I made it back in one piece from Daytona – whew! It was a great trip, but I thought I’d offer a few more observations.
First of all, remember that really big gull? Well, here it is with something for scale:
I met a lot of really interesting and important people in my field. Most of them turned out to be real people, not just smart ivory tower types. There was one guy I’ve been wanting to meet for several years. I’ve read his research and even emailed with him, but never seemed to meet him in person. I finally offered a bunch of people a dollar to the first one to introduce me to him! I paid it off right in front of him – he thought it was hilarious!
I also met a professor that I’ve been taking online courses from since 2006. It’s a master’s program and he’s actually my adviser, but he’s such a rock star in the field, that I’ve never had a chance to see him in person, even when I’m in the university town. It was pretty cool, and he actually knew who I was. He couldn’t stay though, so my fantasy about having an intellectual discussion with him over coffee was not realized. Sad face. (Me, not him – he just always looks like that.)
I was giving a presentation on some of my work at this conference (which was cool) and the morning of my presentation, there was a “fun run” to be held on the beach. I decided to try it, not really thinking I’d be able to run all the way, but since it was supposed to be “fun”, I’d be a joiner.
So first of all, you would think that a bunch of people who make their livings studying coastal ecology would check the tide charts before scheduling a “fun run” on the beach. Turns out the tide was coming in! As we were all waiting there for the signal to start, a wave washed in close to the crowd of 50+ coastal
ecologists who all screamed, “EEEEEEEE!!!!!” and ran away from the water! Now that’s ironic, Alanis! We wound up running in the water, getting sneakers soaked anyway. Some people were really intense about it, even though we weren’t being timed.
Between the soaked sneakers and the beach moguls, I couldn’t run very far, but I walked the whole thing which was good exercise anyway.
Later I gave my presentation and got good comments on it, plus a good question from a very attractive Dutch mangrove scientist named Thorsten. Cool.
All in all, the conference went well. I’m really proud of my work (three separate presentations were made in which I was a co-author), and I got to meet a lot of neat people.
When I was a girl, I wanted to be just like Jacques Cousteau. Now I work with and learn from a bunch of people who knew and worked with him and are just as important in their fields as he was, if not as famous. Nice.