Each December, thousands of scientists come together for the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) annual conference making it the world’s single largest meeting of Earth and Space scientists. Each year, I leave this conference enthused, exhilarated — and exhausted! There is so much going on that it can be a bit overwhelming. But there is so much to be learned and shared.This year, there were over 22,000 attendees gathered in San Francisco for the week-long science extravaganza featuring posters, presentations, workshops and just about any other communication-related venue you can imagine – all in the name of furthering scientific knowledge.
While many of you reading this blog might not have made the journey to San Francisco, if you are a Season Spotter participant, you were definitely there in spirit. Season Spotter was covered in poster sessions and oral presentations. You would have been delighted to see the genuine interest and enthusiasm for the work being done via Season Spotter. I must admit that I enjoyed many conversations calling attention to the vital role volunteers are playing in advancing scientific knowledge and understanding. I envision the collective energy of Season Spotter volunteers as a force to be reckoned with and one that we are so grateful to have in the plant phenology corner.
You might not think that plants (those green living things) would be of great interest to the geoscience community. And, to be honest, for the most part, they are not. However, many in the geoscience community are very interested in climate change and there is an increasing appreciation of what can be learned from plants about climate and seasonal change. I was particularly heartened to see how well attended the plant phenology sessions were.
So, as you continue to classify images for Season Spotter, please know that there is a community of scientists out there very appreciative of the work you are doing. Your ongoing efforts will be part of next’s year AGU meeting. As long as we keep taking pictures of plants, we will need your help in classifying them. Who knows, maybe I will actually get to meet some of you next year at AGU!