I had the pleasure of attending the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference! I submitted two abstracts this year. One on the B.Sc. thesis work I did at Simon Fraser University on Venusian canali, and the other was on my role on the GIS and Mapping team for the Canadian Mars Analogue Sample Return Mission. I'm very proud of both abstracts, and was delighted to be able to share my work with the broader scientific community. Many people I spoke with were unfamiliar with the CanMars project, and were very intrigued when I explained the incentive behind it, that is, to test how well decision making from a rover mission control centre differs from an geological field team with regards to sample selection. I also spoke with many members of the Venus scientific community, as well as a lava modeler from the FINESSE team (see Gavin's work for more information on FINESSE), who were very intrigued by the thermorheological flow modelling I'm performing for Venusian canali. All of the Venus scientists were hoping that I had modeled carbonatite in the channels, but unfortunately carbonatite melt is beyond the scope of our work at this time.
Overall, I attended many fascinating talks and met a diverse group of talented people. I also had the opportunity reconnected with old friends and colleagues from my LPI internship, CPSX alumni, the CanMars mission, my Misasa internship, and people from my previous attendance at LPSC and other conferences.
I was one of the official "microbloggers" for the conference. This means I was responsible for posting frequent Twitter updates throughout the event. You can read my tweets here: http://twitter.com/elusieum. I found being a microblogger to be an engaging opportunity. For one, I found myself needed to focus on how to summarize key points from talks in 140 characters or less. I frequently have difficulties paying attention and focusing during presentations (one of my undergraduate colleagues will attest that she watched over my shoulder as I read a list of "top 25 pies of all time" during a geochemistry lecture) but microblogging kept me concentrated and focused on what the speaker was saying. I also needed to write the summaries in accessible language - 140 characters doesn't give you much space to elaborate. Finally, microblogging was very useful for networking. Not only did I meet many of the other microbloggers, but I also had other people come up and introduce themselves to me because they recognized my name. Overall it was a great experience, and would definitely sign up again, next time I attend LPSC!
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