GSA Ramp Up

‘Twas the week before GSA and all through the halls, the geos panicking and sighing out loud. “My poster’s not done!” “The talk is which day?!” “Oh crap, I said I’d do that, but there’s time-wise no way!”

If you’re not a conference-attending-type person, think of GSA as sort of a big geology jamboree. It’s four days of nerding out with other geos, collecting swag, and surviving on reception snacks instead of real food.
It’s pretty fab.

The Geological Society of America annual meeting (GSA) is super early this year and it’s caught everybody off guard. I bumped into my favorite senior scientist at work today (*cough* this evening) and he looked as bleary-eyed as I did. We commiserated briefly about poster prep while I filled my water bottle at the fountain, then each headed back to the eyeball torture that is Illustrator.

Many U.S.-based geos, myself included, are in that oh-my-god-it’s-almost-time scramble. We’re fussing with our posters, desperately trying to finish analyzing data, wishing we hadn’t said we’d give talks, figuring out who will feed our cats, making sure we have everything we need for several days of casual but professional-ish attire (Phoenix in September is my professional-looking geowardrobe nightmare), making schedules of talks (and receptions) we want to attend, arranging to meet friends who work/study in other states, convincing graduate students to drive us to the airport, and trying to eat everything perishable in our fridges. Unless we have spouses or roommates, in which case we’re probably not eating left over kale salad and scrambled eggs for dinner.

I bought a poster tube and I’ve never felt like more of a grown up academic. Also, poster tube, professional blouses, tinted sunblock, and cat treats… #thisis34

I’m looking at a particularly busy GSA. At last check, my geology jamboree includes:

  • A short course on luminescence geochronology. If it sounds like magic when you read the description, don’t worry. I understand how it works, and it still sounds like magic to me.
  • A geoarchaeology field trip.
  • Helping with a social media workshop. I’m the Facebook expert, which I’m pretty pumped about since it’s an off shoot of becoming involved with The Geology Project, an online, English/Spanish bilingual outreach group.
  • Presenting a poster on my MS work. Major flooding in the Midwest means I didn’t get any dissertation data this summer 😦
  • Attending receptions for the Association for Women Geoscientists, the Geology and Society Division (they funded a grant I wrote!), the geoscience education division, the geoarchaeology division, as well as the OTF Diversity Reception, and the LGBTQ+ social. So social…
  • Oh, also, I’ll be taking an isotope geochem test while I’m at GSA (totally not panicked about it, it’s cool…), trying to do a lab assignment for another class and trying to finish a poster for a field trip that leaves immediately after GSA. Gonna be great.

And that doesn’t even include the sessions I’ll want to go to!

I’ll be trying to both do it all and post about it, so check back ithis weekend and early next week for photos and updates of my GSA 2019 experience. If you’re on Instagram, you can also follow #BlogoftheLadyGeos for photos and updates, and if you’re at GSA, feel free to use the hashtag so people can see more than just my little corner of the conference!

Wish me luck with my poster, and I’ll see you in Phoenix!

Yours in LadyGeoscience,

GeoarchAndLush

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