Graduate student Gary Trubl presented a poster and postdoctoral researcher Joanne Emerson gave a talk at the 2016 AGU Fall meeting (December 12-16, San Francisco).
Gary recounts his experience:
“AGU is my favorite meeting because it brings together over 20,000 scientists across several disciplines like chemistry, geology, planetary science, microbiology, hydrology, and climate science – to name a few. It is one of the largest conferences held every year at The Moscone center in San Francisco, CA. There are two talk and poster sessions a day: Monday-Friday, morning 8am-12:30pm and afternoon 1:30-6pm. At any given time there are over 200 posters up and 40 talks being given…It can be a little brutal and it is easy to get overwhelmed. This was my fourth time attending this conference, so you would think I am a pro, but there are still talks or posters that I wanted to see but missed.
The best advice I would give to first time attendees is to plan out your schedule ahead of time and mark which posters and talks are highest priority. The reason for this is with so many people in attendance, you bump into old friends or people you would like to meet. And one of the most important aspects of a large conference is networking. If you take advantage of this conference, you can use it to post jobs, get a job, meet people you would never otherwise meet, form collaborations, and, best of all, present your work to someone in another field and get a new perspective. Another thing to note is to not be afraid to ask questions and take breaks. In academia you would be amazed at the great friendships you can make by meeting someone for coffee or a beer to discuss your work or theirs. I met some great people and ended up taking the Caltrain to Mountain View and got a private tour of the NASA Ames campus!”