17 December 2014

AGU Fall Meeting 2014: Day 2

Posted by Jessica Ball

Tuesday┬áI spent most of my time in the poster hall – a full day on my feet, in fact, which I’m regretting slightly today. In the morning I was learning about fluids and mineralization in hydrothermal systems in a number of places – Iceland, Chile, mid-ocean ridges, among others – and in the afternoon I saw some presentations on eruptive dynamics, particularly at my old field area of the Santiaguito lava domes in Guatemala. Jeff Johnson’s geophysics group has been collecting some fascinating information about the explosion dynamics at the Caliente dome, including figuring out the cyclicity of gas buildup and degassing and how it relates (or doesn’t) to the almost hourly eruptions.

Aisles of science in the poster hall

Aisles of science in the poster hall

Yesterday was also my first chance to check out the exhibit hall. This year Moscone South has been split into two halls for posters and exhibits, since we were apparently competing with another conference that had the space in Moscone North. This caused a bit of confusion but mainly impacted our ability to use the underground shortcut between the buildings. The usual suspects are all set up in the exhibits – NASA and Google seem to be competing to have the most popular booths – and it’s been buzzing ever since it opened yesterday.

Crowds in the exhibit hall on Tuesday

Crowds in the exhibit hall on Tuesday

In the evening I ended up filling in on the panel for the blogger’s forum, which was well-attended and sparked some useful discussions about the process and craft of writing a blog. I’ve gone through some significant changes in my job description in the past year, and with my postdoc comes some important new considerations as far as blogging while being a government employee, which I hope I covered in a useful way! We also had questions from students looking to start blogging, and my co-panelists Laura Guertin (GeoEd Trek) and Mauri Pelto (From A Glacier’s Perspective) gave some great advice about using a blog as a way to teach yourself about topics and connecting with peers.

I finished up the evening with the College of William and Mary’s annual alumni dinner, which was a pleasure. I’m always amazed at the wonderful things my classmates are doing with their careers, and AGU is my chance to catch up with everyone’s accomplishments and exciting new developments.