LUMCON is committed to providing opportunities for scientific teams to explore ideas that are risky, require novel combinations of expertise, or simply require people to be in the same room. Several models already exist and have proven successful for establishing collaborative networks and promoting synthesis (e.g., National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Fe Institute, National Humanities Center, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center).  LUMCON seeks to provide such a center for marine science, conservation, management, or education and outreach

What is ‘synthesis’?

Synthetic research in science takes many forms but includes integrating novel datasets and models to address important problems within a discipline, developing new analytical approaches and tools, and combining methods and perspectives from multiple disciplines to answer and even create new fundamental scientific questions (Sidlauskas et al. 2010).  LUMCON facilitates by providing a physical location and supportive environment for fertile interactions among domain experts, serving as a science incubator to tackle big questions and deliver tangible outcomes and products (Rodrigo et al. 2013).


Working Groups involve small groups of scientists (~10-12 participants) collaborating intensively on the analysis or synthesis of data, models, or both, in order to address a major question in marine science, conservation, management, or education and outreach.  The working groups will typically meet 3-4 times over one to two years, with each meeting lasting 3-7 days. However, the number of participants, number of meetings, and duration of each meeting is flexible, depending on the needs and goals of the group.  The Working Group is intended as a mechanism for scientists to collaborate productively. Products could include software, databases, manuscripts, or education materials. Click here for information about the Working Group application process.


Catalysis Meetings involve large groups of scientists (~ 30 participants) from diverse disciplines focusing on a major question or research topic in marine science, conservation, management, or education and outreach. Catalysis meetings are one-time meetings that occur over 2-4 days. They are intended to increase the scale and ambition of scientific vision, to define avenues for scientific synthesis, to identify classes of primary data that must be collected before grand-scale synthesis is possible, and to facilitate the assembly of networks to realize grand-scale synthesis. Click here for information about the Catalysis Meeting application process.


LUMCON also welcomes meetings funded by external agencies.  These meetings should follow the working group or catalysis meeting format and align with LUMCON’s mission. Applicants should contact the Executive Director for coordination.


LUMCON’s Short-Term Visitor Program supports collaborations and invites experts to see things from our perspective. Short-Term Visitors receive funding to cover room and board at our facility in Cocodrie, LA for a minimum of 2 nights and a maximum of 21 nights. Experts from any background, including for example artists or journalists, are eligible to apply. Click here to learn more.


Click here for information about funded projects.