Saturday, December 28, 2013

My First GeoRodeo: Post-Meeting Thoughts

I've had two weeks to recover and process the firehose/volcano/tsunami of information that was dispersed at the AGU Fall Meeting. At the time of my mid-Meeting post, I was in awe of how huge the Meeting is, and had not even presented my poster yet. So Thursday morning, I woke up before dawn and then scurried to a cafe with Emily, my internship friend who was also presenting that morning. Both of us had our poster tubes in hand. Being all official scientists and stuff. 
Where the poster-presenting shenanigans occur.
Presenting my first poster at AGU was a great experience. It really highlighted one of my favorite things about the Meeting: The eagerness of scientists all over the world to learn. Nearly everyone I spoke with was super friendly and had great feedback on my summer research. It was crazy both how quickly and slowly the five hours by my poster passed--that's a long time to be talking science. My throat was dry afterwards. 

Me at 7:59AMish, ready to present.
After my presentation, the Meeting for me winded down, as I attended a great talk given by my mentor later that evening, and then a session called "Geoscience Through the Lens of Art" the following morning. It was the perfect ending to a very exploratory experience for me in my first Fall Meeting. 

A few conclusions:
  • I'm more than ever certain I want to pursue a PhD. In what specifically? I have some time to figure that out. 
  • I'm only 63% done with my CSM Geophysics degree, but AGU gave another glimpse of how good the program is, even if I harp on it sometimes about it being very exploration-focused. It was really cool to hop around learning more about different facets of geoscience, but it was cooler that I could follow what the presenters spoke of, from induced polarization as I learned in Electrical Methods and Dynamic Fields to climate change models as I learned all summer. 
  • Sending us to AGU was really the cherry on top of everything from our REU at CMMAP. When I was applying a year ago to research internships, I could not have imagined they would have flown me halfway across the country in an awesome hotel--all for the love of science. Well played, NSF. Well played. It worked. And I highly recommend to my fellow science-lovers to apply to REUs. 
  • Hanging out with the seniors and a couple grad students in Mines Geophysics was really cool, especially since I didn't know most of them before. It's always fun to be around like-minded people who love science for science. But it also reminded me of how awesome the class of 2015 is. I can't wait for many of us to travel to San Francisco next Fall. As far as topics go, there will be something for everyone, and as far as the city goes, we're going to have a blast. 
  • I really, really, really, really love food. Sushi, sea food, sourdough and chowder, and more...You taste amazing, SF. 

 I will be back next year, San Francisco. I will be back.