I went to my first International Conference on Thermochronology in 2008, when the meeting was held in Anchorage. This was during the waning days of my first blogging attempt, but I managed to publish four write-ups, and lots of pictures. If you are interested, here are links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
The 2010 meeting in Glasgow occurred during my depositional hiatus, and the 2012 meeting in Guilin occurred right after I’d started my new job, and I had no funding to attend meetings (especially international ones). But ever since it was announced, I’ve been determined to make sure that I attend FT2014, the 14th International Thermochronology Conference in Chamonix. Why? Simple reasons really. First, the meetings are fantastic. Large conferences like GSA and AGU are great, but can be overwhelming. You alternate between days with nothing of interest to days where you have to decide between 3 or 4 concurrent sessions. The Thermo meetings are organized so that you can see every talk and visit every poster. There is just one session, and all of the talks are things I am interested in. You can see presentations on new applications of thermochronology, new methods, and even things that only specialists care about, like interlaboratory calibrations and new standard development. Add to that a long and impressive list of invited speakers, small break-out sessions focusing on some special issue, and a chance to network and talk with a huge majority of your colleagues, and you have a great meeting. The two I have attended have been excellent.
The second reason I am determined to attend Chamonix is that I’ve never been to the Alps. These meetings actually do a great job of exposing you to the region, mixing general science with locality-specific trips and talks. I don’t think I can swing the pre-meeting field trip this year, but there is always a day trip mid-meeting, and a variety of evening events. In Anchorage and Glasgow the pre-meeting trips, and the mid-meeting day trips were fantastic. I expect Chamonix to be no different.
So, as the world’s leading thermochronology blog I thought it appropriate to start advertising for FT2014 in Chamonix. The abstract deadline is April 1 (no fools), and the early registration deadline is April 14th. You have a month to pull it together! I especially recommend this meeting for any students working in the field. In my experience these meetings are fantastic, and offer a great opportunity to network (post-docs anyone?)