“Spotlight: Research Conferences” by Liz Roepke ’15, Peer Research Advisor


This picture of a neuroscience conference shows a typical busy poster session: presenters stand by their work while conference attendees walk through and ask about work they’re interested in.

Over Fall Break, I had the great opportunity to attend and present my research at the Geological Society of America’s 2014 Fall Meeting, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. What an experience! It’s the second professional geologic conference I have attended and this one only made me more excited about entering the field after graduating from Puget Sound next spring. Along with excitement, I was nervous before presenting my research, inspired by so many passionate and knowledgeable people, and, I’ll admit, a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge disseminated in those few days to so many people.

After all the time I’ve spent reading and citing peer-reviewed articles in the library, it was so cool to meet those published authors and hear about their research first-hand!

Sound like something you might enjoy? Read on for more information:

Why should you go?

  • Learn about topics in your area of interest that you could pursue as undergraduate research/graduate research/a career
  • Meet students and professionals who share your interests
  • Learn from experienced professionals about what it takes to succeed in your field
  • Explore career options and learn about programs at graduate schools you’re interested in
Students inquiring about a school at their exhibition room booth. (Image obtained from www.geosociety.org)

Students inquiring about a school at their exhibition room booth. (Image obtained from www.geosociety.org)

What are the logistics?

  • Ask your professors if they know of any upcoming conferences that might be relevant to your major/minor/emphasis.
  • Talk to your department chair about getting funding from the department – there might be some available for student opportunities like these.
  • You can apply for a UEC travel grants through Puget Sound – awards up to $500 are given. (Find more information here: http://www.pugetsound.edu/academics/academic-resources/student-research-travel-award/student-travel-awards/)
  • Travel grants through outside organizations – look for information on the conference website and search around through related societies; ask your professors if they know of any other opportunities as well.
  • Most conferences have discounted rates and special information for students that can help you find a hostel, or a roommate to lower the cost of a hotel.
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