Saturday, October 11, 2008

SCEC Day Five

Hey, it's only a month after the conference ended, and I'm finally to the last day!
(Now that this is the last one, I probably really will post more, and will get to the field trips and songs and stuff. Stupid "I must finish this before I do that" mentality!)


This was really only a half day of substance, and half of that half was closing off all the organizational and planning stuff. The middle chunk of the morning, however, was occupied by a panel debate over whether geologic or geodetic rates are better for evaluating fault slip rates and seismic hazard. The discussion centered on major faults east of the San Andreas, namely the whole series of Mojave right lateral strike slip faults; the faults in the Sierras, Owens Valley, and Death Valley; and the Garlock. The consensus of the debate was an agreement to disagree, with a call to finetune both methods of figuring out slip rates, with the hope that they might eventually come to more of an agreement. But even though the topic was slip rates, about halfway through the debate, I realized I was left with more intriguing questions about cause and effect in terms of why those faults are there. Does the Garlock's presence compensate for the expansion of the Sierras and further east, or is part of their expansion due to having this east-west fault there to slip along? I've heard enough different opinions on the Garlock from talks and conversation that, with the wondering that came from this conference, it is really high time for me to delve into whatever papers I can find on the matter. (Though, on the other hand, I should read the papers relevant to my specific current project first...) Still, anyone have any particular favorites or suggestions?

I slipped out of the room for some of the last bits of organizational talk, and it seems like I wasn't the only one to do so. It was during that time that I finally caught up with the people to whom I was supposed to show my drawings - namely, some of the organizational people for The Great Southern California ShakeOut. I showed them the comics, with the offer to do something similar as ShakeOut event propaganda, gratis. I had no idea what sort of response to expect, since the main things I see when I look at my own drawings are all the flaws and mistakes. Fortunately (surprisingly!), the response I got was flatteringly positive, and I was told outright that I was being too modest about my work, which only made me blush more. Discussion quickly fell on the fact that ShakeOut is really darn soon, and this comics-about-earthquakes thing could be applicable to broader outreach/awareness (aimed at high school/undergrad), rather than just to a single event. The thought was that I could do two different comics - one SoCal specific, one Bay Area specific, both featuring the San Andreas character, as well as characters of some more localized faults. Color me (ha-hah...) excited! I haven't heard anything about this since the conference, but I'm not about to send poking emails just yet. Since we decided it's a not-just-ShakeOut thing, and ShakeOut is next month, I figure that the drill is everyone's sole priority right now. Hopefully this will develop into a real project eventually, though!

I go to the last hour of closing-off-the-meeting talk, though I was admittedly a little distracted by the prospect of the outreach/awareness drawings.

Even with all the organizational stuff, I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever conference/meeting. It was a fantastic chance to meet many of the major people in the field in a relatively small setting (around 500 people), and to see a lot of the research that's being done (albeit in concise poster form). It was also exciting to get my own first ever poster out there and to get feedback on it. I got new ideas for things to look at/model next from pretty much everyone I talked with, and that may very well have been the best part over all.

The deadline for AGU abstracts was the last day of SCEC, and I submitted mine that morning. I'm looking forward to that as well, though by size alone, it should be vastly different from SCEC. Should I expect to see a lot of geobloggers there?


Silver Fox said...

Good first conference, eh? I thought someone mentioned AGU earlier, but I'm not sure who it was.

Do you think I should try to get through all my Alaska days?! I think I'm running out of steam.

Kim said...

I'm going to be at AGU, talking in the session on teaching intro geoscience.

As for Garlock references... you know, I've always been really confused about the Garlock, so I don't think any of the references that I've read would be good places to start. However, there were a couple sessions with good papers about it at GSA. I think that a group at UC-Davis is working on it, and Gary Axen at New Mexico Tech talked about it, as well. I would almost start with the intros of recent papers, and then try to put together a history of ideas about it.