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  • Writer's pictureElise Kazmierczak

Our intense experience at the 2023 EGU General Assembly PartII

Elise Kazmierczak provided us 9+1 tips to have a great EGU!

For the 4th time, I participated in the EGU General Assembly. In my previous participations, two were completely online due the COVID-crisis, so it was so good to be back in Vienna. The EGU General Assembly is the biggest conference about geosciences in Europe. It groups several divisions and I’m part of the Cryosphere division. This year, I was presenting the latest results of my PhD as a poster.

Poster presented by Elise Kazmierczak during the conference. Photo credit: Elise Kazmierczak.

My results show the importance of better understanding the characteristics of the bed located under the glaciers and the subglacial water drainage systems underneath the ice in Antarctica. Indeed, the ice sliding on the bed can be faster or slower depending on these parameters. To investigate this topic, I focused my study on the Amundsen Sea Embayment, a zone in West Antarctica sensitive to the global warming. This basin contains the Pine Island and the Thwaites glaciers, both resting on soft deformable sediments and hard non-deformable rocks . I studied the impacts of these different subglacial bed types on glacier flow and I proposed with my co-authors a new parametrization that takes into account these two bed types and the associated subglacial hydrology in the evaluation of uncertainties in glacier stability in the face of climate change. I hope I will present it in more details in a future blog post for « science made easy ».

I was lucky to give my presentation on the first day, so I could enjoy the following week without the stress of the presentation anymore. Conferences are a time to learn so many new things and take a break from your own research and see what other scientists are doing. It is also a time to feed your new ideas with opinions from other scientists. Personally, it was also an opportunity for me to see the friends I met during the Karthaus summer school last year and to spend time with my colleagues. It’s also a time to finally meet in person with all the authors you know from their publications. It’s sometimes funny to connect the face to the paper you read for your research. I enjoyed more this EGU than my first one. The first experience was stressful because I didn’t know anyone, and it was soooo big! Here are my 9+1 tips to have a great EGU:

  1. Come by train if it is possible. It’s better for the environment and you will meet a lot of other scientists in the train. You will also have time to work on your presentation if it’s needed. a. If you come by train, book your seat in the train, it will be full!

  2. Ask to receive your badge at home. You will avoid hurrying up in the morning of the first session (or get it in the Sunday evening prior to the start of the conference!).

  3. Choose an accommodation along the metro line to the meeting center if you can (line U1), you will save time (especially if you are not a morning person).

  4. Be ready for your presentation before coming to Vienna. You don’t need to lose time for your presentation preparation during the conference.

  5. It’s impossible to be focused during all the presentations, so take a break during the week to rest a little bit or to visit Vienna. Check the presentations planning for each session and don’t hesitate to take a break and leave the session if you want to be more focused on presentations which are more interesting to you.

  6. It’s ok to not be focused on all presentations!

  7. Don’t be shy and go to discuss with other scientists.

  8. Take a lunch with you for the first day. If not, you will have to go the supermarket next to the meeting center and it’s a crazier experience than a concert of Rage Against the Machine.

  9. Don’t take an early Saturday morning return train to have time to enjoy the end party on the Friday night.


The coffee/beer spots near the poster areas are always less busy! 😉

Written by Elise Kazmierczak

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