Of course amid all the other meetings and discussions I also gave my first AGU talk. I was so incredibly nervous. Normally I don't mind and even enjoy giving talks, but that crowd of people, all of whom are normally very friendly and easy to talk to, was just terrifying. There was no reason why it should be terrifying, I would gladly give a talk at any of their home institutions, but when you put all these experts together in one room, many of whom I hope to some day work for or with, they become a big body of scariness. Granted they also make you stand on a stage with what feels like a two story projection of your talk, so any of those little things in the plots that you were hoping to hide, any spelling mistakes, any poor color choices in your figures, are very easily seen by everyone including those in the back. All in all I think I did okay. Now that the first one is over, I'm hoping that the next time I get to give an AGU talk I will be much more relaxed and can remind myself that these are all the people whom I know and enjoy working with.
Speaking of Christmas, I was able to go back to WI for a week or so and see my nephew. He is a cutie! And smart but I might be a bit biased.
I had forgotten how much time is taken up by the campaign. All these little things seem to add up quickly. Every morning I run a program to take the locations of our balloons from the night before creating kml files which can be looked at using google Earth. Then I go and look at what the space weather looked like over the last 24 hours, what BARREL saw since the day before, and any other real time instruments that are easily viewed. Then I gather all this and a bit more info into a daily e-mail to send off to people on the BARREL team, the Van Allen team, and other satellite and ground based groups. We then meet up and decide if we should try to collect or download any high resolution data. So this doesn't sound like too much, check a couple of websites, run a quick program, write an e-mail, have a telephone call. Somehow this tends to also add in numerous other e-mails and meetings. Granted I'm also trying to continue my research on a few of last years events and stuff left over from my PhD thesis. All these things seem to add up.
Just in the last few days we've had some great space weather. There have been some wonderful substorms and some large precipitation events. They look like very exciting events to study. The Sun continues to look promising for some more space weather in the next few days!
Really I can't complain. We might be busy but that is a very good thing. We're off to a great start with the campaign and I can't wait to see what else comes are way. Happy belated holidays and Happy New Year!