I spent last week at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Albuquerque. ESA meetings are huge, and Albuquerque was not quite prepared – at least one bar ran out of beer.
Albuquerque was not the prettiest city, but I loved that there were murals everywhere. Unfortunately, I only got one picture.
There were so many exciting and interesting talks. My favorite sessions were Ecological Insights from Long-Term Research Plots in Tropical and Temperate Forests and The Interplay of Ecology and Evolution at ‘Micro’ and ‘Macro’ Scales: Empirically-Motivated Theory. I’m itching to get my hands on some of that forest data – I had no idea there were so many long term monitored forest plots across the globe. The level of detail of the data that’s been collected is incredible – the presentation photos showed what appeared to be armies of field assistants. The ecology and evolution talks were super interesting to me since I’d eventually like to explore that interaction for tree populations in the context of climate change.
The absolute best part of ESA, though, is the people. I met professors I want to go to grad school with, students from all over with similar interests, and got to spend time with some of the amazing friends I made last summer. It’s a good feeling to be able to talk about what I love without people getting bored or intimidated.
As fun as the meeting is, it is exhausting. In an ideal world, I’d take a week off afterwards. Unfortunately I’ve got an abstract due August 21st for this conference. Ok, not unfortunately. I’m SO excited to be going to the conference, but I would like at least a little bit of a break.