It’s that time of the year again when ecologists from around the globe descend upon a convention center in North America for a week-long frenzy of eco-geeking. I missed last year’s bash in Minneapolis because I chose to wait a couple of weeks and attend the British Ecological Society’s Centenary celebration in London (see why here). But, I’m excited to be getting back to my annual ecological fix with the ESA, this year in Sacramento, Ca.
If you’ve never been to an ESA Annual Meeting before, be prepared to be overwhelmed with choices of talks to listen to, posters to see, mixers to attend, and people to meet. Playing “spot the sandals, shorts, or beard” is no contest with this crowd. If you are new to this meeting then start by attending the “How to Get the Most out of ESA’s 2014 Annual Meeting: An Orientation for Student Attendees” on Monday morning.
There’s a lot to look forward to. Here are a few things that caught my eye looking briefly over the program. Kathy Cottingham’s plenary talk on “Wearing an ecologists’ hat and facing a world of change”, looks like a great way to kick off the week on Monday morning. After that it’s anyone’s guess where I’ll end up. I’ll definitely stop into some of the symposia. Tentatively, I’d like to listen to some of the “Extreme Climate Events…” symposium on Tuesday afternoon, “Plants and Climate Change…” on Wednesday, and “Managing Biotic Resilience…” on Thursday. Journal of Ecology is publishing a Special Feature on “Forest Resilience, Tipping Points and Global Change Processes” early in the New Year and I’m interested to learn more on this important topic. And, that’s just symposia that caught my eye, I won’t even try here to worry yet about the 20 Special Sessions, 52 Organized Oral Sessions, and 143 Contributed Talk Sessions. Of these however, I do like the look of the Organized Oral Session “Ecological Genomics as an Emerging Field…” on Tuesday morning. Overwhelmed yet? But, I do know that I’ll be at and around Poster 33-42 on 4:30 – 6:30 on Wednesday. Stop by if you are interested in “Effect of Dominant Species on Community Phylogenetic Structure in a Grassland Restoration”. Just be sure to direct the difficult questions for my doctoral student Mohammad Khalil!
When I do get overwhelmed (usually by Tuesday afternoon), I head for the Exhibit Hall to check out the stands and posters. Come along and find some BES “important people” (BES Executive Editor @HazelNorman, JEcol Managing Editor @BaierAndrea) and journal Editors (including @amyt austin and me from Journal of Ecology). We would love to talk with you about plans you might have for sending your best work for potential publication in one of the BES’s five journals.
Enjoy the meeting, and follow me as I’ll be live tweeting @DavidJohnGibson