AGU 2013: Friday

Unfortunately, today is the last day of the conference! I spent the morning attending sessions and walking through the poster hall.

Overhead view of the poster hall - about 2800 posters per day!
Overhead view of the poster hall – about 2800 posters per day!

One poster in particular was very interesting to me! Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey, graduate student at Oregon State University, uses Twitter to research what types of organisms people are excited about or annoyed by. For example, he “mines” Twitter through their API (basically searches through thousands of tweets) to find people who may see an armadillo and are excited about it! These people who tweet sometimes provide their location through location services, so he can graph where these instances are occurring.

After giving him the interview treatment, I learned that he hopes to provide this database information (which has different species, like coyotes, cherry blossoms, etc) to policy makers, especially in urban areas, to show them that “pests” aren’t necessarily pests if the public thinks they are just minding their business!

I did something similar a few years ago with plastic bags, where I searched tweets to see what people thought of the plastic bag ban. You can see it here!

I really enjoy conversations like this because it opens my mind and starts my gears turning about science communication. Also, it makes me really excited when scientists are passionate about sharing their science, especially through social media, which is my cup of tea.

I also attended a session on climate change and SWE (snow-water equivalent) in the Bitterroot Valley, presented by a University of Montana graduate student! Very cool to see other graduate students from UM here.

After being in the sunshine for a week, I will be sad to leave this city! But I have a lot of e-mails to send! Yesterday at my poster session, as I mentioned, a lot of students stopped by and were interested in my advice about blogging – I can’t wait to help them!

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