Cryospheric Sciences

Cryo tips to make the most of vEGU21

Non-socially distanced penguins networking at the annual Penguin Geosciences Union (PGU). [Credit: Adrian Dean, imaggeo]

Similar to last year, this year’s annual general assembly is fully virtual. But unlike last year, the in-person experience is back! There are short courses, networking events and a website which looks just like the real Vienna Conference Centre. So go and buy yourself a Viennese Sachertorte, brew a batch of coffee and take 5 minutes to look at our top recommendations for vEGU21.

vEGU21 – what’s new?

With a year to prepare and lots of feedback from the previous online conference, this year’s virtual EGU (vEGU21) offers a more realistic conference feeling – but with the option of staying in your pyjamas. There are many more non-scientific events or sessions, including 57 short courses, medal and award lectures from 2020 and 2021, a “jobs and careers” board and multiple networking events. The conference is spread over two weeks, with the majority of science sessions in the second week, leaving plenty of time for socialising, attending great debates, learning new skills and much more! For more details, see this youtube video.

If you are scheduled to present your research at vEGU21, chances are that you have been assigned a vPICO. PICO (short for “Presenting Interactive COntent”) sessions are modelled after the interactive touchscreen presentations. They have been used previously at physical EGU General Assemblies and were specifically designed to host “short, precise, and scientific” content. Every vPICO author first presents their work orally in 2 minutes. After everyone has finished presenting their own content, the discussion opens between the conveners, presenters, and audience. When preparing your display materials and live presentation summary slide, try implementing concepts to make your presentation more accessible to viewers. When your content is ready, refer to EGU’s flowchart  for guidance on how to upload!

Science tips

There are 49 scientific sessions organised or co-organised by members of the cryosphere division. 36 of these scientific sessions (73%) have an Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) logo, which means the convening panel includes conveners from multiple countries, different career stages and multiple gender identities. Scientific topics include: snow observations, glacier monitoring, ice sheet modelling, surface-, sub- and en-glacial processes, permafrost, polar meteorology and ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions. So even if you aren’t presenting your science, you will surely find something cool to participate in. These sessions all take place during the second week of vEGU21, from Monday 26th to Friday 30th of April. You can start making your personal programme now!

For those convening a session or running a workshop, EGU’s GeoLog has collated a list of tips that help promote constructive, engaging and safe digital interactions.

The cryosphere division meeting is the place to discuss ideas and present updates related to our division. You will also meet your new division president: Dr Carleen Tijm-Reijmer and Early Career Scientist representative: Dr TJ Young. Join us on Wednesday 28th April at 12:30 CEST.

Break the ice

Is it your first time attending an EGU conference? If so, look for the ‘first-time attendee’ ice breaker at the start of the first week (Monday 19th April, 12:30 CEST). If you weren’t able to be matched with a mentor, you could buddy up with some other EGU newbies!

The division-wide networking event is for ALL members of the cryosphere division and will take place on Tuesday 27th April at 18:00 CEST on Gathertown so that users can move between discussions and areas for more tailored socialising. Gathertown is a spatial video tool, where you have an avatar which you control using the keyboard arrows. Approaching other attendee avatars activates the video and audio functions which allow you to interact with others. Moving away deactivates the tools. This works whether you approach individuals or groups, allowing for group interaction. There will be a main hub and a number of discussion rooms, a lounge, a garden and a ‘secret space’. So there will be lots of opportunities to meet with different groups. Never used before? Don’t worry, they have a useful demo on their website, and it doesn’t hurt to play around with their tutorials before your meeting starts. Please try to be on time to networking events, as they last strictly one hour.

If you would like to schedule your own EGU-related pop-up event, of any size and kind, feel free to take advantage of EGU’s pop-up scheduler. This handy tool helps attendees to organise their own networking events on whatever platform they prefer.

Tips for Early Career Scientists (ECS)

There is a separate networking event for ECS in the cryosphere division where you can meet your (new?) peers on zoom, socialise with like-minded people and make new friends. Breakout rooms will be used to facilitate small group discussions and to randomise the networking. Come and join us on Wednesday 21th April at 12:30 CEST.

There are numerous networking opportunities at vEGU21. You can see a list of all networking events by filtering the programme with the ‘NET’ option on the left side of the selection tool.

Have you ever read one of our blogs and thought ‘who edits this and how can I write one’? Well, you are in luck. All the CR ECS team will be at a casual lunch-time pop up event to give you all the information you need to join the team, become a guest writer or editor for us, or join our social media team. Bring your tea/coffee/snacks/lunch and drop in to say “Hi!” This pop-up event will take place on Friday 23rd April, 12:30 CEST.

General Advice

For tips on how to navigate the conference and get the most out of your experience, consider attending How to navigate EGU: tips and tricks on Monday 19th April 09:00 CEST.

The careers and jobs board is back for vEGU21! Looking for a job or to widen your network for future endeavours? Then there are loads of opportunities for you, including short courses, networking events and profile stickers. Check out this EGU GeoLog blog post for all the details.

Do you have kids at home during the conference and are looking for ways to keep them entertained? They can take part in the EGU Kids art activity. The theme this year is ‘Extreme E-art-h’, which was inspired by the numerous natural hazards we have experienced over the last year. Let your kid’s imagination run wild with whatever crafty materials you have at hand and submit your photos to or tweet them with #EGUartKIDS.

There are 19 natural hazards listed on wikipedia, do you think you can paint them all? [Figure credit: Hannah Turton]

Virtual Well-being

Remember to take care of yourself. Two weeks of screen-time, networking and sciencing are a lot to handle. The benefit of being online is that you can take your time to read through uploaded displays. Chances are, there is something interesting for you every day and you can schedule your personal programme. But don’t feel pressured to attend everything. The Mind Your Head: your mental well-being in an academic career short course will give you tips on dealing with life in academia (in- and outside of a pandemic), which you can then put into practice during a 45-minute mindfulness pop-up event. Tuesday 20th April, 16:00 CEST and 17:15 CEST.

The key events, which we highlighted in this blog post, are summarised in a small calendar-style figure below. Links to networking events will be added to the programme 15 minutes before the start of the event.

Finally, HAVE FUN! The conference is an opportunity to make new friends, build a network of like-minded people, be curious about science and tweet furiously! We like to engage in little twitter challenges to be EGU’s top tweeter. Want to help us? If you are active on social media, we encourage you to engage with the wider conference community by using the dedicated #vEGU21, #vEGU21_CR and #EGU21 hashtags, and if you tag our division (@EGU_CR) in your posts or tweets, we will share!

This is the only calendar you have to care about this month! We are joking, there is much more to discover, but feel free to use these recommendations. [Figure credit: Maria Scheel]

This blog post was written by Jenny Turton, the outgoing CR Early Career Scientist (ECS) representative and TJ Young, the incoming CR ECS representative. You can find out more about TJ in next week’s blog post. The blog post was edited by Maria Scheel. All are active on twitter under @TurtonJ1990, @tjy511 and @Maria_Scheel_.

This guest post was contributed by a scientist, student or a professional in the Earth, planetary or space sciences. The EGU blogs welcome guest contributions, so if you've got a great idea for a post or fancy trying your hand at science communication, please contact the blog editor or the EGU Communications Officer to pitch your idea.

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