Infographics – a useful tool for outreach and communication

Even though Bianca Santos says “people love turtles,” she has a hard time talking about her research modeling sea turtle strandings in the Chesapeake Bay with the public.

“When I say modeling, people zone out,” says Santos, Virginia Institute of Marine Science graduate student.

But she believes it’s important to teach the public about her work, especially because more and more turtles are getting stranded onshore and “a lot of people don’t even know there are sea turtles in the Bay.”

Always seeking opportunities to improve her ability to share her research with the public, Santos took an Advanced Science Communication Seminar led by Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) and George Mason University communicators. The seminar challenged graduate student scientists to develop a communication tool to help them explain their research to a specific audience. Santos designed an infographic as a fun, colorful way to introduce her research to coastal Virginians.

Although intended for those outside of the research community, Santos’ infographic caught the eye of a scientist. Dr. A. Alonso Aguirre, associate professor of environmental science and policy at Mason, thought Santos’ infographic was such an effective example of science communication that he presented it to his marine ecology class.

He believes it’s important for his students and other scientists to learn how to share their research with the public.

Please read on and see the infographic created by Santos from the full VASG article on 5/12/2016…

Important Dates for Students

SPRING 2020 Semester (modified due to COVID-19)

MLK Day (university closed): Jan 20

First day of classes: Jan 21

Spring Break (extended): Mar 9-20

Dissertation/Thesis Deadline: May 8

Last day of classes: May 11

Reading Day(s): May 12

Final Exam Period: May 13-20

University Commencement: May 22 (tentative)

COVID-19 DATE CHANGES – For the complete modified spring calendar, see and for latest COVID-19 updates, see: