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ENVIRON 2011

From the 6th – 8th April, the 21st Irish Environmental Researchers’ Colloquium, ENVIRON 2011, was being held at University College Cork. This is organised by ESAI (Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland) and is a conference which our whole lab attends each year. During the first day of the conference, a number of relevant workshops were held, and since two of my lab mates and myself were interested in that on Geospatial Technologies, we made our way down to Cork a bit earlier. I had used GIS during my fourth year project, however I only had a basic understanding of this tool. However I hope to be able to make use of GIS further during my PhD, as I believe it will significantly help my research. The workshop consisted of 1.5hours on GIS and 1.5hours on remote sensing, and therefore we did not really get an in-depth knowledge of the software. However, it was a good refresher course to remember what I had done before. I really liked that the workshop was mainly practical based, in that during each session, we had a short introduction, followed by hands-on experience of carrying out a tutorial.

That evening, a wine reception followed by the opening speeches were held. I was particularly interested in the keynote speech by Professor Michael Depledge. He touched upon a million and one things during his presentation, but he managed to make it accessible to all, yes still scientific enough. The next morning, the ‘conference proper’ was to start. After an initial plenary session, the various sessions of presentations were held. 4 different sessions were held at the same time, and one chooses which session he attends. Such sessions were to be held over the last 1.5 days, since the conference ended at lunch on Friday.

During the first session of ‘Water Quality’ I was to present a 1 minute oral presentation on my poster. I am glad I got to present my work and my slot was at the start, since a number of people came up to talk to me after that. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of students coming up to me to ask about my research and that they would be interested in my findings, since it could add something to what they are already doing. Therefore it is encouraging to see that IF my method works, it will find some use. Alas, it is an IF. It was also slightly unsettling, that some people are doing quite similar work to what I am doing. But that is research, and hopefully the work they will be doing will not be too similar.

I was particularly excited when my supervisor told me that a person from the EPA was interested in my work. I had been trying to contact people at the EPA, but it seems as if my messages were not going through. However I now have his contact details, and I will get back to him next week. If I can get the support of the EPA, it will certainly add some essential backing in relation to the relevance of my research.

As with the other conferences/meetings I have been at, I have found that it is not the actual presentations which are most useful, but rather the discussions held during the other activities, such as poster sessions, lunch or dinner. ENVIRON 2011 is over, and I look forward to ENVIRON 2012.

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  1. April 19, 2011 at 10:19 am

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