Fri. June 14, 2013: Cape Coastal Conference — Awesome is an Understatement

Friday, June 14, 2013
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and stormy (nor’easter)

Up early yesterday, worked with students, got a few things done (yeah, I got up at 5 AM).

By 7:30, I was headed to the conference. It was truly wonderful, the first annual Cape Coastal Conference. This year’s theme was The Changing Shores: Linking Science with Solutions and Local Decision Making. It was full — all 200 slots were taken. And so well run. I can’t compliment the organizers highly enough. 198 of the 200 people were friendly and fun to talk to, the presenters were terrific, questions were interesting. There was a lot of information for someone like me, who’s coming to the environmental science party late, but I took 18 pages of notes, made lists of questions I’ll pose to the presenters in the coming weeks (they included their contact information in the packets for the purpose of follow-up), things I want to look up, and notes to which I can refer in the future.

Those other two people? I’m killing “them” in a book. And that’s all the space and attention they’re getting. As actual humans, they are excommunicated from my universe — not worth my energy.

I also have to thank the staff at the Doubletree in Hyannis, where the conference was held — their work was impeccable, and they were so friendly, and not in a fake way.

There’s enough information here and from my friend to do my climate literacy paper this weekend.

In spite of the sometimes alarming science, the presenters were upbeat about the things we can do, and how we can move forward towards solutions that make the whole Cape a better place on multiple levels.

Breaks were good, and there were exhibitor booths with even more terrific information.

My seat mate was a delightful, intelligent, humorous gentleman who works for my town — which means I’ll be working with him on several upcoming projects! Lunch was fun — I sat with someone from Sandwich, someone from Brewster, and someone from Chatham, and we had a lively discussion about local politics, Town Hall meetings, etc.

Afternoon session was good, too, focused more on climate change — using some of the same sources that my Sustainability and Climate Literacy classes used. Good reinforcement. Afternoon break was even better — cookies! Cookies in the middle of the afternoon solve many problems.

I hadn’t realized how where we are in the natural geological cycles (that happen over tens of thousands of years) are adding in so much to the additional damage of the raised temperatures and raised ocean acidity. If we were just dealing with the natural change, we’d be okay. The climate-change damage on its own would still be worse, but we’d have more time for solutions. But together? Clock’s ticking, and not in our favor.

It was also interesting to see how much from my astronomy class fed into the science we discussed here. How all these different science arena weave together is very interesting.

Last few sessions were harder to focus on, because we were getting tired and running a bit over. At the end, one of the scientists from Falmouth ran up with his laptop — while we’d been in session, there’d been unusual wave activity in Falmouth (he called it a “mini-tsunami”), and his fellow scientists had sent him video, which he then played for us. It was pretty cool. It was the only place that water activity was happening in the area, although there was some funky air pressure something-something happening over Nantucket.

I was tempted to stay for drinks, but the nor’easter was starting to hit us just as session ended, so I opted to get home quickly instead. Couldn’t do much online because of the storm (didn’t want the laptop to go kerplooey), and was tired anyway, so called it an early night, after making some notes on an upcoming project.

Headed back to the conference today for the next session — very excited to see what I’ll learn.

It means working through the weekend with students and getting some other things done that have come in while I was gone, but it will be worth it!

Devon

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Published in: on June 14, 2013 at 5:52 am  Comments (1)  
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One Comment

  1. You would have enjoyed conversations with my mother-in-law. She was well read on astronomy, including the astronomers across history. She got so excited when talking about that or quantum mechanics!

    I have a theory about atmospheric pressure. Yesterday as I was driving , I noticed I just couldn’t stop yawning. I wasn’t tired, but I felt this unusual heaviness in the car. The minute I opened the window, it stopped. I’d like to think I stumbled on the cause of yawning. 🙂


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