GeoLog

Short Courses

Uploading your 2019 General Assembly presentation

Uploading your 2019 General Assembly presentation

This year it is, once again, possible to upload your oral presentations, PICO presentations and posters from EGU 2019 for online publication alongside your abstract, giving all participants a chance to revisit your contribution hurray for open science!

Files can be in either PowerPoint or PDF format. Note that presentations will be distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Uploading your presentation is free of charge and is not followed by a review process. The upload form for your presentation, together with further information on the licence it will be distributed under, is available here. You will need to log in using your Copernicus Office User ID (using the ID of the Corresponding Author) to upload your presentation.

Presentations and posters will be linked to their corresponding abstracts. If your presentation didn’t have an abstract (this is the case for short courses and others), but you still want to share it with the wider community you can consider uploading your presentation to slideshare or figshare as a PDF to share it instead.

Poster authors can also upload their poster PDF to the community preprint server ESSOAr, the Earth and Space Science Open Archive, at: https://www.essoar.org.

All legal and technical information, as well as the upload form, is available until 14 June 2019 at: http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/egu2019/abstractpresentation

Challenging challenges in Earth science research at the EGU General Assembly!

Challenging challenges in Earth science research at the EGU General Assembly!

At the EGU General Assembly 2019 last month, if you walked through the dark basement and the most distant hallways of the convention centre,  into room -2.62 on Wednesday evening, you may have heard people introducing themselves followed by the words “… and I have a problem.” This may have sounded like a support group. In fact, if you had entered the room it would have been clear that you had just walked into a kind of support group – a scientific one. In the Crowd-solving Problems in Earth Sciences short course scientific, career-related and logistical problems were shared and discussed.

After the success of last year’sCrowd-Solving problems in Earth science research’ session, a group of young geomorphologists decided to organize a second crowd-solving session at the EGU 2019 meeting, but this year for a broader audience, covering various EGU divisions (including Biogeosciences, Earth Magnetism & Rock Physics, Geomorphology, Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology).

This short course aims to provide a platform especially, but not exclusively, for early career scientists (ECS) to network and brainstorm with fellow researchers. Discussing the challenges you face in your research among your peers may help you to find the core of the problem, a path to the solution, or even other ECS that face similar problems and may become your fellows in the search for an answer.

Despite the unlucky scheduling of the session (from 19:00-20:30) 35 scientists participated this short course. In this blog, we summarize the problems highlighted in the event and share the discussions, ideas and solutions that emerged from the brainstorming session with those who didn’t find this safe place at the EGU General Assembly and the wider EGU community.

Fatherhood and parental leave: How to balance career and family in the 21st century?

Fatherhood and parental leave: How to balance career and family in the 21st century? Credit: Johannes Buckel

(Samuel Wharton, University of Leicester, United Kingdom)

One of the most important events in a man’s life is the day when he becomes a father. During these special times, it is inevitable that young fathers still want to spend time with their new-born child. However, in science, new fathers are usually early career researchers on temporary contracts and the paternity leave offered can be poor, as little as a few days to week. Thus, new fathers can often be torn between wanting to take time out to be with their child and the battle to retain job security for their new family. As a result, the majority of childcare is provided by the partner, who often ends up sacrificing their own career ambitions.

In the discussion, we found that the underlying problem is that scientific environments are built on short term contracts. This conflicts with the need for paternity leave to be more flexible, allowing men to take up to six months leave if necessary and to accommodate their partners’ ambitions. Therefore, taking time out should be considered in both partners’ CVs, so that they are not punished in their careers for producing less papers, for example. Most importantly, future fathers should not be afraid to proactively talk to their partners, supervisors and colleagues about the expectations that are placed upon them. The enjoyment of fatherhood, if granted time, could be for the benefit of every scientist.

Ground control to Major Tom: How to identify fixed reference points in a dynamic landscape?

(Eike Reinosch, TU Braunschweig, Germany)

Ground control to Major Tom: How to identify fixed reference points in a dynamic landscape? Credit: Johannes Buckel

When using satellite data in research, finding reliable and fixed reference points is essential for analysing how an object or surface moves over time. Without a reference point, the satellite data is much like ‘Major Tom’ from David Bowie’s song ‘Space Oddity’: Helplessly floating in space. Choosing a bad reference point however, could make all results invalid and completely useless. But how can we be certain, that the points we choose are reliable, even in a highly dynamic study area?

Luckily we crowd-solved some ideas and suggestions. As a first step, we can use the data available to perform a preliminary selection of reference points following a few criteria: the selected points must feature a stable backscatter signal of the satellite radar waves over time, be present and clearly visible in all images, be far away from moisture sources which could disturb the signal and, if possible, be located on bed-rock material. A second step would be to perform a statistical clustering of areas based on similar patterns and features to ensure that results are comparable.

However, during the discussion we realized that while a statistical evaluation of reference points is absolutely essential, it is just as important to verify those reference points in the field. Following field observations of potential fix points the data needs to be reprocessed with remaining reliable reference points. This should produce the best grounded result possible.

Crowdsourced data: How to use citizen science to study natural hazards in remote areas?

(Joanne Wood, King’s College London, UK)

Crowdsourced data: How to use citizen science to study natural hazards in remote areas? Credit: Johannes Buckel

Researching natural hazards in remote locations can be a challenge. Natural hazards are often only recorded if they impact humans, so records do not accurately reflect the quantity or frequency of hazards in remote regions. This means data for research into natural hazard frequency in remote regions is often incomplete.

In the brain-storming session, we talked about how citizen science provides an opportunity to bridge this gap in data availability. One of the notable outcomes of the session was the idea that citizen scientists, from children to grannies, could inspect satellite imagery from remote areas to identify the location and timing of natural hazards using online platforms. This could be supplemented with local knowledge by engaging with remote communities to map events as they happen and to help pinpoint events that have happened in the past.

We also came up with other creative sources of information, such as utilising tourist photos for high temporal resolution monitoring and even strapping cameras to animals (llamas were suggested for Jo’s case study of Peru) to access the most remote locations.

Communicating science to the public: Are we missing something?

(Stacy Phillips, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)

Communicating science to the public: Are we missing something? Credit: Johannes Buckel

Science communication events are becoming increasingly common and more scientists are now feeling the need to communicate science to the public. However, the parts of the public that participate in science communication events are often self-selective groups that are already interested in science. How can we reach an entire cross-section of the public?

In the discussion we didn’t find a unified approach which would enable us to reach out to the entire public, but rather decided that knowing your audience was key, that each group is different and requires a different communication style. We should remember that we, as scientists, are part of the public, and instead of ‘communicating to’ the public, we should be ‘engaging with’ the public, having two-way conversations and getting them actively involved.

Good science communication however is hard, and requires time and expertise to get it right. To improve public outreach in the future, we first need to train our scientists in communication skills at an early career stage. Science is all about communication, making such skills beneficial for your entire career. Outreach work also needs to be valued at an institutional level, required on academic CVs, and incentivised in career pathways, in order to reward those who are passionate and who excel in science communication.

Sharing is caring: How to improve accessibility to scientific infrastructure beyond national boundaries?

(Adrián Flores-Orozco, TU Wien, Austria)

Sharing is caring: How to improve accessibility to scientific infrastructure beyond national boundaries? Credit: Johannes Buckel

Geoscientists want to ensure data quality, and thus ship their equipment, and materials abroad, and prefer to analyse collected scientific samples in their own laboratories. This is a challenge when conducting research and field work beyond national boundaries, especially in remote or conflict areas (Latin America, Iran, etc.).  However, in the discussion we found out that these difficulties even arise within European countries.

There are several different kinds of research limiting issues that you can encounter when trying to get samples from across borders to your laboratory, including political restrictions, expensive shipment costs, long duration with associated delays in publications and graduation. A solution could be to improve accessibility to scientific infrastructure abroad. This would entail collaborating with local researchers and sharing equipment and laboratories. Feasible solutions could be:

  1. the creation of an international logistic consortium and a network of geoscientists working abroad,
  2. an international inventory of available infrastructure and laboratories, and
  3. convincing national or European financing agencies to invest abroad to avoid constant exportation and importation of equipment and samples.

We recognize that these are great solutions, but we need to take action to make them real. We urgently need to improve communication between researchers, stakeholders and financing agencies. To raise the pressure for change we can publish on the problem in an open access journal. We should take advantage of social media to interact among geoscientists working abroad and to share their experiences and possible solutions. We all could start caring about others, and actively share our scientific infrastructure without borders.

The mean mean: Can we trust average erosion rates?

(Günther Prasicek, University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

The mean mean: Can we trust average erosion rates? Credit: Johannes Buckel

We try to resolve the stochastic and sometimes random nature of surface processes, like erosion and sedimentation in both time and space, by averaging. By doing so we introduce biases and misleading impression. A mean thing about the mean rate is that processes might seem to be continuous, while in reality erosion and deposition rather occur as discrete pulses with hiatus, thus time spans without anything happening, in between. A common bias, such as the so-called Sadler effect, is introduced due to the temporal and spatial scales we average over.

The discussion posed a number of interesting questions: How can we approach these trust issues concerning the mean as they seem inevitable to many of Earth science research questions? Do we need methodological and conceptual frameworks which provide the bounds of the data as well as their interpretations? How can we stochastically scrutinize the data and its limit? How can we technically advance and thus trust mean rates?

To bring back this Meta discussion down to Earth, the proposed solutions are simple: let’s change the sampling strategies, sample more, spatially random and in very low erosion environments. Combine diverse methods to use varying spatial and temporal resolutions to bootstrap rates in between. And if possible, simply, develop new methods with different averaging time spans. Next steps in practice would be to first compile data of possible hiatus length and data from different methods/strategies, and then cross-compare their timespan and resulting rates at different landscape activities. We need to be ruthless with what we can actually tell with the mean data we have and should embrace low rates – as they are exciting!

We are planning on organising crowd-solving session(s) again next year. If anybody has any problems they want to solve, they can let us know!

By Eleanore Heasley (King’s College London, UK), Renee van Dongen and Anne Voigtländer (GFZ Potsdam, Germany), and Felix Nieberding, Liseth Perez and Johannes Buckel (TU Braunschweig, Germany)

Organizing team of the session also included: Harry Sanders and Richard Mason (Loughborough University, UK)

At the Assembly 2019: Friday highlights

At the Assembly 2019: Friday highlights

The conference is coming to a close and there’s still an abundance of great sessions to attend! Here’s our guide to getting the most out of the conference on its final day. Boost this information with features from EGU Today, the daily newsletter of the General Assembly – download it here.

Union-wide sessions

The final day of the conference kicks off with the last two Union sessions. The first session, Mountain Building, Volcanism, Climate and Biodiversity in the Andes: 250 years after Alexander von Humboldt (US2: 08:30–12:15 in Room E1), pays tribute to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), the intrepid explorer of the Andes and other regions in the world, and the most famous scientist of his time. This symposium will recognise Alexander von Humboldt’s legacy by reviewing the state-of-the-art studies of the coupled lithosphere – atmosphere – hydrosphere – biosphere system with a focus on the Andean mountain belt.

The second and last Union session will focus on Past and future tipping points and large climate transitions in Earth history (US3: 16:15–18:00 in Room E1), The aim of the session is to point out the most recent results concerning how a complex system as the climate of the Earth has undergone many tipping points and what is the specificity of the future climate changes. You can follow both sessions on twitter #EGU19US if you’re not attending, tune in with the conference live stream.

Medal lectures

Be sure to also attend the last two medal lectures of the assembly:

Ilya Usoskin giving the 2018 Julius Bartels Medal Lecture (Credit: EGU/Foto Pfluegl)

Short courses

The last leg of short courses offers insight into new technologies, tips for publishing your work, and advice on how to develop your career and engage with the public. Here are a few of the short courses you can check out today:

Scientific sessions

The four final inter- and transdisciplinary events also take place today, covering all sorts of interesting topics, from climate sciences to geodiversity and geoheritage. Here are the last cross-disciplinary events:

It’s your last chance to make the most of the networking opportunities at the General Assembly, so get on down to the poster halls and strike up a conversation. If you’re in the queue for coffee, find out what the person ahead is investigating – you never know when you might start building the next exciting collaboration! Here are some of today’s scientific highlights:

Today we also announce the results of the EGU Photo Competition! Keep an eye on EGU’s blog and social media pages to find out who the winners are.

What have you thought of the Assembly this week? Let us know at www.egu2019.eu/feedback and help make EGU 2019 even better.

We hope you’ve had a wonderful week and look forward to seeing you in 2019! Join us on this adventure in Vienna next year, 3–8 May 2020.

At the Assembly 2019: Thursday Highlights

At the Assembly 2019: Thursday Highlights

Welcome to the fourth day of General Assembly excitement! Once again the day is packed with great events for you to attend and here are just some of the sessions on offer. You can find out more about what’s on in EGU Today, the daily newsletter of the General Assembly – download it here.

Union-wide sessions

The Union-wide session of the day focuses on Promoting and supporting equality of opportunities in geosciences (US4). Under-representation of different groups (cultural, national and gender) remains a reality across the world in the geosciences. This Union Symposium will touch on the remaining obstacles that contribute to these imbalances, with the goal of identifying best practices and innovative ideas to overcome obstacles. Join the discussion from 14:00–18:00 in Room E1 or follow online through webstreaming.

Thursday will feature two Great Debates, the first discussing climate thresholds and turning points for fossil fuel emissions: The safe operating space for the planet and how to ensure it is not passed (GDB1) at 10:45–12:30 in Room E1. The following great debate is particularly geared towards early career scientists (ECS). Head to Room E1 from 19:00 to 20:30 to discuss, in a series of small group debates, how early career scientists can prioritise their mental wellbeing. Seating is limited for both debates so make sure to arrive early to guarantee a spot!

You can tune into both sessions on Twitter using the #EGU19GDB hashtag and follow the first debate via webstreaming.

Scientific sessions

Some of today’s inter- and transdisciplinary highlights include sessions on…

There are several scientifically stimulating sessions planned throughout the day. Check the programme schedule to see all that’s on offer! (Credit: EGU/Keri McNamara)

Check the conference programme or EGU Today for details on the rest of Thursdays’s inter- and transdisciplinary sessions.

And be sure check out some of today’s stimulating scientific sessions:

Short courses

Take the opportunity to expand your skills in one of today’s short courses and splinter meetings. Be sure to share what you learn on social media using the hashtag #EGU19SC:

There are also many great pop-up events planned for today at the Networking and Early Career Scientist Zone (Red Level), here’s just a few planned for today:

  • Earth Science preprints: the What’s, the Why’s and the How’s: 13:00
  • Young Water Professionals Booth: 14:00
  • Academia is not the only route: exploring career options for Earth scientists Q&A: 15:00

Medal lectures

There’s also a number of Medal Lectures on throughout the day – here’s a sample of what’s on offer:

Science, art and society at EGU 2019

Tonight from 19:00 to 20:30 in Room L4/5 you can join an OpenStreetMap Mapathon to help put some of the world’s most vulnerable places on the map. A mapathon is a mapping marathon, where volunteers get together to contribute to OpenStreetMap – the world’s free map. No experience is necessary to take part in the event, just bring your laptop and the conveners will provide the training. In this session you will also learn more about crowdsourcing, open data and humanitarian response, as well as get tips for how to host a mapathon at your home institution.

EGU 2019 artists in residence and samples of their work (Credit: M Merlin/G Skretis/ G Anastasakis)

EGU’s illustrator (Morgane Merlin) and sculptor (Giorgo Skretis) in residence have been circulating the Assembly to share their conference experiences and communicate science. You can see their work posted daily on the EGU blog here or on social media through the hashtag #EGUart. Today Giorgo will also be hosting a short course on sculpting your research, (SC2.14) at 19:00-20:00 in Room -2.32.

EGU committees: public meetings

In addition to organising an annual General Assembly, the EGU publishes a number of open-access journals, organises topical meetings, honours scientists with awards and medals, and has a range of education and outreach activities. Want to find out more? Some of the EGU’s committees are having public meetings at this year’s General Assembly, to tell EGU members more about what we do and get feedback.

Additionally, the EGU President and Programme Committee Chair are convening a townhall on the carbon footprint of EGU’s General Assembly (TM4: 19:00–20:00 / Room -2.47). This townhall will provide information on measures taken so far by the EGU to reduce the environmental footprint of its General Assembly, as well as solicit suggestions for ways forward to further reduce the carbon footprint of the conference.

If you need a change of pace, stop by the Imaggeo Photo Exhibition beside the EGU Booth (Hall X2, basement, Brown Level). You can vote for your favourite finalists there, but be quick because the voting deadline is today at midnight! While you’re in the area, you can also take the opportunity to meet your division and Union-wide representatives in today’s Meet EGU appointments.

Have a lovely day!

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 7 to 12 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website and follow the Assembly’s online conversation on Twitter at #EGU19.