Every year, in fall, thousands of geophysicists invade the city of San Francisco for the week-long conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The 2010 meeting took place in the heart of San Francisco in the Moscone Center (Figure 1) from December 13th-17th. It was attended by over 16,000 people studying a wide range of topics from Biogeosciences to Aeronomy; creating something of interest even for someone with very little knowledge in geophysics. Scientists could present either a 12minute oral presentation or prepare a large poster summarizing their work. Presentations and posters were arranged in sessions based on their main topic, but with such a large gathering, many sessions occur at the same time and one had to choose.
Figure 1: The Moscone Center in San Francisco where most of the presentation for the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union took place.
For me, the Ocean Science sessions were of particular interest and even included a few presentations on the ecology of hydrothermal vents. NEPTUNE Canada representatives, including
and myself, presented posters in a variety of sessions (Figure 2). Topics included:
- Introducing the network infrastructure
- Analyzing data gathered via boreholes and seismometer
- Studying linkages between surface and bottom processes
- Studying ecological processes on the seafloor using cameras
Figure 2: Steve Mihaly and Martin Heesemann presenting their posters during the Thursday morning sessions.
My poster focused on presenting how camera systems can be used to examine the response of organisms to changes in their environment (Figure 3). Particular focus was given to hydrothermal vent communities, but insights gained with other systems (e.g. the black and white video cameras installed in Barkley Canyon and the Tempo-mini system previously tested in Saanich Inlet) were also presented. The potential for high sampling resolution allows researchers to observe fast processes such as biological interactions and behavioural activities. NEPTUNE Canada’s planned long-term observation series will also enable monitoring of spatio-temporal shifts in community assemblages, while co-located sensors ensure that the environmental fluctuations responsible for those changes can be characterized. Real-time event detection and interactive response will make it possible to describe recovery from natural disturbances common in highly dynamic seafloor environments.
Figure 3: Illustration of the poster presented in the ‘Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Systems: New Knowledge From New Discoveries and New Technology’ session.
Overall, this meeting was a great opportunity to present results obtained through the NEPTUNE Canada observatory as well as explore future opportunities for collaborations and the addition of new instruments.