Perspectives from EGU GA 2011 (6)

This year on the EGU General Assembly blog there will be guest posts from participants about their research and their impressions of sessions. These are personal points of view not EGU corporate views. If you would like to contribute a research or session viewpoint, please email us.

This perspective from the European Geosciences Union General Asembly 2011 is from Thomas Smith about how to maximise your poster presentation. Thomas’ research was presented in NH7.2/AS4.14/BG2.17 Fire in the Earth System: Impacts and Feedbacks.


In a world of multi-touch interfaces, e-readers, and televisions the size of cinema screens, it is not hard to imagine the day when the poster boards at the EGU general assembly are replaced by large, interactive devices, automatically downloading their designated poster for each day from “the cloud”. In the mean time, I decided that I would compliment my paper poster with an online interactive poster (iPoster!).

With three days until my poster presentation in the session on ‘Fire in the Earth System: Impacts and Feedbacks’, I was offered the opportunity to present my poster as a summary in the oral programme of the session. Whilst struggling to summarise my poster in four Powerpoint slides, it occurred to me that it would be much better to simply exhibit the poster as a Prezi, a navigable, zoomable, interactive poster, complete with photo and video galleries. Not only did this go down well in the poster summary, but it also proved useful when describing my research in the poster session itself. If you have a poster presentation, but feel that animations or videos are important to communicate your research, this is a very good way of integrating the audiovisuals with your poster.

No doubt, many of you savvy EGU blog readers are familiar with ‘Prezi’, one of the rising stars in alternatives to the linear presentation style prescribed by the likes of Powerpoint. If not, then you should at least take a look (Prezi Homepage). Prezi is difficult to describe without demonstration, although I shall try. Imagine a Google Earth for your presentation slides; you can begin with an overview contained in the field of view of your audience, before moving into sections, but always within the context of the initial overview; Prezi allows you to customise a route through your text, images and videos, using flashy animation (like moving from location to location in Google Earth) to navigate and zoom around the information you wish to disseminate. As with all developing web-based tools, there are a few issues, particularly with the narrow range of supported video formats, limited text formatting tools and some issues with image scaling (it’s best to convert your images to pdfs). Prezi is free for educational use, however, and the reaction from your audience will be worth that exploratory effort.

So whilst we are stuck with our temperamental printers, unruly paper, and comical dancing acts in front of our poster boards for now, at least it is possible to point to an animated version of the poster on a laptop or tablet screen. How long will it be before iPosters take that step from sidekick on the pedestal to the main board?

My interactive poster can be viewed online.

Perspectives from the EGU GA 2011 (5)

This year on the EGU General Assembly blog there will be guest posts from participants about their research and their impressions of sessions. These are personal points of view not EGU corporate views. If you would like to contribute a research or session viewpoint, please email us.

This perspective from the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011 is from Marianne Corvellec a PhD student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. She presented her research in NP8.1 Stochastic Approaches for Multiscale Modelling in Geosciences

First time experiences at EGU GA 2011

I am taking this opportunity to share my experience at EGU 2011. I am a PhD student in Physics, and this is my first time at EGU. I am thankful for my advisor who suggested right on time that I submit an abstract for EGU 2011 –which I did on the very deadline day. I was not used to having an impressive audience –with many big names and many unknown faces, I mean. I was not used to very strict timing instructions either, but it felt like it went well. I haven’t had the chance/time to catch up with everyone who asked me questions after the talk. The General Assembly is so huge and busy. I am not too frustrated about it, because I think that, once back home, I can recover who is who, who works on what, using the online programme. At the EGU General Assembly, anyway, you should never think in terms of what you are missing out on: the answer is inexorably TONS. I can tell just from browsing the EGUToday editions. So I decided to focus on my session; I appreciated very much the talks being short and self-contained. At the General Assembly, you get to meet people you know but don’t get to see very often, people you know by name, new people –sorry, they’re called Young Scientists. So I’m experiencing the usual adrenaline rush you get at conferences, as you (try and) tell about your (more or less solitary) work, as some elements start to make more sense because you’re giving them context and motivations, in your explanation effort. Well, at some point you just can’t wait to go back home, and try computing/writing what you’ve been brought to think about. In the mean time, I enjoy the socializing and networking; I haven’t done anything cultural/touristy in Vienna, really, but I think I very much like this city –let me mention that I find it incredibly affordable. Hopefully this statement will not cause the Vienna ‘stocks’ to go up. To be honest, I am not too fond of the venue; I think the poster area is too air-conditioned, and some rooms are too dark. But the conference assistants are doing a great job in their yellow T-shirts; you can always ask for some help in German or English. All in all, I am leaving EGU gA 2011 tired but energized. Don’t you know what I mean? Come over next year!

Webstreams from the EGU GA 2011

All the webstreamed events at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly are available online still. Please share with those you think will find them useful.

Webstreaming Page.

The events from the EGU GA 2011 that are available are:
US1 A Planet Under Pressure
US2 The Future of Water Cycle Earth Observing Systems
US3 How Science Can Aid Society in Tackling Emerging Risks
US4 The 22 February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake
US5 The 11 March 2011 Tohoku (Sendai) Earthquake and Tsunami
GDG1 How will Europe face the raw materials crisis?
UMC1 What are the unresolved questions and future perspectives for palaeoclimate research? An EGU Masterclass by André Berger and Wolfgang H. Berger
ML1 Alfred Wegener Medal Lecture – Understanding the drivers of environmental changes in West Africa from sedimentary deep-sea records by Gerold Wefer
ML2 Arthur Holmes Medal Lecture – Three grand challenges in geomorphology: rock, climate, and life by William E. Dietrich
ML3 Jean Dominique Cassini Medal Lecture – Highlights of ESA’s Planetary Sciences Programme Achievements and a Glimpse into the Future by Jean-Pierre Lebreton
US0 EGU Award Ceremony

Also the press conferences are available;
Press Conference 1 A new science plan for ocean drilling – The Future of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Press Conference 2 Polar Ozone – What’s going on in the Arctic?
Press Conference 3 What can we do about Europe’s raw materials crisis?
Press Conference 4 Unlocking climate and sea level secrets since the Last Glacial Maximum – Results from the IODP Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes Expedition
Press Conference 5 Geothermal energy versus CO2-storage: can we use the underground more than once?
Press Conference 6 GOCE & GRACE: global impacts of the ever changing surface of the Earth, recent mission results
Press Conference 7 Emerging risks and natural hazards: a multi-stakeholder approach to understanding and managing extremes
Press Conference 8 Oxygen Depletion – Triple Trouble
Press Conference 9 The 22 February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake
Press Conference 10 Tsunami impact and Tsunami Early Warning Systems

Winners of the EGU GA 2011 Photo Competition

The photo competition at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011 had 275 entries, with 9 finalists. Participants at the General Assembly voted 1418 times and the top three images are below.

All the finalist and entry images are on Imaggeo,which is the online open access geosciences image repository of the European Geosciences Union. Every geoscientist who is an amateur photographer (but also other people) can submit their images to this repository. Being open access, it can be used by scientists for their presentations or publications as well as by the press. If you submit your images to imaggeo, you retain full rights of use, since they are licenced and distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

1st Place: James Levine

Geysir (from which the English word, geyser, is derived) in the Haukadalur valley, Iceland. The photograph was taken just before the geyser ‘blew’; you can see the air bubbles rushing towards the surface within the mounting dome of water.

2nd Place: Jose Julian Esteban

Folded Cretaceous Calcarenite layers.

3rd Place: Jacqueline Isabella Gisen

A tropical palm tree hit by heavy storm.

A tropical palm tree hit by heavy storm.