EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Seds Online Student Webinars – Creating impactful opportunities for students to share their geoscience research

Stephen Lokier1 and Sarah Giles2
Stephen Lokier and Sarah Giles
  • 1University of Derby, Derby, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (
  • 2Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, 61 Rte 9W, Palisades, NY 10964, USA (

The development, dissemination, and communication of research findings is a critical element of the journey to completing a graduate degree.

Traditionally, in-person presentations of research at conferences, meetings, and workshops – in the form of posters, oral presentations and, interactive displays (such as PICOS), provides early career scientists with an invaluable opportunity to promote their research, ‘road-test’ hypotheses and solicit feedback in a friendly collegial atmosphere. Meeting attendance exposes early career researchers to the latest research advances, affording an opportunity to network and build collaborations with other researchers. Presentations allow students to develop their proficiency in oral and written communication – critical skills for post graduate employment.

The above may seem obvious yet, for many of us, the significance, importance, and necessity of these ‘traditional’ modes of communication were, perhaps, vastly underappreciated until they were precipitously withdrawn with the global lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, the loss of easy access to meetings led to the realization that countless researchers have, in fact, never had the luxury of this interaction – all be it for reasons of geographical, cultural, political, health, mobility or financial isolation from the global scientific community.

The necessity to maintain communications during the pandemic resulted in an explosion in the development of on-line meetings. Among the leaders in this field was Seds Online, an initiative developed in March 2020 aiming to aid, promote, maintain and enhance communication within the global sedimentology community. At inception, Seds Online offered a series of global daily meetings (Coffee Breaks) and weekly Webinars. As the initiative developed, further formats were tried, including Sedimentology Debates and Student Webinars.

Seds Online Student Webinars provide a venue for students, regardless of location, to present their sedimentology-focused research, to the global geoscience community. A theme is selected for each webinar, and submissions are invited from the global sedimentology student community. Applicants provide a brief description of the project purpose, methods, and results, and how these relate to the webinar theme. This approach requires students to synthesize their research, communicate it succinctly, and determine its applicability in a broader geoscience context. To ensure equability, applications are anonymised, before being reviewed and ranked by a committee.

Invited presenters are provided with advice on presentation design followed by post presentation feedback. The format is similar to a ‘normal’ in-person meeting, each presentation is followed by a few questions with an additional 15 minutes at the end of the meeting for open discussion on the topic in hand. The webinar is recorded and uploaded to for wider audience viewing. The continued availability of the recorded presentation allows the presentation to be viewed beyond the time constraints of the ‘live’ event, and also serves as an artifact for students to share on their personal webpage, or link to their CV, job applications or grant proposals.

The Seds Online Student Webinar presentation format is low-risk and high-reward for students, enabling presentation of research and building confidence – we hope this format serves as inspiration for student webinars in other realms of geoscience.

How to cite: Lokier, S. and Giles, S.: Seds Online Student Webinars – Creating impactful opportunities for students to share their geoscience research, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4121,, 2023.