A Day In The Life Of A Conference Delegate
6:30am – Wake up
7:00am – Eat a hardy breakfast
8:00am – 10:00am – Session 1
10:00am -10:30am – Break…OR…a short, but intensive meeting with other conference participants!
10:30am -12:30pm – Session 2
12:30pm – 2:30pm – Workshop…OR…a well deserved lunch and meeting
2:30pm -4:00pm – Session 3
4:00pm-6:00pm – Poster session, mingle and “beverage” time
6:00pm – 7:30pm – Evening workshop
7:30pm -9:00pm – Dinner time
9:00pm -11:00pm – Time to relax…OR… catch up on “real” work that was missed that day
11:00pm – Bedtime!
6:30am the next day – repeat steps 1-12!
“Phew! What a busy day”, tends to roll off the tongue of every conference delegate each day during a conference. This was certainly the case last week at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Four-thousand oceanographers, educators and marine science/technology organizations came together to discuss the importance of our ocean, current research, outreach initiatives and amazing new marine technology.
Outreach at Sea:
One session that I attended discussed the importance of scientists engaging with students and teachers about their research. The Ross Sea Connection had phenomenal success bringing together ocean science into K-12 classrooms across the USA to learn firsthand about the currents, phytoplankton and trace metals within Ross Sea. Using autonomous robots called gliders, the science team measured the temperature and salinity of the water, two ocean properties that are analogous to different water mass’s “fingerprint”. Students followed the scientists through daily multimedia journal entries by the cruise team’s journalist and photographer. Throughout the cruise live calls were made into classrooms, allowing the students to engage in 2-way conversations with scientists and crew at sea! This project was very intriguing to me; I would love to see something of this caliber occurring in Canada as well!
Ocean Networks Canada was widely represented, highlighting ONCCEE, VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada through an outstanding exhibit and numerous oral and poster presentations. Conference delegates needing to take a break would often stop by our exhibit to take in the stunning highlights video from ONC’s maintenance cruises. If pulsing jellies, elegant sea fans, fragile brittle stars and 400⁰C hydrothermal vents covered in thriving colonies of tubeworms wasn’t enough, passersby also got to dive right into ONC’s real-time data coming straight from the deep-sea!
Another great thing about cruising throughout the exhibits is getting your hands on swag! This conference in particular had everything from holographic postcards, to travel mugs, to squishy toy animals, to on-sight laminated baggage tags – courtesy of VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada! And I must admit that I collected one of each mentioned above!
In all seriousness, the Ocean Sciences Meeting provided an exceptional opportunity to meet and collaborate with marine scientists and educational organizations from all over the world. The conference centre was buzzing the entire week, as delegates spread their passion and concern for the ocean. I came away from Salt Lake City with not only wonderful new contacts and several opportunities to collaborate, but also a feeling of inspiration to continue educating the public about Earth’s precious ocean! Connect with me if you would like to talk about how ONC could assist with your ocean-related initiatives.