Tracey Barron


By Tracey Barron

A project on shell recycling in the seafood industry as a means to boost pH levels in the ocean, a solar-powered multipurpose thermostat device, and a quantitative analysis of the role of mitochondria in Drosophila melanogaster lifespan are among the announced projects qualifying for the Society for Science & the Public1 (SSP) science fair that took place May 10–15 in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The pre-college participants (grades 9–12) showcasing their independent research emerge from an international field representing 70 countries, regions, and territories. Doctoral-level scientists review and judge their work, with their decisions affecting awards of more than $5 million in prizes, including the top-place Gordon Moore Award ($75,000).

At one time, the Society for Science & the Public had published a large photo of the fair on its website ( and it was a beauty to behold. Several rows of science projects adorn a large auditorium, each within a space that accommodates the young scientist, some room to move, and a table on which the project is presented.

If you do happen to be in the area at that time next year, stop by. You will undoubtedly pick up on a research fever leading to developing a poster for next year’s (2016) poster exhibit at the NAVIGATOR conference sponsored by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). Even better, the initiative shown by these students might stimulate thoughts for a research study to publish in the IAED’s official peer-reviewed Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response (AEDR).

The IAED research and informatics division welcomes, looks forward to, and is eager to accept submissions for poster presentation at U.S. NAVIGATOR. While they have already taken place at this year’s conference in Las Vegas, it’s not too early to begin plans for NAVIGATOR 2016—this is your conference; share your research work with your peers and help move the dispatch research agenda to the next level.

Dispatch researchers anywhere in the world are invited to submit their dispatch research work to the IAED poster exhibit. The poster presentation can represent any stage of the research process—planned, preliminary, completed, and/or published research work.

The posters are judged according to the following parameters of the scientific process: Is the question posed well defined? Is the method appropriate and well described? Is the data sound? Does the presentation adhere to the relevant standards for reporting and data deposition? Appearance also matters. Research is the objective, but the elements of design are the essential first step in drawing an audience to your work.

IAED and AEDR teams developed the exhibit for several reasons. The very act of announcing such an event moves the idea of research into actual practice and prompts the exploration of issues puzzling you, your agency, and the dispatch community in general.

We chose research posters—rather than one-page abstracts—to distribute at the NAVIGATOR Research Forum since a pictorial representation is a great way for researchers to share work at conferences, symposia, and other events. Consider the poster as an exhibit in a museum. Design a presentation that attracts attention, circulates research, and invites collaboration and feedback.

Don’t anticipate $75,000 in prizes at the conclusion of NAVIGATOR; however, the opportunity introduces your work to an international audience. You are recognized as the person advancing solutions to a problem or, at least, beginning the discussion.

Final note

To submit an abstract of your research poster proposal for review and approval, visit The research posters presented at NAVIGATOR 2014 are available for download at