As I prepare to return to school in a few days, I took some time out to reflect on my experience at the American Geophysical Union Meeting. It is hard to believe that there were over 14,000 scientists at this meeting! It was a very busy week. On Sunday I joined Kristin Timm from ARCUS, a polar scientist from UC Berkeley, and fellow PolarTREC teachers Michael Wing and Cristina Galvan. We spent the day working at a science day for the public called "Exploration Station." In our booth we took pictures of participants in Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear. They enjoyed trying on the parka named "Big Red" and some families even turned their picture into a shot for a holiday card. We also played Polar Jeopardy. Michael showed items from his expedition to Finland, and Cristina shared some cool pictures of polar bears from hers.
Betsy Wilkening (l) and Cristina Galvan (rt) working Exploration Station at AGU Meeting in San Francisco
In between sessions on Monday, I got the chance to visit the California Academy of Sciences. It was a fun place to go with an awesome aquarium and a rainforest. It recently moved to an environmentally friendly building with a sod roof.
Grass Roof at California Academy of Sciences
African Penguins at California Academy of Sciences
At the AGU meeting I attended lots of the presentations and even presented one of my own. The poster sessions reminded me of a giant "Science Fair" for professional scientists. It was amazing how many posters were in the hall, and even more incredible to realize that after one day they are all taken down and replaced with a new set. The scientists scheduled time to be present and discuss their work at the poster sessions. I also met an incredibly brilliant 4th grade student that was presenting a poster about her project that measured water run-off from soccer fields.
Poster Session at American Geophysical Union Meeting
The last two days I participated in a teacher workshop and came home with many new ideas for my classroom. Overall it was an incredible learning experience and I am very grateful that I got to be a part of it.