Thoughts from a First-Time Attendee
When I first arrived bright-eyed (well actually super sleepy) early Monday morning, I still had no idea exactly what this week would be like. That first day all seems like one strange chaotic dream as I was trying to grasp the “conference” routine and ended up just wandering quite aimlessly around for the better part of the day.
It is now the start of Day 4 and I sort of have a handle on things – listening to various talks whether just in one session or across a few sessions, catching up with a friend in passing or during lunch and then all gathering together in one big mass for the evening poster sessions before dispersing into downtown Prague for dinner. I still find myself somehow missing interesting sessions, but hey there are so many conflicting presentations, what is a poor young geochemist to do!
There are two sessions that my group of friends and colleagues raved about in particular, being 5a: The Global Weathering Thermostat: A Tribute to Bob Berner’s Legacy and 4d: Environmental Isotope Biogeochemistry and Human Health Applications. These certainly made me realise (1) how the one person’s scientific career can really drive and influence the people and research around them and (2) the applications of geochemistry research are utterly endless!
What I found really enjoyable was to see those from my masters’ program. Three were at the start of their research when I was in my first year and are now coming to the end of their PhDs! It was fantastic to see how far they have come along despite various obstacles, leaving me with a nice outlook for my own research.
Later today is my poster session, which I am admit I am both excited and intimidated for. Nevertheless I am looking forward to it as well as the conference banquet afterwards! Here’s to Day 4!