Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I Survived GRA and GSA

AEG Presidential Selfie at the
Capilano Suspension Bridge in
Vancouver, BC
Even though I’ve been back from my trip that took me to California and Vancouver, BC for the GRA and GSA conferences, respectfully, I am still trying to play catch-up.

The trip began when I landed in Oakland, CA back in mid-October. I spent a couple of hours at the AMEC office in Oakland and then headed into San Francisco. I met up with Sarah Kalika, the SF Section Chair, at the Hyatt Regency to tour it for advance planning for the 2018 AEG-IAEG Meeting. That hotel will be a great venue.

Then I crossed the street to the SF Section meeting next to the Ferry Building. The SF Giants were playing in the National League Championship Series, so attendance was a bit low (note – don’t go up against playoff baseball with a technical talk). Though it was great to interact with a more intimate crowd.

Then I was off to Sacramento for the GRA conference, where I presented a poster. It was a very interesting meeting and I’m glad that I attended. I see a lot of activity in the groundwater world coming for California – both good and bad – and the overall mood at the conference was a bit depressing with dealing with the realities of the lack of water in the West.

From Sacramento I flew to Vancouver, BC for GSA. This was my first time at GSA and it was nice – I was able to catch up with a few old friends from grad school and there were several AEG members around as well. I participated in the Onto the Future Mentor program, though I didn’t get to spend near enough time with my mentee. It was also a bit disheartening to see that the for all of the interesting career information that was available, it was pretty much only oil and gas companies that were participating (the price tag was way too high for anyone else). I’d be happier if there was more information for other options that students have (such as environmental and engineering geology).

I ended up in meetings most of the time, and only saw the technical talks that were around my own. The meetings were great, though a bit overwhelming. Even as President of AEG I’m continually surprised by just how much our little Association does.

I did manage to skip out one morning and visit a nice urban park/tourist trap – the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s in a temperate rain forest in North Vancouver – and it is beautiful, if a bit pricey and crowded. But it was a nice way to spend a few hours.

Anyway, I’m back now and trying to get some actual work done, keep AEG in hand, and spend time with my family. It’s all just another ball in the air (it’d be easier if I could actually juggle though). But it was a great trip, and I’m looking forward to the next one in December – I’ll be visiting the Kansas City/Omaha and St. Louis Sections. Hopefully I can work in another one as well – I’m looking at you North Central.