Posts from the AGU-niverse - Meha Jain, CHANS Fellow

Meha JainMeha Jain is an ecology, evolution and environmental biology doctoral student at Columbia University. 

Greetings from (a not so sunny) San Francisco! I am a 2012 CHANS-Net Fellow and was luckily given the opportunity to attend and present at the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting this year. 

This is the BIGGEST (and I mean biggest by far) gathering of Earth Scientists at one time in the world, and even though my friends who have come to these meetings before tried to prepare me for all that is AGU, there is nothing that anyone could say to get me ready for this event (aptly referred to AGU-niverse). Over 22,000 Earth Scientists have descended upon the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco for a five-day showcase of some of the best and latest research on planetary sciences, oceanography, bio-geosciences, hydrology, and most importantly (I am not biased of course) coupled human and natural systems. 

All I can say is that I am very excited and happy to be here and hopefully through these blog posts I can share some of what I learn here with you.

From my first few days at the conference, a few very notable themes seem to emerge from the various oral talks, town hall meetings, and poster sessions that I have attended: first, the importance of conducting inter-disciplinary research that integrates across social and natural disciplinary boundaries; and second, the need to share our research results with a broader audience outside of academia. 

While I have been thinking about these issues for some time, the sheer depth of research and outreach that is occurring here at AGU is opening up my eyes and exposing me to new concepts and fields that will hopefully result in me becoming a more well-rounded and thoughtful scientist.

My next few posts will discuss each of these issues more in depth with exciting tidbits and anecdotes from what I have seen here at AGU, including a very memorable one-hour talk given by the charismatic Ira Flatow of Science Friday. But for now I have to leave you as I am about to meet with the other nine CHANS-Net fellows – all of whom are incredible and do fascinating research - which will hopefully lead to long-lasting collaborations and friendships!