A week of DOM

Well!  That was fun.  I’ve been back about a week, (mostly) caught up on things I’ve missed, and now seems like a good time to talk about my trip.

First, shortly after uploading the last post, I realized my computer charger was missing.  Unfortunately it didn’t turn up at either the conference or the hotel, so I was without a computer for over a week.  Typing up a blog post on my phone was not appealing.  Hence the lack of updates! Although, thank goodness for technology.  I was still able to keep up with email and work on a review from my tablet (How many devices do I have?  Too many).

DOM in the Ob River.

DOM in the Ob River.

Anyway, the meeting was fantastic.  I’ve been working to use satellite imagery to map the amount of organic matter in major Arctic rivers.  A sample from the Ob River in Russia is to the left.  I don’t get to hear from other folks in the remote sensing community too often, which makes meetings like these very important.  It’s a chance to hear what criticisms you might get when sending your work out for peer-review; suggestions to improve; enthusiastic questions from people interested in your work; and (hopefully!) opportunities to collaborate with anyone doing complementary research.   This meeting in particular was great for all these types of discussions.  It was intended to be a small conference, only about 80 people.  Which meant that there was plenty of time to talk about everyone’s research during breaks, at dinner, or over drinks.  Usually all three. 

I usually go to the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting – 23,000 scientists descend upon San Francisco every December.  Volcanologists and planetary scientists to atmospheric chemists and glacial hydrologists, every discipline of earth science attends.  I enjoy the scale of it, and nowhere else do you get the opportunity to hear about such diverse topics.  But I have to admit, the intimacy of one room of DOM specialists compared to the small city of all stripes of geoscientists, was a nice change. 

Sopot itself was a neat town.  I didn’t have the chance to explore the larger adjacent city of Gdansk (formerly Danzig), but we did wander around Sopot quite a bit, with a few of the local Polish researchers taking a group of us to a spot or two.  The hosts of the meeting organized a barbeque one night, that featured a whole boar.   Everyone from south Texas to Poland likes a pig roast.  Afterwards, we migrated to a bar on the beach, and watched ships move across the Baltic Sea as the sky darkened.  We had a few visitors too – the ubiquitous hooded crows and a red fox that wandered around the beach, begging for food.  All in all, a great week!

A lovely gradient of colored organic matter concentrations in a variety of local Polish beers.  We're going to make our own brewery: St. Mary's Stout to the  Lawrence River Lager, all named after famous waterways and their respective color.  

A lovely gradient of colored organic matter concentrations in a variety of local Polish beers.  We're going to make our own brewery: St. Mary's Stout to the  Lawrence River Lager, all named after famous waterways and their respective color.