Wed 2nd Nov

Blog – Looking back at the BSG Annual Conference 2022

By Marina Ruiz Sánchez-Oro

It’s conference time again! The rush of poster presentation and printing the week before, getting results in time for the conference, the talk preparations, the fear that I will have forgotten to speak to people about science in person again… I’m sure we have all missed these incredibly hectic but exciting events! And indeed BSG lived up to the expectations.

It has been three long years since BSG was in person, and for me, it was the first time I attended the conference face-to-face. This was such a nice opportunity to get results ready to be presented, work for that last push to get some nice figures ready. It was a big motivation for me during the summer.

It was Sunday morning, and we had a field trip! I had never been in this part of Northumbria, and I was very excited to hear about all the restoration work that the Environment Agency is planning in the local rivers (the Wooler Water and the River Bremish). We drove by bus to areas particularly affected by bank erosion, floods and various human impacts, and learned about the work that the EA is doing with the local communities to find solutions that work for everyone. It is great to see first hand how geomorphology can help protect and prepare communities for the climate change challenges we are facing.

After a refreshing day in the countryside, Monday was the official start of the conference. We kicked off the event with a couple of workshops. The profession geomorphology committee had organised a thought provoking “To model or not to model” workshop whilst in parallel, we were busy helping with the running of the ECR workshop where we discussed all things grants and funding related with a great panel of academics.

The afternoon was full of talks, ranging from meandering conundrums to invasive mussels and . And to close the day, we had a really inspiring talk by Prof Fiona Tweed, who not only has done ground breaking research on glacier outburst floods, but has also closely worked with communities to promote inclusivity in science and promote equal opportunities in fieldwork.

Today we also had an exciting evening ahead of us, since it was time for the postgraduate social event. We went to a great wee pub by the river Tyne, it was so refreshing to be able to casually talk to other fellow postgrads about the joys and sorrows of PhD life!

The second day brought us some more exciting geomorphology, great keynote talks from the Andes to the North Sea, and the long awaited poster session.

Late afternoon, everyone was setting up their board in the Wylam Brewery, it was poster time! Two intense hours of chatting to everyone about your own research and also getting to see some really nice graphic design and amazing photographs of people’s work.

Not only was it fun, but I also gathered some very useful feedback from people who work on similar topics, helping me rethink the way I look at my results and finding better ways to present them. And to top it all off, the dinner that followed was excellent, with glitter balls and geomorphologists, to quote Heather Viles, it was a guaranteed good time!

After a tiring night, Wednesday came and brought the conference to an end. A few more talks where we once again traveled across the world and suddenly it was all over!

It was great to meet new people, make new friends and re-discover, after such a long time online, how great the geomorphology community is and what an important role we all have to play in what will probably be some of the most important decades of our generation!