All posts by Chang Liu

Thesis and research poster templates


PhD student Chang Liu made an unofficial LaTeX template for SMAST thesis/dissertation in 2014, based off his own MS thesis and used some code from earlier MS student Gustavo Marques. It was subsequently used by SMAST PhD students including Sudip Majumder, Georgia Kakoulaki and Sonaljit Mukherjee for their dissertations. 

The template is available here.  To view a sample document, click here.


UMass Dartmouth has Powerpoint templates for research posters available on their website, including templates for SMAST.

SMAST Student Excellence Award (SEA)

Please view the official memorandum here.

Students are the mainstay of the graduate program at the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The accomplishments of students during their tenure at SMAST help to promote their institution and build its reputation. This role is continued after students graduate and move on to represent the program as alumni while pursuing careers in marine science and other related fields. In order to recognize the accomplishments of SMAST graduate students, we have established an SMAST Student Excellence Award (SEA), which will be annually presented to one student during each spring semester. The objective of this award is to recognize students’ accomplishments by rewarding individuals who excel in a combination of three core areas: academic accomplishments, scholarly activity, and public service.

The process for annually selecting the student who will receive the SMAST Student Excellence Award will proceed as follows:

1) Students must be nominated for the award by an SMAST faculty member. This faculty member can be the student’s advisor. The nomination should include a) a brief statement of why they feel the student is a strong candidate for the award addressing the three core areas and b) an updated CV emphasizing the student’s accomplishments during their tenure as a SMAST graduate student. Nominations must be submitted annually to the SMAST Dean by April 1.

2) The nominations will be reviewed by a Selection Committee. This Committee will consist of the SMAST Dean and two SMAST faculty members. Individuals on this committee will serve for a two-year term, after which new members will be solicited through consultation among the department chairs and the SMAST Dean. A rubric for scoring applications will be developed during the first year by the Selection Committee and the SMAST Graduate Student Association. This rubric will focus on evaluating the excellence and contributions of the nominees in the three core areas. The committee will meet each April to review applications and select the student who will receive the award.

3) The award will be presented each year in May by the SMAST Dean and the awarded student’s advisor. The award will consist of a certificate and $500 scholarship.

If you have any questions, please contact the SMAST Dean’s office or one of the SMAST graduate student representatives: Robert Wildermuth (rwildermuth[AT], or Chang Liu (chang.liu[AT]

Forms and documents for travels

International travel

The following forms are required to be submitted with the International Programs Office before traveling internationally. The Instructions and Sample Cover Sheet for Student International Travel explains this process for students.

Travel authorization

Chris Fox, the DFO Administrative Assistant, prepared an instruction for students to help with planning for travel with the University and applying for a travel authorization (TA). The TA request form – reporting.xlsx and Travel Authorization.doc forms are what she needs whenever a student is planning to travel for University business.

According to Chris, these processes should be common for DEOS as well as DFO students. The TA forms are new this semester (2016 Fall), but will be regular from here on out.

2016 IMS Symposium – Call For Abstracts

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Dear IMS grad students,

This is the first call for abstracts for the 2016 UMass Intercampus Marine Science Symposium!

The 2016 UMass Intercampus Marine Science Symposium will be held on Friday, March 25th, 2016, from 9:30am to 5pm at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Oral presentations will begin at 10am, and a poster session will occur during lunch. We hope to begin the program with short keynote talks from a faculty member at each of the four UMass campuses, with the remainder of the program being filled by graduate student presentations. This event is a wonderful opportunity for SMAST and IMS graduate students to share their current or proposed research, get feedback from other students, faculty, and scientists, and boost their CV.

Submissions for oral and poster presentations will be accepted beginning February 5, 2016 until spaces are filled or until the deadline on February 29, 2016. We highly encourage visiting IMS students from the Amherst, Lowell, and Boston campuses to submit abstracts and attend the meeting.

The time allotted for oral presentations is 12 minutes, with 3 minutes for questions. There is no limit to the number of accepted posters.

Please submit your abstracts to our volunteer program coordinator, Brooke Wright, at with your last name and “IMS Symposium Abstract” in the subject line. Your email should contain a PDF attachment with:

  • Your full name and campus affiliation
  • Indication of your degree track (MS, PSM, or PhD)
  • Indication of whether your submission is an oral presentation or poster
  • Your abstract (250-word limit) with title and authors

Prizes will be awarded for oral and poster presentations in the following divisions:

  • Best Oral Presentation by a MS student
  • Best Oral Presentation by a PhD student
  • People’s Choice
  • Best Poster

We’re looking forward to your involvement!

Thank you,

IMS symposium student coordinators
Robert Wildermuth and Chang Liu

Cost of living in this area

Are you an incoming student to SMAST and wonder what the cost of living in this area is? If yes, you may find this information helpful.

In 2013 the International Student & Scholar Center of UMass Dartmouth conducted a fairly comprehensive Cost of Living Survey to the international students attending UMass Dartmouth on their costs of specific items, ranging from rent, utilities to furniture, school supplies and bedding.

Click here to view the full 2013 Cost of Living Report.

SMAST Student Travel Grant Programs

The SMAST Travel Grant application process has been revised and the new application form and guidelines are available. The new form now streamlines the process so that SMAST/IMS students can now process one request form to request funds from the SMAST Dean, Department, Office of Graduate Studies, and IMS.

If you want to request funding through the Graduate Student Senate, at this time you will need to follow their process. More information is available at

If you plan to submit an application, please work closely with Sue Silva or Chris Fox who will be able to assist you with acquiring a number of the required signatures.

Katy Shoemaker – Graduate Student Senator

The following message is from Katy Shoemaker, a senator representing SMAST at the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) of UMass Dartmouth.

Greetings fellow SMASTers! In addition to being represented by our two wonderful department representatives, the SMAST college has one seat in the UMD Graduate Student Senate. As your senator, I meet twice a month with the senators from the other colleges to discuss issues pertaining to our graduate community. We plan campus-wide activities as well as accept proposals for events hosted by individual organizations. Just this year, the GSS has voted to start an endowment fund in which monies raised through graduate events will be applied to a fund in which the interest accrued will be used as a scholarship for future graduate students.

The GSS can be a great source of extra funding for conferences. After asking the graduate school and SMAST for travel grants, the GSS often approves requests for small sums (up to $500 typically) to support individual travel.

As a part of the senate, I serve on two subcommittees: the election and social committees. If you are interested in running for my seat next year, or if you have any ideas or suggestions for events held through the school or through SMAST, feel free to contact me. Other schools and organizations use quite a lot of the GSS resources planning fun or enriching activities, and we should too!


Katyanne Shoemaker