AGU 2014 – The end

It is friday and therefore the end of an exciting week here in San Francisco. The last day was again quite calm, as there were mostly secondary priorities on my schedule. I started with some interesting talks on the action under the ice sheets before I took a walk through the poster hall and watched some talks on extreme sea-levels. The second part of the day was splitted between Informatics and Ice sheet modelling before my schedule ended with some extreme events several million years back.

So all in all it was an interesting week, with some surprises, many great discussions and much too many information. The greatest surprise was of cause the weather. I heard many reports in the last years about the great December in California from other people visiting the AGU, but this year was dominated by (partly) heavy rain.

As always at an end of a conference, it is worth to take a look back, about the good and bad things. First of all, the AGU is a very interesting conference which covers many research fields and is great to visit for someone, who is interested in interdisciplinary science. The city is also great, as well as the general location with the Moscone Centre. What I did not really liked was the schedule in terms of the poster sessions running parallel to the talks. In this instance is the EGU definitely much better. Furthermore, I would have prefered to have the posters all at one location. Distributing them over two lead to the consequence of missing many interesting ones, just because you are too lazy to cross the street at least twice a day. Yes, the conference is large, but I think that there would have been a different solution.

Another point is that I was definitely not happy about the software. It is more or less useless, as the website and the App is purely designed for people who are only visiting one discipline or know exactly what they want. It is not possible to search for all authors from one institution and landscape mode in the app is also not available. Together with the paper copy of the sessions (to get an overview) and the software (to see exactly which talks or posters are given by whom) it was possible to construct a personal session plan (of cause on paper, as the software solution is chaos). This point needs definitely improvement for the next years.

Apart from this there are only minor issues, but most come with the huge size of the conference. All in all it was a great week and I really enjoyed it. With this I say goodbye for this year and hopefully I will get a chance to get back here another time in the upcoming years.