From the 23rd to the 27th May, after two years of fully virtual conference experiences only, the EGU general assembly finally took place on-site in Vienna again. EGU stands for “European Geosciences Union” and the general assembly is the yearly international conference where the scientific community meets to discuss their research. Some ArcTrain PhD students and associates, PIs and alumni took the chance to travel to Vienna and enjoy 3D contacts with other scientists (some coming directly from the ArcTrain Annual Meeting in Canada the week before), others made use of the hybrid format of the conference and joined and presented online.
The conference offered a huge variety on scientific sessions, which mainly contained short talks, but also longer presentations and discussions, both in our research fields and other geoscientific topics. A helpful aspect for us were sessions and short courses offered by early career scientists (ECS), giving advices for networking, outreach activities and future career planning. Especially appealing were also sessions and courses on gender equality and diversity as well as policy in science.
We did not only use the conference to consume science, but also to present our own research and start discussions with a broad international audience. Some of our talks were part of an Arctic session that were hosted by ArcTrain PIs and spontaneously also by one of the PhD students who helped on-site. A big challenge was the format of the talks: everybody only got 6 minutes to present their research (including discussions!). Despite the short and unusual format, it was great experience and good practice to present a concise version of the own research and talk in front of a big (on-site and virtual) audience. A great benefit for on-site participants was the possibility of networking with international scientists during the sessions, but also when queuing for coffee during the breaks and in informal meetings in the evenings.
Another advantage of being in Vienna was the chance to enjoy the area in the direct surroundings of the conference site including the river Donau. Also, when enabled by the conference agenda, exploring the city and trying some local food (like “Sachertorte”, coffee and other unpronounceable offers) was a great option. A special moment was meeting for an ArcTrain dinner on Thursday evening, in which ArcTrainees of the first, second and third cohort came together.