PORTLAND, OREGON–By now I’ve given over 35 talks at annual Geological Society of America meetings, but I still get as nervous as I did as a graduate student. The cavernous room, the high quality of the previous presentations, the people coming in and sitting expectantly — it all comes to an exquisite tension as I hear the speaker before me say, “And in conclusion …”. We don’t read from a text or even use notes in these 15-minute sessions. It all comes from the slides and our desperate hope that we remember what to say at each. Somehow the adrenaline kicks in as you step up to the podium. The words flow and the slides become old friends with stories which must be told.
I’m in that magical post-talk phase of the meeting this evening with no more performance pressure. I can now happily share a few slides from our presentation, along with happy memories of the field and lab work: