Poland!

Greetings, from the International Workshop on Organic Matter Spectroscopy, from Sopot, Poland!  I'm here for the week, then going to hit a couple other spots around Europe.  It's my first time out of the country that is NOT for field work, so I'm pretty excited!

Of course, my visit could have gotten off to a better start.  Mainly because I'd been in my hotel room for about 20 minutes and this showed up:  Giant House Spider.  Too fast to get a picture or squish it, but it was about 1.5 inches across.  I like bugs and I yelped.  According to google, not venomous (thankfully).

 The park across the street from the workshop

The park across the street from the workshop

Still, I've very much been looking forward to this trip.  It will be a good chance to present my research, get some feedback, and talk to other folks who also want to discuss organic matter and little else for 4 days.  Plus, Sopot is a beautiful spot.  

After this, I'll be going on a (nerdy) vacation, to take advantage of being on this side of the Atlantic.  I'll try to post a few updates about that, and this workshop!

 Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

We started off the workshop today with a tutorial on drEEM , a MATLAB tool that uses PARAFAC.  This is a method to take the optical properties of organic matter, specifically fluorescence, and identify common chemical components. Dissolved organic matter is a bit of a black box - we don't actually know much about its structure or properties; this is one method to try and shed some light on that black box.  I don't know a whole lot about drEEM or PARAFAC yet, but the workshop was definitely helpful. I at least have a starting point!

The really exciting (for me) stuff starts tomorrow.  We'll have three days of researchers sharing their findings on colored dissolved organic matter in high latitudes.  I'm in the first session of the day, talking about remote sensing of DOM in large Arctic rivers.  More on that - after I present!