Monday I delivered a seminar to the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) complete with a video hook up to their Lillehammer office as well! My work attracted quite a number of researchers of all different approaches (ecological economics, ecosystems services, environmental communication, ecologists…) with an interest and link to Svalbard (which is interesting in itself). It was very helpful to get some Norwegian perspectives on my interpretations and share some Svalbard experiences.
When not presenting
Normal (large) conference format
Abstract and presentation
A few minutes of questions if time, possibly some interest after the session
Time spent working out where to go and who to listen to outside your session.
A diverse mix of papers, pot luck as to whether you get what you expect.
Abstract, 5000 draft paper, presentation and reading colleagues drafts
20 minutes of discussion and feedback on the spoken and written paper, plus on-going discussion
Prolonged engagement with same group of people and related issues throughout the conference.
I perhaps expect too much from ‘normal’ conferences in terms of feedback, but they are still great for networking, keeping abreast of several areas of interesting current research and forcing you to present work clearly and succinctly. NESS certainly comes into its own with the discussion and feedback opportunities though, which I really appreciated especially in this writing up stage.
Finally, Paul Robbins finished up with a whirlwind of geographical analysis of forest species in India. Through counting frog and bird species and interviewing 1000 land-holders, the research team collected a wealth of data. Paul drew out the (surprising) links between Arabica coffee prices, working conditions, rural electrification canopy cover and species diversity. What an advert for a cross-spectrum, geographical approach! You can download all four of the powerpoints from the keynote speakers on the NESS website.
I got some good encouragement and constructive feedback on the paper I had written, which will be really helpful, both in terms of figuring out how to get it published and things to think about in the PhD writing…so, it will be back to the books with that again soon!