The massive European Geosciences Union annual conference is online as #shareEGU20 this year due to global pandemic conditions. This is unusual but offers a new model for conference exchanges going forward, and I’ll note some thoughts on this here.

  • The sessions are now open to the public, and free, which is a massive change, and a good one!
  • Its great that a large number of people have uploaded display materials which will be publicly accessible (mostly under CCBY licensing), although you could choose to do this in previous years I see this also as a massive advantage to open science that so many are doing this year.
  • The chat format is a bit strange, but I have the feeling that its also a bit of leveller and has some positive aspects for inclusion, and people are behaving very nicely with it, despite it being faceless.
  • I imagine its also helpful for people who don’t feel confident speaking up in English, whether its giving a presentation or asking questions, the text format might help.
  • On the other hand it was pointed out to me that its exhausting for dyslexics … wow – I bet it is!
  • Although it can get a bit hectic I like that several topics can be discussed in parallel – its very efficient this way, and I think presenters are perhaps getting more feedback overall – and certainly a more even distribution of feedback.
  • My impression is that people are preparing and reviewing material and this is a huge advantage in generating valuable and engaged discussion of the material.
  • Plus some people have done AMAZING jobs of uploading cool content:like videos of their presentations or interactive website presentations. Very impressive examples of making the most of the new format.
  • I also like that the material is open for online comments for an extended period, which gives people more time to engage with the science being presented.
  • Its still overwhelmingly large as a conference, and many sessions seems to have overlapping themes making it hard to know if you are ‘getting’ all the contributions on a particular topic (this is problem in the in-person conference as well).
  • Some sessions are doing ‘external’ video conferencing sessions – which is a cool and flexible option for smaller sessions, but also introduces a random element in the timetable you had to register for some sessions and not others, for example I missed registering for a session that I did not notice was not an online chat.
  • Its a pity that some of the short courses are not offered – as these are a very valuable part of EGU.
  • For conveners its extremely valuable to have a side audio chat going on, and I guess this functionality could be added within the EGU online platform in the future.
  • Possibly, it could be valuable to have the functionality of ‘threads’ in the live chat but I’m not 100% convinced this will be an advantage, as focussed discussion can already be switched to the presentation comments section as is.

All in all, I had low expectations but found that it worked remarkably well – congratulations EGU and all the scientists and administrators making it work!

I’m just listing the contributions that I’m involved in here so the the University asks me for updates on my participation I can just copy/paste from here without having to remember it:

Session CR4.1/GM7.8: Evolution of glacial-periglacial-paraglacial landscapes and debris-covered glaciers

Convener: Johannes Buckel. Co-conveners: Adina Racoviteanu, Evan Miles, Lindsey Nicholson, Tobias Bolch, Anne Voigtländer,Jasper Knight, Darren Jones

Displays | Chat Wed, 06 May, 08:30–12:30
… tweeting about this from @RockyGlaciers

The statistics for this session were: 192 participants in the online chat session, 38 abstracts were in there, of which 27 had display materials uploaded and presented, which was a pretty good turnout.

Ice thickness measurements of the debris covered Ngozumpa glacier, Nepal

  • Lindsey Nicholson, Fabien Maussion, Christoph Mayer, Hamish Pritchard, Astrid Lambrecht, Anna Wirbel, and Christoph Klug  … Wed, 06 May, 10:45–12:30 | D2523
Results of the IACS Debris-covered Glaciers Working Group melt model intercomparison

  • Francesca Pellicciotti, Adria Fontrodona-Bach, David Rounce, and Lindsey Nicholson … Wed, 06 May, 10:45–12:30 | D2524
The challenge of non-stationary feedbacks within the response of debris-covered glaciers to climate forcing

  • Anna Wirbel, Lindsey Nicholson, Christoph Mayer, and Astrid Lambrecht … Wed, 06 May, 10:45–12:30 | D2527
Sediment dynamics in glacierized catchments: a comparison study from two proglacial streams in the Sulden catchment (Eastern Italian Alps)

  • Michael Engel, Velio Coviello, Anuschka Buter, Ricardo Carillo, Sushuke Miyata, Giulia Marchetti, Andrea Andreoli, Sara Savi, Christian Kofler, Vittoria Scorpio, Lindsey Nicholson, and Francesco Comiti …Thu, 07 May, 08:30–10:15 | D1146

A multi-scale investigation of geometrically derived z0 from Hintereisferner, Austrian Alps

  • Joshua Chambers, Mark Smith, Thomas Smith, Duncan Quincey, Jonathan Carrivick, Lindsey Nicholson, Jordan Mertes, Rudolf Sailer, and Ivana Stiperski … Mon, 04 May, 16:15–18:00 | D2693

And finally the 3rd IACS Working Group on Debris Covered Glaciers meeting on Thursday!

About lindsey

Environmental scientist. I am glaciologist specialising in glacier-climate interactions to better understand the climate system. The point of this is to understand how glaciated envionments might change in the future - how the glaciers will respond and what the impact on associated water resources and hazard potential will be.
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