Sunday, June 27, 2010

Evolution 2010 update

Portland is beautiful. Apparently it has been raining and chilly leading up to the conference, but now it is sunny and beautiful. It is still chilly in the mornings, but it warms up by midday.

I'm on the bus now - they have a pretty good bus system here - riding from my aunt's home to the Conference. It is about an hour from start to end, but I like it because it gives me time to see the scenery, or catch up on writing. (I'll post this when I get there.)

Scott has been having a wonderful time in Berkeley/San Francisco area - he'll be headed home late tonight. I'm hoping to hear back from the lab I applied to in Stanford. I was getting a little nervous because I hadn't had any response, but just learned that the professor is in Europe right now - and will actually be attending the SMBE conference. I'm going to try and set up a meeting with him there - which would be awesome!

I have my talk prepared for this coming Monday (at 4:45 in the Oregon Convention Center in room B133, if you'd like to attend!), but I realized yesterday that I'm the only mammalian person in a sea of marine researchers. So, I might tweak it a bit to add some more background and skim over one or two of the technical slides. I figure it is better for the audience to get the "big picture" than for me to get bogged down in all the details (especially for a 15 minute talk). There are plenty of people here who I'd like to meet with to discuss the project in more detail, but that will happen outside of the talk anyway.

I think I'll be happy with a dozen or so people in the audience (considering I'm the last talk on Monday, and my focus is different than the rest in the session) - I'll let you know how it goes!

I've been doing my best to tweet (#evol2010) about the sessions I've attended. I have to admit that I missed the 3:30-5:00 set of sessions yesterday due to delirium from getting only 3 hours of sleep the past two days. Probably better for me to get well rested for the remainder of the conference than sit glassy-eyed through the last set of talks on the first day.

I've been very impressed with the talks so far. Evolution meetings are wonderful because of the vast diversity of topics. But, that can also be its downfall. With 12 concurrent sessions, it can be difficult to choose where to go, and overwhelming for first-time attendees. This being my third Evolution meeting, that I have to commend the Department of Biology at the Portland State University (go PSU!) for their choice of venue. One of the biggest challenges at other venues is having to move from building to building to get to the talks, resulting in lots of wasted time. Evolution2010 is being held at the Oregon Conference Center, where, I can easily slip out during the 1min of questions and make it to the next room before the next talk starts - it is wonderful!!

Also, another great idea from the conference organizers this year was to put the schedule up online prior to the conference (although I wish it had been up a few weeks earlier). This allowed me to go through the sessions during my travel and pick out the sessions I absolutely wanted to make sure I attended, and easily fill up my entire schedule. Now I'm not wandering around, wondering where I should go next - I have them all highlighted and copied into my own personal schedule.

In other news - my iPhone4 is awesome. The pictures uploaded here were all taken with my phone. It isn't perfect, but it's dang handy.

Yes, I took a photo in the restroom - but how cool is it that the convention center has water saving functions?!

Last night I went out to dinner with my Aunt Roberta - she enjoyed some wine,

and we both enjoyed this foccacia with Tillamook cheese (from Oregon!).

And, last by not least - the dogs seem to be doing well with our friends in PA - with the minor exception that they have decided to roll in horse poop at every possible opportunity:

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