Monday, October 19, 2009

GSA Portland - Day 1

So a summation of my first day at GSA. Hear are some of the highlights of my day:

From the Geoscience Education Talks:
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DITCHING THE TEXTBOOK AND TEACHING GEOLOGY IN THE CONTEXT OF STORIES: BRANLUND, Joy

She is a professor at a college who is trying to use alternative forms of teaching geology. Mainly she used a textbook, Language of the Earth, that tried to teach geology through telling stories. This is very similar to my thing of Geology through Literature. I had a pleasant conversation with her afterwards as well.
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LIGHTS! CAMERA! ...FICTION?: USING HOLLYWOOD FILMS TO TEACH EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE IN AN UNDERGRADUATE SCIENCE-IN-CONTEXT COURSE: METZGER, Christine A

This talk was directly before mine and had me really (and I mean REALLY) nervous before I went because the titles are very similar. But as I read her abstract I got the feeling she was going in a different direction than mine. And as I watched the talk it reemphasised the point that our talks were very complimentary of each other. I don't know if she stayed to watch mine but if she did hopefully she got the same impression as well.
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Next came my talk. Yea! Then after that:
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THE GCI WebCenter: A TOOL FOR COMMUNITY-WIDE CONCEPT INVENTORY DEVELOPMENT: WARD, Emily M. Geraghty

This was a very interesting concept. It is a place where people around the world can submit test questions and they get reviewed and reviewed and edited until they spit out the best multiple choice test questions they can get. The neat thing about this is that they emphasise questions that are not easy to figure out if you don't know the information.

After that I left because I needed to wind down from my talk, but eventually I went to the lunch lecture.
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Toward a Shared Energy Future: Carbon Sequestration and the Global Corporation

This talk I did not enjoy. I assumed it would be about carbon sequestration. And it was. A little. The feeling I got leaving was I knew nothing new at all and I felt like I just sat through a half-hour advertisement for their company ADM.

After that it was off to some paleo and some Geoscience digital innovation talks.
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DIGITAL GEOLOGY IN THE 21st CENTURY: IT'S HERE, DON'T FEAR, GET INTO IT: HOUSE, P. Kyle

Rather amusing but I think he downplayed the financial aspect of some of the technological needs in his talk.
UPDATE: OK, I talked with Kyle and he was correct in stating that the finances are not as bad as I envisioned them. You just have to spend more money for the cooler stuff but the cheaper stuff will still work with just a little extra effort.
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I TWEET, THEREFORE I AM: SOCIAL NETWORKS IN THE GEOSCIENCES: ALLISON, M. Lee

I rather enjoyed this talk. I joined Twitter then never really used it because I could not foresee an actual use for it. But he put across some pretty compelling uses in our day and age for geoscience advancements.

And the last talk of note:
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EVALUATING LATE TRIASSIC FAUNAL CHANGE AND THE RISE OF DINOSAURS: EXAMPLES FROM THE CHINLE FORMATION OF NORTH-CENTRAL NEW MEXICO: IRMIS, Randall B

This is the new Vert Paleo professor at my school and I enjoyed it. Randy always come across as a pretty laid back, easy going guy. And his talk showed that, which I think made it rather enjoyable.

So that is it from day 1. I then proceeded to the posters but I will go over that in a separate post.