Cartoon by Matthew Partridge (ErrantScience) and poem by Sam Illingworth the EGU Artists in Residence at the annual meeting last year. Apply to produce art at the 2019 General Assembly!
Calling all artists interested in the geosciences! After a successful trial in 2018, when the European Geosciences Union (EGU) officially hosted a cartoonist and a poet in residence at its annual meeting, we are now opening a call for artists to apply for a residency at the EGU 2019 General Assembly.
Our residency programme provides artists with an opportunity to engage with scientific research in a dynamic setting and be inspired by new scientific discoveries. Researchers, on the other hand, can discover new and creative ways of making their work more accessible to the public through interacting with EGU artists in residence.
The EGU 2019 General Assembly is taking place at the Austria Center Vienna in Vienna, Austria, from 7–12 April 2019. The residency would take place at the conference centre and last for the full week. The EGU provides a stipend of €1000 to cover accommodation and contribute towards travel expenses, as well as a free registration waiver to the meeting.
Examples of the work produced by last year’s artists in residence, are available on the EGU blog. However, we are open to a wide range of art forms that enhance the science discussed at the meeting and promote dialogue and collaboration between artists and scientists.
And if we haven’t convinced you yet to apply, Matthew Partridge and Sam Illingworth, our cartoonist and poet in residence last year, can attest to the experience:
Matthew Partridge: “I spend a lot of time communicating science via a computer screen. Through cartoons, drawings and art I have spent almost 6 years communicating science and research to people, the vast majority I have never met. Being the resident artist at the EGU General Assembly in 2018 gave me an amazing opportunity to not only meet the people who’s science I was helping to communicate but engage directly with the audience. I got to talk to scientists about what is important to communicate as well as talk to people that had seen the drawings and wanted to know more. It was one of the best experience I’ve had as a cartoonist and I would say to any artist to go try it, meet a bunch of wonderful people and let them help you make amazing art.”
Sam Illingworth: “Being the poet-in-residence for the 2018 EGU General Assembly was an incredibly unique opportunity that enabled me to engage with a diverse audience of scientists and think about how their research, and my own might better be communicated through poetry. The whole experience has had a lasting impact on my work and practice, and I heartily recommend this post to any artist that is interested in finding out more about what geoscientists do, how they work, and how art might play a role in the development and communication of research.”
If you are interested in applying, complete the application form online by 1 December. More information about the opportunity and the application can be found here.
Hannah L. Cloke receiving the 2018 Plinius Medal established by the Natural Hazards Division.
From 14th to the 20th October a number of countries across the globe celebrate Earth Science Week, so it is a fitting time to celebrate the exceptional work of Earth, planetary and space scientist around the world.
This week, the EGU announced the 45 recipients of next year’s Union Medals and Awards, Division Medals, and Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Awards. The aim of the awards is to recognise the efforts of the awardees in furthering our understanding of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The prizes will be handed out during the EGU 2019 General Assembly in Vienna on 7-12 April. Head over to the EGU website for the full list of awardees.
Sixteen out of the total 45 awards went to early career scientists who are recognised for the excellence of their work at the beginning of their academic career. Twelve of the awards were given at division level but four early career scientists were recognised at Union level, highlighting the quality of the research being carried out by the early stage researcher community within the EGU.
Sixteen out of the 45 awards conferred this year recognised the work of female scientists. Of those, six were given to researchers in the early stages of their academic career.
As a student (be it at undergraduate, masters, or PhD level), at the EGU 2018 General Assembly, you might have entered the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards. A total of 64 poster contributions by early career researchers were bestowed with a OSPP award this year recognising the valuable and important work carried out by budding geoscientists. Judges took into account not only the quality of the research presented in the posters, but also how the findings were communicated both on paper and by the presenters. Follow this link for a full list of awardees.
Further information regarding how to nominate a candidate for a medal and details on the selection of candidates can be found on the EGU webpages. For details of how to enter the OSPP Award see the procedure for application, all of which takes place during the General Assembly, so it really couldn’t be easier to put yourself forward!
Meet Nilay Dogulu, the current ECS Representative for the Hydrological Sciences Division, in front of her poster at EGU 2014. Credit: Nilay Dogulu.
In addition to the usual GeoTalk interviews, where we highlight the work and achievements of early career researchers, this month we’ll also introduce one of the Division early career scientist representatives (ECS). They are responsible for ensuring that the voice of EGU ECS membership is heard. From organising short courses during the General Assembly, through to running and attending regular ECS representative meetings, their tasks in this role are varied. Their role is entirely voluntary and they are all active members of their research community, so we’ll also be touching on their scientific work during the interview.
Today we are talking to Nilay Dogulu, ECS representative for the Hydrological Sciences (HS) Division and past chair of the Young Hydrologic Society.
Before we get stuck in, could you introduce yourself and tell us a little more about yourself, your involvement with EGU and how you became interested in hydrology?
I am a PhD candidate at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, researching clustering methods for data-driven hydrology at the Water Resources Laboratory. This year I attended the General Assembly (GA) in Vienna for the fifth time in a row. Since 2014, the Assembly has been the one and only conference that I have persistently and willingly participated in. The Hydrological Sciences (HS) division’s scientific programme at the GA had a special role in shaping my career as a researcher, so I would like to share my journey in the hydrological sciences lightened up by the EGU GA and its HS community.
First, little about me. I am a civil engineer by training. I was a third year (BSc) student at METU (ODTU) when I took the course “Engineering Hydrology.” It was the first time I learned about the terms catchment, basin and hydrograph. In that very semester I had the opportunity to participate in the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul. That was it. I was determined to specialize in water for my future career.
To broaden my understanding of hydrological processes and gain a critical view of the latest hydrology topics, I gathered the courage—as only a BSc student at the time—to attend the 6th National Hydrology Congress and the 2nd National Flood Symposium. Then a three-month internship at the State Hydraulic Works of Turkey introduced me to the wider community of hydrological sciences in the world.
My class notes from the Engineering Hydrology course back in March 2009 (Credit: Nilay Dogulu)
In Fall 2011, I joined the FLOODRisk Master to study floods, from modelling them to understanding their socio-economic effects. This two-years programme enriched my academic background on flood risk management and provided me with different insights into water-related problems.
Could you tell me about your first experience with the EGU General Assembly?
With EGU HS Division president Elena Toth (right) and president-elect Maria-Helena Ramos (left) at EGU 2018
The EGU GA brings together researchers from all around the world. The EGU Hydrological Sciences Division is EGU’s largest division with a diverse and comprehensive scientific programme at the GA, large enough to fill in the whole second (red) floor of the conference venue.
The EGU HS division is a great platform aimed at addressing current research challenges in hydrology. During the GA, one can follow up with the latest research on various topics within these areas and network with members (of all stages) of this great community. At the 2018 EGU GA, hydrological sciences programme had 2350 abstracts submitted to 91 HS-lead sessions (66 oral and poster sessions, 6 poster only sessions, 19 PICO sessions)—equivalent to 13.5% of total EGU GA submissions.
Given this, I was very motivated to experience the General Assembly for the first time! I submitted an abstract summarizing part of my MSc research—on predictive uncertainty estimation for flood forecasting using data-driven modelling techniques; and once it was accepted, I started to get ready for EGU and Vienna! Flight and accommodation booked, poster printed, weekly conference schedule prepared. This was the first poster presentation of my career and I was quite excited. Luckily, all went really well.
EGU Hydrological Sciences Division
I remember having a busy week at EGU 2014: from presenting my first poster, working on a manuscript with my co-authors, as well as attending project meetings, sessions on flood forecasting and flood risk management, and short courses organized by the Young Hydrologic Society (YHS).
There were many interested people visiting my poster and asking questions. There were many posters I visited too—I have to admit, sometimes I asked so many questions that the presenters thought I was an OSPP Award judge.
Throughout the week I listened presentations, many of which were given by researchers I cited in my master’s thesis. Matching the papers with authors’ faces was amazingly so much fun! Moreover, I arranged a small meeting with my co-authors to discuss the manuscript draft (which has been later published in HESS) that we had only been working on remotely before then.
At the time, I was also working for the EU-FP7 project ASTARTE (Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe). The EGU GA is an excellent time for research project teams, editorial boards of journals, etc. to schedule meetings. ASTARTE team (26 partners from 16 countries) also took this opportunity to meet up to discuss the progress following the project’s first 6-months period. During this meeting, I presented one of the very important deliverables of the project which focused on tsunami resilience from a social sciences perspective.
On the Saturday after the conference there was the Vienna Catchment Science Symposium organized by the Vienna University of Technology Centre for Water Resources Systems. It proved to be a very enlightening symposium for a young hydrologist.
Sounds like a great first experience! How has your time at the GA changed over the years?
After enjoying the academic fun of EGU 2014, I wanted to come back to Vienna for EGU 2015. Another reason was that I was very curious why people were heading to the conference venue on the very last hours of the last day (Friday): I left around 5 pm and many people were coming out of metro!
Without any hesitation, I decided to attend EGU 2016 and EGU 2017 in the next years. Although I didn’t have any presentations in 2016, listening to presentations covering my research interests helped me stay updated and synthesise various perspectives on overarching problems in hydrology. The sessions kept me thinking about some questions that had been tingling my mind—which later became the research questions in my PhD thesis proposal.
At EGU 2017, my poster presentation was a literature review on application of clustering methods in hydrology, and actually it attracted more people than I expected. EGU poster sessions provide an excellent way to bring together early career researchers while they stand in front of their posters, paving the way for interesting discussions.
Memories from EGU 2017
My fifth year at the EGU GA last April was great too: including two posters, sessions to co-/convene, YHS events (from short courses to PICO sessions), the EGU ECS Representatives Workshop, YHS Hydrodrinks, the HS division meeting, medal lectures and many other activities. Being an experienced EGU GA participant, I also served as a mentor as part of the EGU mentoring programme designed to help novice conference attendees navigate their first EGU experience.
Almost forgot! On Friday evening, the conveners’ reception (and party, with a different theme every year) takes place at the ACV.
In addition to being an EGU ECS representative, you also are involved with the Young Hydrologic Society (YHS). Could you tell me more about this organisation and your role in YHS?
YHS is a bottom-up initiative that aims to help early career hydrologists interact and actively participate within the hydrological sciences community and beyond. We are a group of motivated PhDs and postdocs who enjoy serving our very own community, considering the needs and interests of young hydrologists.
The YHS is most actively involved with the EGU GA, where we organizing short courses, scientific sessions and social events. The full list of all events that YHS has organized for the EGU GA since 2013 can be found on the YHS webpage. The open call for session proposals for EGU GA 2019 has just closed (deadline 6 September) – there have been quite a number short course submissions (in cooperation with YHS) that will play a significant role in shaping the HS programme for ECSs. YHS Hydrodrinks event held annually at the EGU GA is now a 5-year-old tradition where we meet our new team members. If you are planning to come to EGU 2019, don’t miss the chance to meet fellow hydrologists at the Hydrodrinks (however, please note that this is not a sponsored event). Contributing to the academic and social development of early career hydrologists by organising activities at the EGU GA is a unique and rewarding experience, so get involved!
YHS Hydrodrinks at EGU 2014 (Credit: The waiter)
I joined YHS after meeting the team at EGU 2014. Since then I couldn’t help myself but contribute to the aims of the society in many ways—like organizing short courses at conferences (e.g. Hydroinformatics for Hydrology at the EGU GA), managing and contributing to the YHS Blog (Streams of Thought and Hallway Conversations), and acting as a Board member (secretary 2015-16, chair 2016-17).
Right: EGU 2018 Poster 1—Clustering approaches for analysing similarity in ungauged catchments: input variable selection for hydrological predictions Left: EGU 2018 Poster 2—Input variable selection for hydrological predictions in ungauged catchments: with or without clustering? Bottom Centre: YHS team at EGU 2018 (with only a few missing! It is not east to arrange a common time for everyone, even for a group photo)
I also took over the role of EGU ECS Rep for HS division from Shaun Harrigan at EGU 2017. Being elected as the EGU ECS Rep, I became more enthusiastic about advancing the hydrologic science community equally (and globally) in support of, primarily, the ECS. The ECS Rep is expected to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth of the EGU HS division by fostering the active participation and integration of ECS and the hydrologic science community globally under the umbrella of EGU, keeping in mind the necessity of creating equal opportunities for ECS to enhance their research and communication skills.
EGU ECS Reps at the EGU GA 2018
The ECS Rep for HS division works in close collaboration with YHS to initiate and support inspirational and intelligent ideas in line with the emerging needs of ECS. You also meet with ECS Reps of other EGU divisions and help the EGU community thrive together with its early career members. My term ends in April 2019. So keep your eye on EGU and YHS websites (and twitter) in early 2019—and apply to become the next EGU ECS Representative (April 2019-April 2021) for the HS division!
Do you have any parting words about your time involved with EGU?
It has been a very long post but now here are the last words. The EGU GA means seeing old friends and past professors, meeting fellow hydrologists and listening to presentations from enthusiastic researchers… plus the annual Hydrodrinks event among many other scientific sessions and short courses organized by YHS! I am glad to serve as the EGU ECS Rep for the Hydrological Sciences division – for the wonderful and inspiring people of the red floor:)
Acknowledgements: I would like to express my sincere thanks to Young Hydrologic Society, especially to Wouter Berghuijs, Shaun Harrigan, Hannes Müller and Tim van Emmerik, for their enthusiasm and support over the last five years.
Interview by Olivia Trani, EGU Communications Officer
This blog post features an interview with Petra Fagerholm who is currently leading the team on public relations and outreach in the communications department of the European Environment Agency (EEA). Petra gave a presentation about the EEA during the Science for Policy short course at the 2018 EGU General Assembly. In this interview, Petra describes her career path, what it is like to work at the EEA and provides some tips to scientists who are interested in a career in an EU institution or who would like to share their research with policymakers.
Could you start by introducing yourself and the European Environment Agency (EEA)
My name is Petra Fagerholm, I have worked at the European Environment Agency (EEA) in Copenhagen for 14 years. Currently, I am leading the team on public relations and outreach in the Communications department.
The EEA is an EU agency, which was set up in 1993 to inform the policymakers and the citizens about the status of the environment and to contribute to sustainable development. In addition to the headquarters, a ministerial level expert network across Europe was also established. This network is called “Eionet” and it ensures dataflows for reporting and quality consistency of the assessments we produce.
How does the EEA use science and research?
Experts at the EEA use science and research material when producing reports, briefings and assessments. The EEA translates science into tailor-made knowledge needed for policymaking at a European level.
How did you become the Head of Group for Public Relations and Outreach at the EEA?
I studied Biology at the University of Helsinki, in Finland, where I come from. My University pathway was far away from communication and environment. After a year of exchange at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, I became really interested in human physiology and subsequently I graduated a couple of years later from the University of Strasbourg with a French DEA degree in Neurosciences. I was part of the research group on visual psychophysics when Finland became a member in the EU. Finnish politicians were hiring assistants and out of curiosity (and being young… and fearless…), I applied and got the job. I think the drive for change came from the fact that I felt my research topics and hypothesis were very difficult to solve and funding was hard to get in the area of fundamental life sciences research. I aspired to be part of the new “European Project” for Finland.
After my job at the European Parliament, I was lucky to be recruited on a short-term contract at the European Commission as Scientific Officer in the area of Neurosciences. After a break of 1 year during which I was pregnant with my daughter, I worked for 2 years at Merrill Lynch Investment Bank in London. During that period, I came across the announcement for recruiting new staff at the EEA.
At the EEA, I started at the Executive Director’s office working on strategic coordination and on several short-term projects in the field of sustainability. I have always been keen to lead and support others in their career. I lead the support team in that office for 8 years. After 11 years in total in the director’s office, I was ready to change career and was lucky to be transferred to the communications department. My new tasks were to develop stakeholder approaches to support the communication framework at the EEA and continue to lead the team of outreach.
My career path is far from a straight line. I have more often let my heart lead rather than my head on career decisions. People I have met over the years, or more precisely bosses I have had, have helped by always giving me a sense of freedom in my tasks, trusting and believing in me. I have avoided staying in a job where I did not feel my skills were valued.
What is your average day like in the EEA office?
An average day is when I interact across the organisation with experts seeking their input or advice into a stakeholder project I am doing. It can be either enquiring about stakeholder consultations of a report published or developing a programme for a visiting group coming to the EEA. I catch up with everyone in my team on a daily basis to sense if everything is ok. My boss is easily approachable and I speak to her every day.
Twice a month I organise a strategic communication meeting for the Communication colleagues where we share information on production, launches, press, speeches and project across the EEA. Sometimes I receive a visiting group from a university or a ministry. People from across the world contact us to ask for a visit. Usually I kick off the programme by giving a presentation about the EEA after which I am joined by a couple of experts on a specific topic that the visitors are interested in.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like to lead a team and see how the members complement each other’s competences. Allowing each team member to use their full potential and develop new skills is rewarding to me.
Working in a European body and for the environment feels good. I believe the EU is the biggest peace project in the world.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
I find it challenging when it is difficult to measure the real and tangible impact of outreach or communication. It is also sometimes difficult to prioritise activities and to work within the limited resources we have available.
Sometimes we cannot avoid influences from geopolitical storms – it is hard. Europe is about working together and building bridges for everyone.
What advice would you give to a researcher who is interested in a career with the EEA or the EU more broadly?
Firstly, you have to be an EU national to apply to the EU institutions. At the EEA, we have 33-member countries and you have to be citizen of one of these.
Map of the 33-member countries
If you see an interesting job advertised in the EU institutions or EEA, apply as many times as you want.
Do not give up.
Keep your CV updated.
Follow EU politics.
Read up on EU affairs – it will make a difference in the interview.
Apply for jobs in national ministries or institutions – it can sometimes be a gateway to finding a short-term contract as a seconded national expert in the EU or at EEA. Look for a job in an EU lobby organisation who could benefit from your specific research.
Do you have any advice for scientists wanting to communicate their research with policymakers?
Less is more. Policymakers will find your research useful if you have concrete examples on how to contribute or solve some of the challenges a policymaker faces.
Use easily understandable language in your communication material. One A4 page is a good length for anything.
Is there anything else you’d like to say or comment on?
Surround yourself every day with people who are positive and who give you energy and pull you up. Believe in yourself and in your passion for what you do. Be proud of the choices you have made and trust in those you will make. There is a reason for everything.
Editor’s Note: since this interview took place, Petra has changed positions within the European Environment Agency and is currently working as a stakeholder relations expert