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).
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!