Sunday, March 16, 2008

LPSC 2008

Just returned from the 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. It's a whirlwind week of research, conversations, networking, old friends, new friends, parties, talking, posters, strategizing, advising, chatting...and then a day to recover my voice, do my laundry, catch up on email, and sort my thoughts.

My favorite thing this LPSC was seeing the Kaguya high-definition TV camera images on a true HDTV set. They look unreal. Really. Like someone cgi-ed a lunar landscape with a beautiful blue marble rising behind it. The videos on the web (Earthrise and Flyover) do not do this instrument justice. Another favorite thing was seeing packed lunar sessions in the big conference room. Planetary scientists study processes and there are some fun processes to study on the Moon - and when people sense that there will be some money to study those processes, they can really pack a room! :) Personally I was glad to see a roomful of potential new collaborators!

My next-favorite thing about this year was the women's breakfast. I have a deep interest in women-in-science issues and though I don't make a big deal of it on this blog, I hope to be starting cross-posting between here and the new Women in Planetary Science blog.

My always- favorite thing is also my nightmare. Literally - I have a common stress nightmare where I am trying to go to an LPSC session but I get stuck in the static field that is the LSPC foyer, full of people, can't move my legs, can't make it to the other side as people keep trapping me to talk to them... OK so it's not really a nightmare in real life, but there is a grain of truth to it. I haven't been at an institution for a long time where I have a ready-made network of diverse collaborators to sit down with an bounce ideas off of. LPSC fills that role for me and I try to take advantage of it. So many amazing people in this field to work with and only a week to talk to them all! Well, I made some good headway.

I did make it to most of the lunar sessions, amazingly, and to Mike Griffin and Alan Stern's presentations on the state of the Agency. Fortunately there was a good roster of bloggers capturing the rest of the conference:

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