competition put on by the College of Arts and Science.
How did I become an expert? Simple. I entered the contest myself in 2008 — and won.
I had an enormous amount of help, which deserves acknowledgement. Marley Waiser, a research scientist with the National Hydrology Research Center, Environment Canada, kindly edited my poster and made helpful suggestions. Her experience judging posters at numerous scientific conferences made her a natural candidate to help me shape my work. As well, I spent time looking around online for hints, tips, and tricks of the trade. My thanks to all those who have posted how-to information on their websites and blogs.
Posters are a fabulous medium for showcasing a portion of your research. I emphasize a portion, because few posters could ever be large enough to accommodate all the methodology, sources, and arguments contained in an entire thesis or dissertation. They can, however, serve as an appetizer, a public bite-sized taste of your work, to whet the academic appetite. Poster presenters have found incredible networking opportunities, jobs and careers, as well as invitations to write for or present their work in new forums, through poster competitions. They are worth every effort you take to craft a superb poster presentation.
To complement the upcoming poster session, I thought I would append a PDF of the winning poster that I did on the Great Trek migration to northern Saskatchewan during the Depression of the 1930s.