Bare Earth Elements: Voices from GSA 2012

by Timothy Oleson
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dressed in 1880s period costumes to celebrate GSA's 125th anniversary, Lon Abbott, Samantha Richards and Vincent Matthews pose at GSA's 2012 meeting in Charlotte, N.C., with the Big Blue Bear, the mascot of the Denver Convention Center, where the next conference will be held this fall. Timothy Oleson

Glimpsing the lighter side of a conference

Last November, I attended the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Charlotte, N.C. While there I had opportunities to see and hear many excellent technical talks, invited lectures, poster presentations and more. I blogged about some of these at the time of the conference, and EARTH subsequently covered some of the studies that were presented. Print coverage of conferences is a valuable means of science communication (ahem, says the science writer), but the context in which the science was presented — the conference itself — is often not well-represented.

To get a different perspective on GSA 2012, I talked to some of the assorted geoscientists present about their conference experience: why they had come, if they were enjoying themselves and, because it was a gathering of geoscientists, how the beer was. It was a chance to catch some attendees while they simply enjoyed the occasion and the company of kindred spirits while away from the rapid-fire schedules of the technical sessions and academic lifestyles. My apologies that this post is a little overdue, but I hope you enjoy it all the same!

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