Grad Student’s Quick Guide to Gargantuan Conferences

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 | Author:

Erin Haacker, ESPP and Geological Sciences doctoral student. AGU offered free professional headshots at their 2015 Fall Meeting.

There is an art to attending a conference. Sure, you can just show up and bounce around, Brownian-motion-style, but I’m here to tell you that there is a better way.

I recently attended (Thanks, ESPP!!!) the American Geophysical Union – AGU – Fall Meeting, the largest geosciences meeting in the world, with my husband, our six-month-old daughter, and about 23,000 of our closest friends and colleagues. My poster was one of 15,000+ presented at the conference in California. I love to spot other geoscientists while traveling to the meeting; with so many people, there are poster tubes on every flight. As we get close to the conference center in San Francisco, we begin to herd together, outnumbering the uninitiated. This is how it feels to be a migrating caribou.

Modern Challenges to Agricultural Water Management by Sam Smidt

Tuesday, December 01st, 2015 | Author:

Thanks to the support of ESPP, I was able to share my research at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. The GSA Annual Meeting is a global conference focused on advancing geoscience research linked to the earth, society, education, and the profession. This year, over 7,000 attendees gathered to discuss the most recent geoscience ideas.


At the meeting, I presented the work completed by a team of researchers in the MSU Hydrogeology Lab. My presentation entitled, “Modern Challenges to Agricultural Water Management: Physical, Agricultural, and Socioeconomic Implications on the High Plains Aquifer”, focused on the future of effective water management strategies given the lessons learned from agriculture on the High Plains. This presentation was part of a sustainability technical session that included other agricultural studies from around the world.


Presenting at the largest algal conference in the world! by Jakob Nalley

Tuesday, December 01st, 2015 | Author:

I had the pleasure to be selected as a speaker at the 2015 Algal Biomass Summit held in Washington DC from September 30th to October 2nd. In addition to the ESPP Doctoral Travel Fellowship, I also was honored with receiving the Mary Rosenthal Memorial Student Travel Grant. Attending this conference has been the most influential experience I have had as a graduate student. The conference was bustling with academics, industry members and government representatives all energized about the many applications algae can have to help move society forward. This energy was invigorating and I left the conference recharged and determined to make a difference with my research. The networking at this conference exposed me to individuals and companies that I would never have had a chance to interact with elsewhere. I met industry leaders, top scientists in the field, and even managed to make a few postdoctoral connections. I presented both an oral talk and a poster. Some of the work I presented was from research I conducted this past summer at the Kellogg Biological Station with an REU and URA student. My talk focused on how fluctuating temperatures can directly influence the growth and productivity of algal biofuel generation in outdoor ponds. My poster focused on a new venture with Bell’s Brewery (Comstock, MI) where we are attempting to tap into the remediation power of algae to clean up brewery wastewater while producing biomass for biofuel production. The conference was a monumental experience and offered the opportunity to begin laying the foundation for my future career. I cannot thank ESPP enough for their continued support in enabling graduate students to attend conferences and have such amazing experiences.

International Association for Great Lakes Research Annual Conference by Guoting Kang

Monday, November 30th, 2015 | Author:

Thank you very much ESPP for funding me to attend the IAGLR’s (International Association for Great Lakes Research) Annual Conference at Burlington, Vermont, 2015.
The IAGLR’s Annual Conference is held by the IAGLR, which is a scientific organization of researchers focusing on the Laurentian Great Lakes, other large lakes of the world, and their watersheds, as well as those with an interest in such research. The members of this conference encompass all scientific disciplines with a common interest in the management of large lake ecosystems on many levels. With scholars from various backgrounds, this year’s theme of the conference covers topics from earth science, data management and modeling, nutrients, contaminants, novel and advancing technologies, food webs and ecosystems, innovative approaches to science to education and outreach.
In the conference, I presented my research as first author on detecting and quantifying upwelling events in the Great Lakes using satellite sea surface temperature (SST) data. Costal upwelling events play an important role in ocean and large lake ecosystems, since they transport the cooler and usually nutrient-rich water to the surface layer boosting phytoplankton growth and thus fishery production. However, depending on different locations, an in situ instrument might not capture an upwelling event because the limited spatial area it covers is usually not large enough to produce the temperature profile needed for upwelling analysis. High spatial resolution remote sensing thermal infrared data provide the opportunity to capture the large-scale water surface temperature change. In this study, daily cloud-free surface water temperature (GLSEA) charts derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) surface water temperature data are used to monitor upwelling events’ spatial variability and horizontal distribution.
I was excited that the scientists from a wide variety of disciplines were interested in my work. They asked many inspiring questions and offered invaluable comments and ideas which were helpful for transforming this research into an academic paper. Also, I was able to communicate with scholars who share similar interests in Great Lakes studies. This conference provided me an opportunity to have a better understanding of my discipline and my study topic as well. It was a very successful conference experience.
Thanks ESPP again for the support which made this trip possible.ESPP_post_Guoting

Synchronicity: An Ideal for Interspecies Compositionist Ethics

Friday, November 13th, 2015 | Author:

By Zach Piso

With the support of ESPP, I was able to attend the 2015 annual meeting of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy in Atlanta, GA. The interdisciplinary conference brings together excellent researchers from environmental philosophy as well as environmental and social sciences. The IAEP community is very supportive of junior scholars and I’ve benefitted from feedback from peers and more senior scholars at a number of their conferences (twice with the support of IAEP, for which I am very grateful).


Updates from the American Fisheries Society Conference by Joe Nohner

Friday, November 06th, 2015 | Author:

Earlier this semester, I was fortunate to attend the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The conference brought together almost 3,000 attendees from across the world to discuss issues relating to fisheries research and management.


Joe Nohner

At the conference, I shared results from research conducted here in Michigan in my presentation, “Effects of Macrophytes on Growth of Age-0 Largemouth Bass in Experimental Enclosures”. The talk was well attended, and I received strong interest in and questions from my peers.

I also had the chance to attend presentations on related research. The knowledge I gleaned from other researchers will help me to improve my dissertation research and ultimately the publications that will arise from my work.

System Dynamics Symposium by Timothy Silberg

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 | Author:

I cannot thank ESPP enough for supporting my trip to the 3rd Annual System Dynamics Symposium in Sao Paulo, Brazil!


The symposium is one of the few opportunities systems modelers from around the world have the opportunity to present and collaborate on their current research. The symposium included research ranging from solar energy trends, nature park preservation and fresh water consumption rates. The system dynamics society is comprised of thousands of members in numerous professions internationally.

Together, my colleagues and I organized a paper entitled “Integrating Econometric and System Dynamics modeling to assess adoption of hybrid maize varieties in Gujarat, India”. The System Dynamics Brazilian Chapter accepted the paper and I was invited on behalf of the group to present the research as a plenary presentation. Based on an analysis of 2013 household data in Gujarat, I discussed how logistic regressions analysis could be combined with agent-based modeling to elucidate how diffusion of stress tolerant maize may occur over time.

International Soil and Water Conference by Fariborz Daneshvar

Monday, October 26th, 2015 | Author:


The ESPP travel grant gave me a chance to attend the International Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Conference at Purdue University, October 14th-16th, 2015. I had an oral presentation titled “Comparison of multiple point and single point calibration performance for the Saginaw River Watershed” and I got very good comments on my work.

Besides that, I had a chance to meet experts in my area and hear about new research concerns and developments in SWAT modeling. Regarding my research, I could talk with people in the same field at Purdue University and got to know what techniques they are using to improve their SWAT models. I am going to do collaboration with them in future, which will be very helpful toward my PhD research.

Fisheries, Crime, and Enforcement by Molly Good

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 | Author:

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is an organization of professional members – students, educators, researchers, and managers – that strive to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems through the advancement of aquatic and fisheries sciences and the development of fisheries professionals.  The American Fisheries Society meets annually in mid-August in a different location each year.


The 145th Annual Meeting of AFS was held in Portland, Oregon from August 16-20, 2015.  The meeting is normally composed of a series of symposia and, within each symposia, is a number of related oral presentations.  This year, AFS advertised 103 symposia and approximately 2,180 oral presentations, which made this meeting the largest annual meeting yet!


Molly’s Experience:


International Communication Association conference by Ran Duan

Monday, July 27th, 2015 | Author:

First of all, I would like to thank ESPP for supporting my trip to the conference at San Juan, Puerto Rico!

The International Communication Association’s (ICA) annual meeting is one of the biggest conferences in our field. It includes research, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. The association has more than 4,500 members in 80 countries.

My presentation was titled, “Examining international news flow: a comparative study of American and Chinese newspaper coverage of Beijing’s air pollution.” By content analyzing 234 newspaper articles from 2008 to 2013 in both Chinese and American media, I discussed how a local environmental problem became an international news topic under the globalization.