I have recently returned from two weeks overseas. I first went to San Diego (USA) to attend Coastal Sediments 2015. Coastal Sediments is awesome. It happens every 4 years and it is one of my favourite conferences. It’s very specialized so there are plenty of interesting talks, in fact, you feel like you are missing out on good talks all the time! The GRG was represented by myself, I presented our work on the sand aprons at One Tree Reef, and by Mike Kinsela, who presented some of the work that he did during his PhD thesis. Mike now works at NSW OEH so he was also wearing that hat.
While the conference was scientifically excellent, it lacked a more gender-balanced view of coastal sediments. All keynote presenters were male and almost all of the session moderators (36 out of 40) were also male. The audience, in contrast, had a larger percentage of women scientists and engineers. Let’s hope that the next edition of Coastal Sediments will improve its gender balance!
After the conference I went to Ensenada (Mexico) to take a course on numerical modelling using Delft3D. This model is developed by Deltares and is widely used for coastal science and engineering. It was a great course and I learnt a lot, let’s see if I get to use it soon! Ensenada is a contrasting place, the nature around it is amazing but the city development, like so many other cities around the world, could have been better. It also has many research institutes and universities (see photo below). The course was organized by CICESE which is a scientific research centre in Ensenada. I also took advantage of my stay there to discuss and plan collaborations with Amaia Ruiz de Alegria-Arzaburu who is a lecturer at the Universidad Autonoma of Baja California (UABC).
I have had two truly inspirational weeks were thinking about possibilities and ideas was constant. It was great catching up with old and new colleagues and friends. Several opportunities arose, including, for example, some new collaborations with Dano Roelvink and Ian Goodwin. I also did a trip to Estero, which is located on the southern part of Ensenada Bay, an amazingly beautiful sand spit with well developed dunes; sadly, houses have been built on the dunes (see photo below).
One of the best discoveries of the trip was that in Ensenada, on the 18th of May, they celebrate the “Dia del Oceanologo” which is the day of the Marine Scientist. That day commemorates the launching of their first research boat which was donated by SCRIPPS in 1963 (more details on the history can be found in Spanish here). There were drinks and food provided by the UABC and it was great. We should definitely have a celebration of all marine sciences in Australia!