After years of being a (self-proclaimed) planetary scientist, the stars finally aligned and I was able to attend my very first LPSC this year. Overall rating: 9/10. Pros: no commuting (like at all), warm weather (was it though?), the looming presence of the Goose’s Acre (and their margaritas), the Marriott pool and hot tub (thank you Daly fund), and evidently the very cool stuff that people were presenting on non-stop from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm(!). I just realized that’s 12 hours – quick maths. It’s hard enough at AGU when there’s 283 sessions happening at once, but somehow only having 4 sessions at LPSC makes it even more painful to choose, like it’s personal. They are all so close and yet so far. But I guess being spoilt for choice is not a bad thing, especially when you can take your pick from anywhere in the Solar System!
On another note, someone who I consider to be One of the Smartest People I’ve Ever Met From My Generation once told me that taking notes during a talk is a waste of time, and that you could only truly absorb/retain information if you listened and did not mess around with silly scribbles that would end up in the trash 6 months later. In my dubious quest to be as smart as said Smart Person, I gave up writing notes, like, ever. That being said, I now have very little recollection of any talk I have been to, or who even gave it (and where? or when? all great questions). I literally can’t think of a single AGU talk I saw right now, and that was just in December. So, Dear Smartest Person, I’m afraid that after 4 years I am going to have to admit defeat — that is just not how my brain works.
Fast forward to LPSC: I tried very hard to write down every key observation, major result, interesting fact, and, more importantly, ~fancy~ figure that popped up on the projector. I was constantly stressed, yes, and may have ended up with weird finger cramps, sure, but looking back I can actually now visualize the science I learnt; hopefully that means I can remember it in future! But we’ll see about that. That is a problem for future Gaia. In any case, I have uploaded my notes here, along with a gif flip-though of my Paper Journal, in case anyone finds it useful.
Oh and I forgot to mention the main Con: that bizarre hot dog dinner they served one night (was it Tuesday? Should have taken notes). I don’t think I will ever be able to remove that smell from my clothes or my brain. Good times.
See you next year, Woodlands TX!
Ps. Here’s a list of some amazing abstracts I swindled my way into:
- Is that a bird? No, it’s a Mars Science Helicopter searching for paleo-habitability! (Kite et al.)
- AXE: Astrobiology eXporation at Enceladus (Science & Implementation), conceived with so much love at the JPL PSSS (Seaton et al.)
- Can’t get enough of catastrophic flooding on early Mars (Goudge, Morgan et al.)
- How/why the heck do rivers even flow into Mars craters in the first place? (Bamber et al.)