Last week the European Geoscience Union (EGU) gathered for its annual conference. Though not in its beautiful springtime home of Vienna, the conference persevered through an online sharing platform. This was made freely available to everyone (no fees/reimbursed fees for presenters and no attendance fee), with many kudos - as seen on Twitter - given to organisers for such broad accessibility for attendees.

The schedule was kept as originally intended, with a separate online space for each session. Authors submitted a file displaying their research, be it a video presentation, a slide show document, or a figure. Authors representing their displayed research attended a text-based e-session chat and could give a brief synopsis of their presentation, afterwhich attendees addressed questions or comments to the authors. There were over 700 sessions and more than 200,000 messages!

I had the honour for the first session on Monday morning, with the bonus of a negative time difference for me to catch-up with! It was a session within the Natural Hazards section on Extreme events in sea waves: physical mechanisms and mathematical models (NH5.2). My presentation was a video based on a recent paper evaluating storm-wave data in Scientific Reports, with some of the analysis of Storm Doris and an unnamed 2015 storm shown below:

wave params

PhD student Daniel Giles took part in another Natural Hazards session on Tsunamis (NH5.1) and Postdoc Leandro Fernández was in the Ocean Sciences section on Surface Waves and Wave-Coupled Effects in Lower Atmosphere and Upper Ocean (OS4.2). Links to these sessions are below:

Time flies when you're up, with questions continually coming in as you address them. Some technical glitches appeared in a few sessions, but actually nothing like what can happen when someone is connecting their computer to a projector!! Luckily, the discussion is still open until the end of May.

I feel the face-to-face networking was sadly missed, but overall it was a good conference for such large numbers on such short notice. Though the coffee is cheaper at home, it is no substitute for the tall ceilings and additional slice of Torte at the historic Café Central! Until next year :)