1 February 2016

What happened to Ms. Gottschalk? Fall Meeting!

Posted by larryohanlon

By Larry O’Hanlon

A couple of weeks ago on this blog we shared some great student vlogging of AGU Fall Meeting experiences. At that time I noticed something peculiar about the vlogs of Portland State University undergraduate student Kimberly Gottschalk. In each new vlog post her appearance changed.


She started with an almost a Victorian formality on the first day, and transformed gradually into what I suspect is her more relaxed Millennial self by the end. I wrote to Kimberly and ask if her metamorphosis was intentional. With her permission, I’d like to share her response:

“To answer your question; no, my change in appearance was not intentional. When I arrived at the meeting I was concerned about appearing completely professional. As a student, I knew I would be networking with potential graduate advisors and people whom I would like to work with in the future. I was intimidated knowing that there would be over 25,000 researchers at the meeting, many of which I admire and inspire my own research interests. Being a part of the AGU Undergraduate Mentoring Program and meeting with Dr. Laura Guertin over the course of the week put me more and more at ease and helped me to navigate the conference. When I was worried about a meeting I had with a potential advisor, Dr. G reminded me that the same people I was meeting and speaking with were the same people that dropped everything and ran to the exhibit hall to get a picture with R2D2. As silly as that may seem, it made me relax and realize that people at the meeting were no different from me and were happy to share their experiences and research. On top of that – towards the end of the meeting, there was so much that I had done and seen, I was tired, far more relaxed, and happy to have been part of the AGU Fall Meeting.”

I sense the force is strong in this one.

Kimberly Gottschalk is a peer mentor for the BUILD EXITO Program at Portland State University. She is working towards her B.S. in Environmental Science and Biology with a minor in Physics at Portland State University (PSU). Her goal is to earn a doctorate in Physical Oceanography and study how salinity changes due to fresh water influx are affecting circulation patterns in polar oceans. Check out her YouTube channel here.

Independent science writer Larry O’Hanlon manages the AGU Blogosophere and coordinates AGU’s social media.