Tis the Season for Academic Conferences

Continuing on this topic of conferencing, I returned late last week from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) annual meeting in San Antonio, TX. Although this conference only has 2.5 days of technical sessions, I was exhausted every day, I’m not sure how I managed to do all the things I needed [and wanted] to do. SEG is the one conference my entire research group at the KGS attends, seriously, every student and scientist in my group attends. That totals eight+ people from our section alone, which is in addition to the 10+ others that attend from our university. Needless to say, Kansans are [what I consider] a prominent force at the SEG annual meetings.

Not-so inconspicuously getting crafty on the floor of our hotel lobby upon arriving in San Antonio.

This year was a little more special compared to previous years and that is because my advisor was officially sworn in as SEG President on the last day of the conference. Surprisingly, I think I saw my advisor more frequently this year than any other year I’ve attended this meeting. I organized a celebration in his honor the first night that brought friends and colleagues from earlier days to share field stories and other fun memories, truly a wonderful night. A few hours prior to the party, I rounded up some colleagues to help me put together a giant AGU poster-sized photo collage that highlighted the last 40 years of my advisors’ career, which we hung in his hotel suite along with congratulatory banners. That poster became a major talking point throughout the night where we all reminisced about the “good old days” and heard field stories from years past. It’s incredible how far research in our field [of near-surface seismic] has come and that so much came from the folks in this research group I call home.

SEG is a special time for my colleagues and I, not because of the great and inspiring science we see, but because of the time we get to spend with each other. I love that I get to attend every year and am fortunate to have these memories with my colleagues, we’re not just a research group, we’re a family of geophysicists. Mirroring a theme @geoarchandlush mentioned in her previous post, I’m delighted that there are still places in academia where people are for each other, not against each other. Where we help each other achieve our goals and succeed in our work, rather than worrying about who has more publications or awards. And I’m fortuate enough to be in one of those places at the KGS, but I know it’s not that way everywhere.

Anyway, enough gushing, it’s time to get back to work before I head off to my next conference in October. More later on SEG and some of the exciting things I’ve been working on.

Yours in ladygeophysics,

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