GM
Geomorphology

Geomorphology

GSA Penrose Conference: CLAST2019, 4-10 August 2019, Juneau, Alaska

GSA Penrose Conference: CLAST2019, 4-10 August 2019, Juneau, Alaska

We are happy to announce the GSA Penrose Conference on Climatic controls on continental erosion and sediment transport (CLAST2019), 4-10 August 2019, Juneau, Alaska (USA).

Key challenges remain in recognizing and reconciling how climatic and earth surface process mediate erosion independently of solid earth forcing. The relationship amongst climatic, erosional, and transport processes are exceedingly complex and arguably more intricate than those typically defined between erosion and tectonics. However, the study of these relationships is fundamentally problematic because many of these processes act both independently of and as a consequence of solid earth forcing. This conference seeks to discuss how climate can mediate the sedimentary record and under what conditions erosional signals can be observed and interpreted unambiguously in terms of paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic change? Global Cenozoic climate, fluctuating sea level, and large-scale glaciation have pivotally affected our planet, from the physical evolution of mountain belts to the chemical breakdown of sediments distributed across margins. How do longer- and shorter-term climatic phenomena dictate rates of sediment supply and records of provenance? To what extent do environmental conditions mediate the periodic storage of sediments? Climatic control over sediment transport certainly extends to the offshore, so how do earth surface processes dictate the supply, loading, and stratigraphic architecture along margins and into the deep sea? And, under what conditions and timescales can precise and accurate climatic records be reconstructed from sediments?

This conference particularly solicits contributions addressing erosion and/or environmental change from all earth surface process disciplines that permit robust correlation between changes in climate, erosion, and sediment transport. Separating drivers and processes continues to be difficult but are much improved in recent years as field studies are coupled with novel spatial and temporal control and further tested with dynamic landscape and stratigraphic models. This transdisciplinary meeting is intended bring together researchers across fields to showcase the current state of research, demonstrate contemporary evidence and methods from studies worldwide, and underline the research concerns remaining in our community.

Dates: 4-10 August 2019

Venue: Juneau, Alaska, USA

This seven-day meeting will start with an icebreaker in the evening of Sunday, 4 August 2019 in the city of Juneau, nestled within the Coast Mountains of southeast Alaska. It will end in fjordland, at the feet of Tracy Arm tidewater glaciers on the afternoon of Saturday, 10 August 2019. The meeting will balance between invited talks, roundtable discussions, pop-ups, and poster presentations, with two field trips occurring mid-week and on the last day.

Attendees and Estimate Costs

Registration fee is estimated at US$950-$1050 and will cover the cost of the meeting, hotel lodging for six nights, icebreaker reception, all lunches, coffee breaks, and poster refreshments, the mid-meeting conference dinner, and transportation and meals for the first field trip. The second field trip is optional; this cost is not included in registration and will be determined at a later date based on number of interested participants. Airfare is not included and participants must make their own travel arrangements.

Applications and Registration

Application period opens: 1 March 2019
Application deadline: 1 May 2019
Registration deadline: 7 June 2019

For more information and to apply to attend, please visit the conference website or download the detailed conference announcement.

Diving under the scientific iceberg

Diving under the scientific iceberg

written by: Anne Voigtländer, Anna Schoch, Elisa Giaccone, Harry Sanders, Richard Mason, Johannes Buckel

At the EGU General Assembly international researchers from all earth science communities gather and share their most recent endeavors. This year, we, a group of European young geomorphologists, tried a new session format to address challenges we all face in our research, ranging from inaccessible data and methods, unknown initial conditions, up and down scaling in space and time, to unknown processes and land forms. In discussions of conference talks, only the tip of the iceberg of Earth science research can be exploited. The rest of the iceberg, resembling all challenges, ideas and minds (of the audience) usually remains in the shaded, unspoken depth. We explicitly wanted to cater these challenges or ideas and use the crowd of participants to approach or solve them. In the short course SC1.29/GM12.1 “Crowd-solving problems in earth science research”, we wanted to use the synergetic effect of the diverse conference audience as a resource. Our main methodology to access these resources was old-fashioned discussion. We flipped the tables and had problem stating talks for 2 minutes, which is the usual discussion time. Five Early Career Scientists came forward with their challenges and ideas they face in their research and asked the audience for solutions in 40-minute discussion rounds:

How to secure funding for basic, non-societal research?

(Vittoria Vandelli, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy)

Perhaps one of the least funded, but historically most productive research areas is basic research, which at the time may appear to have little or no public impact, but often results in ideas and inventions that change history. In a world of ever reducing science budgets, securing funding and finding novel methods of funding research outside of grants, becomes the holy grail. You can write about your work for magazines who in turn cover your travel expenses, sell local stamps to collectors and even involve the curious public for non-mainstream projects. However, in reality, the majority of our basic research relies on grant success, and so the ability to write a strong application (hitting on popular paradigms like ‘climate change’). In that case the challenge is to find and access grants. So why not create an open access database for ECS, to both contribute and utilize for securing grant funding? However, if you have tried and not found success with grants, hobby writing isn’t for you, and the idea of involving the public isn’t feasible, there’s nothing wrong with teaming up and collaborating with an already wealthier researcher!

How to make measurement techniques affordable?

(Anette Eltner, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)

There are many good reasons to make measurement techniques affordable, such as fostering independent research, having low barrier easy access (financially, politically), increasing the quantity and density of data and thus robustness, greateningr knowledge of and possibilities to improve measurement techniques, and becoming more resilient if devices get swept away in monitoring hazardous processes… However, data quality and reliability need careful consideration, and data processing and analysis need automation to handle increasing data amount. Several examples associated with low cost solutions are already applied in earth science research; foremost are software solutions (e.g. R, QGIS). What we need for the hardware measuring devices is cooperative development of more low cost methods, big data handling and quality assessments. This could be realized in a “maker space” at universities, where scientist from different disciplines can gather to find joint solutions, or platforms and communities, such as GitHub for software. Therefore, the “crowd” and communication in this crowd could be a solution. In an ideal case, low cost methods were associated with a “crowd” supporting the application and development. Additional funding to promote in particular low cost methods should be provided.

Numerical modelling at the edge: why accuracy matters?

(Benjamin Campforts, KU Leuven, Belgium)

Numerical models are transforming our understanding of the world around us, allowing simulations of processes at scales impossible to investigate by any other means. Numerical models are simplifications or idealisations of ‘real’ environments and the accuracy of the model outputs is reliant on how well models represent this reality. Thus, while the possible complexity of numerical models makes them essential and ground-breaking tools for earth science research, they also cause some problems. First of all, how well do we understand these natural processes and how are they incorporated in the model design? And then, which equations and algorithms should we choose, ideally based on in-depth knowledge of natural processes? In this respect, interdisciplinary communication and exchange is required between modelers and field-based scientists in order to parametrize and grasp the physics of the natural processes. Practically we need greater sharing of ideas, open source models and data, to improve accuracy and help to understand errors surrounding model predictions.

How to secure data accessibility as a young researcher?

(Moctar Dembélé, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland)

Depending on where we live, or the topics we work on, data (i.e climatic, atmospheric, hydrological, topographic…) is not available. And when it is available, sometimes it is a challenge to get access to it. To call this challenge might actually be the starting point to overcoming it and allowing ECS to contribute substantially to science. Both, the producers (governmental or private agencies) and potential users (scientists) of the data can help with data access, without personal, national or financial biases. In order to make this happen, we need to clarify why data sharing and accessing is beneficial to both parties. Produced and published (meta)data (where data acquisition is described in a reproducible way) wants more fame, collaboration and citation. Governmental and private data producers could use the same, already existing platforms, scientific peers use to share and access their data. Users, especially ECS, would love to have common platforms to share and access data that could be used to reinterpret and expand data and to identify data gaps

How to overcome the subjective nature of interpreting fluvial archives?

(Wolfgang Schwanghart, Universität Potsdam, Germany)

Interpretations of archives and subsequent parametrizations for (numerical) models rely on subjects as well as the very individual and special outcrop site. A first step could be to have the experience based tacit knowledge of a subject be translated into explicit knowledge, in order to make it accessible and comparable for other subjects (deduction). Combining the interpretations of several (interdisciplinary) subjects might provide a more objective, rigor and robust perspective. If enough parameters and proxies exist, we could also turn to statistics (induction). And if that is no option, we might try abduction, like Sherlock Holmes, where iterations of field/archive and model/statistics can, at least subjectively, make data collection more transparent, sharpen the interpretation and define further research questions.

We need to talk!

A synthesis solution to the question and the above stated challenges is: Communication. Obviously you can’t solve the challenges in 40 minutes, but the concept to spend more time for discussions on a conference to tackle the problems every scientists faces in this way or another worked. All five groups with roughly ten participants. Each came into conversation, exchanged experiences, analysed new aspects and developed ideas. We received very positive feedback from all participants and were encouraged to organize a similar event again – so maybe next year we can crowed-solve what the submerged part of an iceberg is called, anyway?

The organization of this session was financially supported by the British Society for Geomorphologie and the Arbeitskreis für Geomorphologie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

written by: Anne Voigtländer, Anna Schoch, Elisa Giaccone, Harry Sanders, Richard Mason, Johannes Buckel
Contact: geomorph-problems@geographie.uni-bonn.de

ECS Events @EGU2018

Finally, the EGU general assembly is starting today. In order to give you some guidance what important events you should definitely not be missing out on, the ECS representatives (Micha Dietze and Annegret Larsen) put together this very nice timetable:

EGU – realm and maze?

– written by Micha Dietze, Annegret Larsen (both GM Early Career Representatives), and Anouk Beniest (EGU TS Early Career Representative)

An interview with the Susanne Buiter, the current chair of the EGU Programme Committee

Susanne Buiter is senior scientist and team leader at the Solid Earth Geology Team at the Geological Survey of Norway. She is also the chair of the EGU Programme Committee. This means that she leads the coordination of the scientific programme of the annual General Assembly. She assists the Division Presidents and Programme Group chairs when they build the session programme of their divisions, helps find a place for new initiatives and tries to solve issues that may arise. This also includes short courses, townhall and splinter meetings, great debates, events on arts and other events. The programme group also initiates discussions on how to include interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary science and how to accommodate the growth of the General Assembly.

Susanne, you are perfect example of a scientist bridging scientific work with scientific management. What brought you to this and how do you manage keeping the balance?

Susanne Buiter senior scientist and team leader at the Solid Earth Geology Team at the Geological Survey of Norway.

I would not call it perfect! And I find it not so easy to keep a balance. I am very fortunate that my employer, the Geological Survey of Norway, recognises the importance of organisations like EGU for the geoscience community in Europe. That means that I can partly use working hours for EGU activities and that is a great help. For me, EGU fulfils an important task in bringing people together for networking, starting new projects, discuss new ideas and I would like to contribute to making that possible. I guess one thing led to the other, but what is important for me is that all activities are truly fun and rewarding.

It seems you have filled almost all the different possible jobs within the EGU: giving talks, discussing posters, judging presentations, convening sessions, coordinating ECS activities like short courses, acting as Programme Group member and leader, serving as TS Division President, and now working as Programme

Committee Chair. Could you describe what the main goals of the EGU are for you, and what brought you to become such an active member of the EGU community?

I see the role of EGU as serving the geoscience community through enabling networking, discussions and information sharing. Our General Assembly is very important for this and also our journals. I love the outreach and education that EGU does, through the GIFT programme and attempts to interact with politics and funding agencies. By the way, the short courses are for and by all participants, including the ECS, but not only!

Could you shed some light on the structure of this big ship called EGU in a few sentences?

What characterises EGU is that the union is by the community and for the community. EGU has a small office in Munich that oversees the day-to-day operations and coordinates our media activities (www.egu.eu). They are also EGUs long-term memory. We have 22 divisions from Atmosphere Sciences AS to Tectonics and Structural Geology TS. The division presidents are usually also chair of their associated Programme Group, with the same abbreviations AS, BG, CL etc that you see in our programme at the General Assembly in Vienna. They schedule their parts of the conference programme. For this, programme group chairs rely on the work of conveners (you!) to propose and organise sessions. Division presidents are also member of EGU’s council, together with EGU’s executives. Here decisions are taken on budgets, committee work, new executive editors of journals etc. EGU has among others committees for awards, education, outreach, publications and topical events (https://www.egu.eu/structure/committees/). Copernicus is hired by EGU for organisation of the General Assembly and publication of the 17 journals (https://www.egu.eu/publications/open-access-journals/). All EGU journals are open access. Sorry, that was rather more than a few sentences…

How flexible – in your experience – is the EGU administration and organization on a scale of 1-10?

A 9! I would have like to say a 10, but improvements are always possible. The EGU office, executives, divisions and committees put a lot of effort in coordinating all activities. We actually rely on flexibility as EGU is bottom-up. This is also how new initiatives find a place. For example, EGU2018 will have a cartoonist-in-residence and a poet-in-residence, a new activity I am very excited about and that was proposed by participants.

Regarding the ECS, which role do you feel should they play at EGU level? What is running very well and what would you like to change? Where do you think are fields where you see opportunities to become more active?

About half of participants to our General Assembly identify as ECS according to the survey from 2017 and abstract submission statistics for 2018. So they should play an important role! Not only in the General Assembly, but also in our committees. The ECS representatives are important for their feedback to council, making the ECS opinions heard, and starting new activities, such as the networking reception, many short courses, and the ECS lounge. What I would like to change? More ECS session conveners please! I would really like to encourage ECS to submit session proposals during our call-for-sessions in Summer. And please consider to submit your abstract with oral preference, so conveners can schedule ECS talks.

What is most important for ECS to know about the EGU structure?

Know your ECS representative. At the General Assembly, come to the ECS forum on Thursday at lunch time and the ECS corner at the icebreaker. Connect with scientists in your division(s) by attending the division meeting.

From your perspective, what can we do to motivate more ECS to actively shape “their” EGU?

It is building on what you already do: share information on EGU, the divisions, that we are bottom-up and therefore rely on suggestions by community members. Encourage ECS to suggest sessions, volunteer as committee member when there are vacancies (these are advertised on www.egu.eu and through social media), and organise activities at, before and after the General Assembly. Encourage ECS to use the conference in Vienna to network with all participants, not only through ECS channels, and find new opportunities that way. My observation is that many experienced scientists love to discuss with ECS and perhaps even start new collaborations.

Which ways and approaches do you see to better connect ECS within and between Programme Groups?

I find especially connections *between* Programme Groups very interesting, not only for ECS. EGU is growing to a size that it has become more difficult to find time to look outside your own bubble. We have been investigating ways to make our programme more interdisciplinary (https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2018/sessionprogramme/IE) and perhaps in the future also transdisciplinary, to try to create new approaches. That said, I am happy to see at the ice-breaker and networking reception that many ECS identify with more than one division! It is important to cross borders, that is where a lot of exciting research happens.

The mentoring programme is a rather new feature for many divisions. Could you give some feedback on how it went last year? Will it be a permanent item during the EGU General Assembly?

We organised the mentoring programme in 2017 as a pilot, which we on purpose kept somewhat low profile to generate feedback and develop our tools. We see the programme as a networking opportunity for both first-time and experienced attendees. Feedback was very positive, so we are rolling out in full this year. We offer matching, two meeting opportunities at the General Assembly and some guidance (https://www.egu.eu/outreach/mentoring/).

The EGU General Assembly can be overwhelming at first. What would you advice young (and not so young) researchers to do to have a successful meeting?

Attend short course SC2.1 on how to navigate the EGU (Monday at 08:30), read the first-timer’s guide to the General Assembly (https://blogs.egu.eu/geolog/2017/11/29/a-first-timers-guide-to-the-2018-general-assembly/), and make sure you are on the mailing list for your division ECS representatives if they have one. Some divisions have an ECS evening event, do attend! Consider taking part in the mentoring programme of course. And prepare a personal programme before heading to Vienna. Not to follow it in detail, but at least to know where to go for talks, PICO, short courses, posters, and events. I would definitely use the General Assembly to talk to other participants, this is a great chance to expand your network.

Time and space are precious during the EGU General Assembly. There are over 10.000 contributions, many aiming at a talk, but ending up as posters, the session rooms are often overcrowded, the lunch break brings a rush and long queues. Is there any way the Union Council considers to improve certain bottle necks or are we already at the maximum of optimizing some of the conference logistics?

In 2017, we had ca. 17,400 presentations and 14,500 participants. We rented a new hall on the forecourt of the conference centre, which we will also have in 2018. This increased the conference space, taking pressure off the rooms and surely reduced queues. Copernicus and EGU work continuously on optimising the scheduling. We also started a broader discussion on future formats of the General Assembly. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage trying a PICO presentation or convening a PICO session. I have run some poster-only sessions the last years, which have been great fun as we had so much better time for discussions.

Many ECS approach their representatives because they are worried or disappointed to see their initiatives for scientific session proposals not succeeding. Instead they find year after year the same names behind established and crowded sessions. Do you have any advice how to deal with this or do you think this is not really an issue?

I am aware that this may unfortunately play for some sessions, but overall I think we cater well to new initiatives. My advice to Programme Group chairs is to encourage ECS conveners for new sessions and also to include ECS as part of long-running sessions that should rotate, and renew, conveners each year. Our General Assembly offers place for sessions on the basics and fields that require long-term developments, and at the same time also on new, emerging topics. Sometimes these sessions on upcoming topics may be small in number of submissions, but large in attendance. The best I can say to anyone is to discuss concerns or feedback regarding convening with the division president and the ECS division representative.

With the growing amount of members and participants (almost) every year, how do you see the EGU’s future both as a community and as one of the most important events?

EGU is an important voice of the Earth and space science community in Europe. I think the union should continue to do what it is good at: providing a platform for networking, discussions on new and old fun topics, and information sharing. I would like EGU to stay flexible and cater to new formats in its journals and at its General Assembly, the latter also in light of discussions on CO2 costs of meetings.

Thank you Susanne!

Could I emphasize again that EGU is bottom-up and depends on input from our communities? So please contact your ECS representative, the division president or me (programme.committee@egu.eu) with ideas and feedback!

Some more information online here:

www.egu.eu

https://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2018/information/programme_committee

https://www.egu.eu/gm/home/

https://www.egu.eu/gm/ecs/

http://www.geodynamics.no/buiter/

– written by Micha Dietze, Annegret Larsen (both GM Early Career Representatives), and Anouk Beniest (EGU TS Early Career Representative)