December 4, 2012 by Dr. G
Day 2 of AGU was a pretty busy day – presentation days are always a little hectic, but when both myself and my student are presenting (at the same time, no less!), it gets REALLY crazy-busy!
Abbey and I headed over to the convention center to get her poster set up in poster booth #758 (recall that there are over 2,300 posters that are presented each day of the conference!). When we finished getting the poster up, we spoke to some of the other poster presenters across the aisle. Declan De Paor (Old Dominion University) was kind enough to show us some great Google Earth innovations he and his graduate students are working on. We also headed over to look at posters in the Public Policy group, and we had a great conversation at a poster covering Richard Alley’s Earth: The Operator’s Manual.
We headed over to the Exhibit Hall for the rest of the morning. I really like seeing all the booths from agencies such as NASA, NOAA, and USGS – they always have great educational material that I can use for my classroom and for the middle school teachers I work with as part of my NSF grant. For example, at the NASA booth, they were handing out a flyer in the true shape of a raindrop. I can’t wait to request some of these handouts for my teachers! OK, and I picked up some swag as well – post-it notes, notepads, free DVD’s, and a tote bag from NCAR to carry all of this stuff around.
We then grabbed lunch at a local restaurant named Split Bread, which focuses on serving locally-sourced food (San Francisco is filled with restaurants that “buy local” and focus on sustainability issues). Then we zipped back to the convention center for the lunchtime event, DEEPSEA CHALLENGE: New Science and Technology at Extreme Depths. The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER is a single manned submersible that traveled to the deepest depth on the Earth, the Mariana Trench, on March 26, 2012. The sub was piloted by James Cameron – yes, THE James Cameron, and he kicked off the lunchtime panel by taking the audience through the specs and development of the submersible itself. Abbey and I could only stay for the first hour, before we had to head over and set up her poster. I was disappointed in his presentation. Although I appreciate hearing the engineering design and construction of the submersible, I felt the audience didn’t need an hour of “this is how it was built and operates.” I was hoping to see and hear more about what was learned as a result of the dives – apparently, some of this was discussed in the remaining half hour, after we left.
And then… time for Abbey to present her poster! Check her out! It took us a little time to figure out what to plug in to the big screen, what websites to have ready to show on the laptop, etc. But everything was laid out and ready to go for the start of the session. I stayed with Abbey a little bit as she took people through her poster (and you can read about her poster and her presenting experience at her blog), but then I was off to give my talk, titled VoiceThread as a Peer Review and Dissemination Tool for Undergraduate Research. The talk was in a session on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs: Science Communication Gone Social—The Social Media 101. I had over a hundred people at my session, and I was pleased with how the audience received my talk about students using VoiceThread. Other talks in the session looked at how people create networks with Twitter, and the reach/effectiveness of books vs. blogs vs. Facebook vs. Twitter. In the end, everyone seemed to have the same take-home message, that scientists should have a social media portfolio to communicate science over the widest audience possible.
I then jumped back to Abbey’s poster and took over her presenting duties for the final hour of the poster session so she could head off to the Bloggers Forum: Science on the Web. It is great to see that there are so many sessions about communicating science that Abbey could attend. During our dinner this evening, Abbey and I had a great discussion about this topic, and it was interesting for me to hear her thoughts as a communications major. I look forward to communicating with her more about this!