GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 154-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


BAUER, Jennifer E1, LAM, Adriane R.2, SLATER, Emily3, BEX II, Richard4 and LUNDGREN, Lisa3, (1)Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, 1105 North University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2463, (2)Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Binghamton University, 4400 Vestal Parkway East, Binghamton, NY 13902, (3)Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, Utah State University, 2830 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, (4)College of Education, School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, 2403 Norman Hall, PO Box 117048, Gainesville, FL 32611

Social media allows anyone interested in science to connect with science communicators and converse with professionals in different scientific fields about topics of interest. We used social network analysis and text mining to analyze tweets from January 2020 to January 2021 to better understand how people interact on Twitter regarding geology and paleontology content and conversations surrounding the Time Scavengers project. Time Scavengers is an online learning community with static information pages and blogs which uses social media to promote its content and reach a broader audience. We applied a pre-existing framework to describe Twitter participants based on how they self-identify in their biographies (n = 1113). We used Netlytic, a network extraction software package, to pull tweets from the public Twitter search API every 15 minutes over the study period. This dataset contains 6538 connections (Tweets, Retweets, and Replies) that were subjected to social network analysis and text mining using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) with 855 Tweets and Replies being original content from Time Scavengers. In general, this network comprises one primary broadcast with two secondary broadcast networks. In some cases, topics reached a broad audience within the network and in other cases they were restricted to a specific group of people. We identified six topics which include: Promoting Paleontology, Scientist Outreach through Articles and Intros, Online Science Learning Resources, and the Tilly Edinger Travel Grant. In some instances, such as for the Tilly Edinger Travel Grant, there are communication microcosms occurring throughout the network. This work is important as it adds to our understanding of scientific and educative communication on Twitter, which is widely used by the scientific community.