AGU Day 3: Favorite Aspects of the Conference

Even though I am no longer at AGU and have returned home to papers, projects, and exams, I will continue to blog about AGU for the remainder of the week! Today I am going to focus on my favorite aspects of the short time I was there.

AGU Fall Meeting Space in Moscone Center, 2009

1. The atmosphere in the poster sessions: As I mentioned previously  I have visited two research conferences (one in Philadelphia and one in Harrisburg) before AGU Fall Meeting and have presented in both. However, the two from Pennsylvania were radically different from the poster session yesterday! As you can see from the picture above, there are an overwhelming amount of posters in the poster hall (upwards of 2,000 each day). In the two previous conferences, I had my own space to spread out! Sigma Xi was a conference for professors and students, and LORL was for government officials. There were only 4 people from Penn State who were chosen!

At yesterday’s poster session, I set up 2 iPads, a Macbook and a display TV in front of my poster, and it was quite crowded! After presenting at 3 different sized conferences, small, medium, and large, I would have to say that there are advantages to all three! At AGU, the atmosphere was much more overwhelming due to the sheer volume of people who walked through the hall, but the time went by quickly because there was always someone at my poster (or 2 people, or 3, or a group!).

AGU poster session - December 2012
AGU poster session – December 2012

2. The guest speakers: At this Fall Meeting, one of the overlying themes that seemed to come up in everyone’s talks was scientific communication. Ira Flatow, Science Friday‘s host, the speakers at the blog panel I attended, and countless other scientists kept bringing up the pros and cons of disseminating their information to the public. These sessions were really interesting to me as a communications major! In my eyes, I don’t understand WHY scientists don’t believe they can communicate their research in the vernacular, when they were doing it throughout the conference! I guess it is the same reason why I feel like I don’t understand the technicalities of science. Either way, it was great to see that so many scientists are interested in sharing their research to the public in order to educate them.

Moscone West - one of the buildings in the Moscone Convention Center Complex
Moscone West – one of the buildings in the Moscone Convention Center Complex

3. The location: The Moscone center, made up of 3 very large buildings, is a fantastic place for AGU’s Fall Meeting to be held. With numerous rooms, spacious “lounge” areas, and high ceilings, the building was very inviting. Wi-fi was free throughout the rooms as well, making it easy for live tweeting by everyone! As I mentioned before, the poster session hall was huge, but was a great size for all the presentations. Also, the Moscone Center recently earned LEED Gold certification, and became San Francisco’s largest municipally owned green-building, perfect to host AGU! For those of you who aren’t familiar with LEED certifications, this is what the Moscone Center accomplished: “The Moscone Center achieved LEED Gold for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.”

4. The NASA announcements: Even though I personally didn’t get to go to any of NASA’s sessions, they announced the following:

There are a plethora of other sessions my NASA throughout the week. Click here for more information and some webcasts.

There you have it for the most interesting parts of AGU. Join me tomorrow when I discuss what I learned from the experience!

To download my books, Controversies in the Hydrosphere and Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, visit the PAESTA website on your iPad.

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