Chicago Conference – 12/11/2022

I had a work trip to Chicago to attend the AGU 2022 conference. (Since this is about a work conference, you can tell this is Danelle posting and not Hogan!) AGU is the American Geophysical Union – a group that includes anyone who studies water, soil, rocks, air, or space. The event was attended by about 20,000 scientists representing NASA, USGS, private industry, university faculty with specialties like hydrogeophysics, aerospace engineering, and vulcanology…but not many ecologists like me. That just means that I have a lot to teach them and they have a lot to teach me!

The photo above is part of the exhibit hall where universities tried to entice people to join them as faculty or grad students, GIS masters with ESRI gave short seminars on how their amazing software could change your world, and NASA showed off their amazing tools and equipment. Below is a photo of the poster hall – the posters were changed every day and they had over 2,600 stands for posters, so there were probably about 10,000 posters presented. I obviously did not see all of them, because I am still capable of walking.

At the conference, I gave two presentations. The first was about my most recent road salt publication with 3 citizen/community science co-authors. The second was a description of the successes I’ve had working with community scientists to do ‘real’ science, including the road salt work and my more recent freshwater mussel work. If you want to learn more about any of this, reach out sometime! I love to go all science nerd with my friends!!

While I was in Chicago, I was interviewed by Melba Lara of WBEZ (Chicago’s NPR affiliate) for their All Things Considered program. They wanted to hear about Illinois RivrWatch and our Winter Chloride Watchers program. I went to their offices at Navy Pier to be interviewed in-person. Melba, the producer, and the sound engineer were all very lovely and it was so much easier to have a conversation face-to-face rather than over the phone. If you’re interested, you can hear the interview at:

After the interview, I walked around outside in the cold wind of Chicago in December. Oddly, I had most of the place to myself!

This was a fairly eventful trip to Chicago, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I know I’ll be back in just a few months for training sessions – hopefully it will be a bit warmer.