GeoLog

Laura Roberts-Artal

Laura Roberts Artal is the Communications Officer at the European Geosciences Union. She is responsible for the management of the Union's social media presence and the EGU blogs, where she writes regularly for the EGU's official blog, GeoLog. She is also the point of contact for early career scientists (ECS) at the EGU Office. Laura has a PhD in palaeomagnetism from the University of Liverpool. Laura tweets at @LauRob85.

EGU 2017: How to make the most of your time at the General Assembly without breaking the bank

EGU 2017: How to make the most of your time at the General Assembly without breaking the bank

Attending a conference is not cheap, even if you’ve been lucky enough to secure some funds to help with travel, accommodation and/or registration costs. However, with a little insider knowledge from those who’ve attended the General Assembly many times before, it is possible to have a (scientifically) rewarding week in Vienna, without breaking the bank.

Before you get there

A sure way to save a few cents (or pennies) is to book your accommodation and travel early. With over 13,000 participants at the conference last year, the race for places to stay and transport to get to Vienna is fierce. Booking early will not only mean you have more choice of places to stay and times to travel, but will ensure you get the most competitive prices too.

For those travelling by plane to the conference, a top tip is to look for flights to Bratislava. The Slovakian capital is only 80km away from Vienna and well connected via bus, train and even boat! Bratislava airport is served by a good selection of low cost airlines and it’s often cheaper to fly there than directly to Vienna. A bus ticket between the two cities can cost as little as one Euro (if booked well in advance) with the average for a return train trip being around 14 euro. If that’s not enough to persuade you, it’s worth factoring in a little time to discover the city. It’s a warren of quaint little streets, an imposing castle and good, affordable beer and food.

Bratislava Old Town. Credit: Xlibber (distributed via Wikimedia Commons)

If you’d rather head straight to Vienna, booking your arrival and departure for the day(s) before and after the conference can result in considerable savings. And, if you’re ok with longer journeys, you might consider the train or the bus, which are often more affordable too.

Somewhere to stay

Sharing accommodation is an easy way to keep costs down. If you are travelling with colleagues consider sharing with them. If you are traveling on your own, or unable to share with colleagues, reach out to contacts you made in the past, be it a former undergrad friend, or someone you met during a workshop. They may not be in your immediate field anymore, but it might offer added bonuses like the option to reconnect and forge new links.

Hotels can be expensive. Hostels offer an affordable alternative and are bound to be packed with fellow EGU goers. Alternatively, look for beds, rooms and/or apartments via Couchsurfing, AirBnB or similar services.

A week of eating out can take its toll, both on the purse strings and on the waistline! Opt for accommodation options which have kitchenettes or full kitchens. You’ll be able to prepare some meals at your home from home, saving a little cash. Plus, you might even have enough space to entertain old friends and potential new collaborators!

Exploring Vienna

If you need a breather from all the science (and the ECS Lounge isn’t enough), or you have a few days before or after the conference to discover the Austrian capital, keep in mind that the city’s public transport is excellent. Staying outside of the city centre guarantees cheaper accommodation prices, but staying along the U1 underground (ubahn) line ensure quick and easy access to all the main tourist spots and the conference centre to boot!

If you’d rather opt for a more energetic option, then the city’s bike rental scheme might be just the ticket. You need to register for the scheme before you can use the bikes, but with 120 stations across the city, and a 4 hour rental costing 4 Euros, this an environmentally friendly and cheap option definitely worth considering.

Vienna has plenty to offer, from beautiful parks and gardens, through to impressive architecture and a plethora of museums (and sachertorte, of course). Visit Wien Null for a great selection of tips on how to enjoy the city to the full, without breaking the bank. The site has information about arts and culture events, free wifi spots, the best places to go for a bite to eat or a drink, as well as a selection of affordable sport options too.

Vienna Cathedral. Credit: Domeckopol (distributed via pixabay.com)

You should also stay tuned to the blog on the final day of the conference. Our team of press assistants put together a blog post highlighting what’s on in Vienna over the weekend. So if you plan to extend your trip to after the conference, you’ll certainly be able to pick up some pointers. Let last year’s post serve as a starting point.

Finding funding

If your research budget won’t stretch to financing a trip to the General Assembly, don’t despair, there are a number of options you can consider. Though it might be a little late to apply for these for the upcoming conference, keep them in mind for the 2018 edition instead.

Submit your abstract to the conference between October and December and you can apply for financial support to travel to the General Assembly (from the EGU). Grants are competitive, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try- if you want to apply, make sure you follow the criteria carefully, as the evaluation is based on how well you satisfy them. You can also consider participating in the EGU’s OSPP Awards, Imaggeo Photo Contest and Communicate your Science Video Competition (submissions for the 2017 editions of all contests are now closed). Not only will it give your CV a boost if you win, it’ll ensure free registration to the following year’s conference.

Many institutions also offer travel support, especially if you are presenting. Seek advice from your advisor and/or the graduate school (if your institute has one) to learn more about what funds are available. Also, find out if your institute/university is a member of Research Professional, which includes a database of all funding options available, no matter how small, including travel grants.

Similarly, there might be schemes available at the national level, be it from funding bodies or directly from the government. They often fall under the ‘short research stay’ category.

Learned societies, e.g. Institute for Civil Engineering, Institution of Engineering & Technology, often have pots of money set aside to support travel to conferences. They sometimes require you to have been a member for a set amount of time before you can apply for support, but there are many benefits to joining, so it’s a worthy investment.

For more tips and tricks, particularly if you’ve never been to the conference before, don’t forget to check our First Timer’s Guide. While we hope this post goes some way toward making the conference an affordable experience, it is by no means comprehensive.Help us make it better by sharing your suggestions on how to make the most of the General Assembly and Vienna, we’d love to hear from you. Add them in the comments section below and we’ll include them in a similar post in 2018.

By Laura Roberts Artal, EGU Communications Officer, & the EGU’s Early Career Representatives

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 28 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website.

Communicate your Science Video Competition finalists 2017: time to get voting!

Communicate your Science Video Competition finalists 2017: time to get voting!

For the fourth year in a row we’re running the EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition – the aim being for early career scientists to communicate their research in a short, sweet and public-friendly video. Our judges have now selected 4 fantastic finalists from the excellent entries we received this year and it’s time to find the best geoscience communication clip!

The shortlisted videos will be open to a public vote from now until midnight on 27 April; – just ‘like’ the video on YouTube to give it your seal of approval. The video with the most likes when voting closes will be awarded a free registration to the EGU General Assembly 2018.

The finalists are shown below, but you can also catch them in this finalist playlist and even take a seat in GeoCinema – the home of geoscience films at the General Assembly – to see the shortlist and select your favourite.

Please note that only positive votes will be taken into account.

What sounds are in space by Martin Archer. Like this video to vote for it.

Soil moisture and GNSS Explained by Tzvetan Simeonov. Is this your favourite video? Like to vote for it.

Lost rivers by Elisha Teo. If this is your favourite then vote for it here!

A tale of water kidneys and flying doctors by Valentin Heimhuber. Like this video to vote for it!

If watching these videos has inspired you to try your hand at using videos to communicate your research to the public, but you aren’t sure where to start & how to finance the whole enterprise, then why not come along to the finding funding for your science film short course during the 2017 General Assembly? Professional outreach and science filmmakers Dan Brinkhuis (Science Media.nl) and Saskia Medler (77th Parallel Productions) will take you through three different outreach video projects and funding scenarios of varying qualities and their associated costs. They will also give insights on whether the investments paid off by assessing the success of each film in terms of how many views, likes, or even awards they garnered, or how much publicity they generated. Join us in the GeoCinema room (0.90, Yellow Level) on Wednesday the 26th April from 10:30am (CET) onward.

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 28 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website.

Presenting at the General Assembly 2017: A quick ‘how to’ from the EGU

Presenting at the General Assembly 2017: A quick ‘how to’ from the EGU

The schedule is out, presentation slots have been assigned and it’s time to start thinking about putting yours together. Whether you have an oral, poster or PICO slot, we have a suite of simple guidelines to get you ready for the conference!

Orals

The guidelines for oral presentations are online. All oral presentations should have the dimensions 4:3 or 16:9 and last about 12 minutes, with 3 minutes for questions. Oral presentations take place over four 90-minute time blocks. Make sure you’re in the presentation room approximately 30 minutes before your time block starts, so your presentation can be uploaded or so you can connect your laptop to the system. There will be a lecture room assistant to help you get everything ready.

Posters

Guidelines for poster presentations are also online. Importantly, the poster boards landscape and are 197 cm by 100 cm. Posters should be hung between 08:00 and 09:00 on the day of your scheduled poster presentation using tape available from roaming student assistants.  Please retrieve your poster at the end of the day (between 19:00 and 19:30). Those that are not collected will be disposed of. By the start of the Assembly, EGU will have sent your Authors in Attendance Time – during this time, you must be present at your display.

If there is a gap in the corresponding oral session, conveners may call upon poster presenters to give a short ad hoc summary of their posters. Therefore, it might be useful to have a couple of slides (1-2) prepared in advance to help illustrate your findings.

PICOs

For the fifth year now we have got a different kind of presentation: Presenting Interactive COntent (PICO). The guidelines for PICO presentations are available online. PICO sessions combine the best of oral and poster presentations. Every PICO author presents their slides in a “2 minutes madness”. After these short presentations, all attendees have enough time to watch the presentation again on interactive screens and hold discussions with the author and other attendees. These presentations are shown on widescreens, but some of the screen space is used for branding of the contribution and navigation, so the ideal dimensions for your presentation are the classic 4:3 format. You can also use the 16:9 format, just alert one of the conference assistants if this is the case, as they’ll help you determine the best position of the navigation buttons, so they don’t detract from your presentation. One thing to keep in mind is that, unlike in the past, PICO presentations no longer support Prezi.

For tips on how to make a PICO presentation, why not download the How to make a PICO guide. For a first-hand account of what it’s like to take part in a PICO session, take a look at this post by early career scientists in the Seismology Division too.

Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards

If you are presenting a poster or PICO at the upcoming General Assembly you can have your presentation considered for an OSPP Award. Stay tuned to GeoLog for an upcoming post where we’ll tell you how to register yourself for the award, as well as a video featuring past OSPP judges explaining what it is they look for in a winning poster.

Time Blocks

Timetabling at the General Assembly is organised into the following time blocks:

  • TB1 08:30–10:00
  • TB2 10:30–12:00
  • TB3 13:30–15:00
  • TB4 15:30–17:00
  • TB5 17:30–19:00 (not on Friday)

There is free tea and coffee available in the poster halls in the breaks between TB1 & TB2 and TB3 & TB4, and wine available during TB5.

No-shows

If you already know that your abstract will not be presented, you are kindly requested to withdraw your corresponding abstract as soon as possible.

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 23 to 28 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website.

 

Imaggeo on Mondays: A Fijian paradise

Imaggeo on Mondays: A Fijian paradise

Today’s post is brought to you by Lisa-Marie Shillito, a Lecturer in Landscape Archaeology at Newcastle University. Initially, this photo may seem like any other tropical paradise: lush forests line a meandering river, but there is much more to the forests in the foreground than first meets the eye. Over to Lisa for the details.

I first visited Fiji as an undergraduate student, where I undertook my dissertation fieldwork looking at human versus environmental impacts on marine shellfish size. Although I was there as a geographer, the field site I worked on was an archaeological one – a large prehistoric shell midden (a location for the dumping of waste), and it was here that I first became interested in geoarchaeology..

Fiji is an archipelago containing hundreds of islands, and the largest of these is Viti Levu, measuring 146 by 106 km.

This photo was taken from a helipad on the small island of Qoqo, located in the estuary of the Tuva river, south west Viti Levu Island. Qoqo is a bedrock island comprising two hills connected by a coastal flat and is today surrounded by dense mangrove forest. The mangrove is an important and complex ecosystem that protects inland areas from coastal erosion, and reef areas from sedimentation. They also have an important function in carbon sequestration.

In the distance, you can see the very edges of central mountain range, which forms a north-south division across the island of Viti Levu.

 

By Lisa-Marie Shillito a geoarchaeologist and lecturer at Newcastle University. She blogs about geosciences and archaeology.

Imaggeo is the EGU’s online open access geosciences image repository. All geoscientists (and others) can submit their photographs and videos to this repository and, since it is open access, these images can be used for free by scientists for their presentations or publications, by educators and the general public, and some images can even be used freely for commercial purposes. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. Submit your photos at http://imaggeo.egu.eu/upload/.

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