Cool things to do in Minneapolis

A few months ago, when I was checking out flights for ESA, I googled ‘ Cool things to do in Minneapolis’. The search results were sobering: all I got was ‘Things to do in Minneapolis’. I was worried.

Flights were booked and hotel arrangements were made regardless. I have never been one to only trod the beaten path, and anyway, one of my two favourite writers is, if not from Minneapolis itself, then from Northfield, MN, which is sufficiently close and reason enough to be curious about this part of the world.

There should, however, be a list of cool things to do in Minneapolis, and with the ESA programme up online, it’s easy peasy to create one, at least for 4-9 August 2013.

So there, internet, here is the list you are missing!

If the airlines spit me out on time, I’ll work my tango shoes at the Milonga en el Alma on Saturday evening. They say it runs till 1am or later, so it could be hard to pay attention at the Sunday morning workshop on Managing Ecological Data for Effective Use and Re-use, which I hope to be able to register for still, but which starts at a gruelling 8am.

There is also the British Ecological Society stand to set up (booths 104-105, come visit us!), but hopefully I’ll have some time to explore the city a little. Apparently Minnesota has got great street art and it is too bad that the mysterious sounding graffiti graveyard, where you can add your own doodles, is all the way in Duluth. I might have to stay in Minneapolis and get around town by bike, which I’ve been told is easier in Minneapolis than in most other North American cities. I’ll certainly be back for the opening plenary by Jonathan Foley.

On Monday, besides the MacArthur Lecture by Anthony Ives, I’d quite like to dip in and out of Plant Functional Types in Dynamic Vegetation Models for Arctic Ecosystems  and A Guide to Ecology’s Past, Current and Future History in the afternoon. Later that day the workshop Scientists’ Got Talent: America’s Next Top Science Communicator sounds very tempting as well.

On Tuesday, I hope to get an insight into how Sharing Makes Science Better  and later into Managing and Innovating the Lifecycle of Your Data , but unfortunately I’ll miss Open Science and Ecology in the evening as I have a dinner set up with Editor Marc Cadotte and Journal of Applied Ecology Associate Editors. I’m also going for dinner with the Associate Editors of Journal of Ecology on Wednesday, so if any Minneapolitans read this and have suggestions for great restaurants, please let me know! (But don’t get ideas… one of my searches for things to do yielded the idea to eat my way through the State Fair, which has got lamb testicles on offer (that were admittedly not recommended). Tempted as one might be, the State Fair is not until late August this year. Oh well.)

Moving on and back to science: I certainly don’t want to miss the plenary on Wednesday by Tony Hey entitled The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery or the symposium Can Ethics and Justice Pave a Sustainable Pathway for Human Ecosystems? straight afterwards.

Thursday has got a workshop on Science Journalism: From ‘Little Story on the Prairie’ to Worldwide News  and then I’ll probably have to head to the airport OR might still have time to join the Conversation on the Future of Ecology . I am not yet organized enough to know when exactly my flight leaves. Next year maybe.

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