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Dallas: Corrosion – NACE

The phrase “Welcome to Corrosion 2015” sounds a little bit off-putting, doesn’t it?  Like it was going to be a corrosive experience or something?  Corrosion experts needn’t have worried, the NACE show was more interested in treating and preventing corrosion than promoting it.  Conference attendees had the opportunity to learn the latest in regulations and standards impacting the ‘corrosion industry’.  More than 6,000 corrosion professionals from around the world convened in Dallas for the show, and NACE Expo featured more than 380 companies displaying the latest in corrosion control products and services. In addition, the popular cathodic protection test field returned to the exhibit floor for the fourth year, and the NACE Foundation’s Annual Silent Auction featuring gift items and collectibles was a big draw.  Hey, you with the auctioneer’s gavel, my collectible seems to be kinda corroded… #CORROSION2015

San Francisco: Photonics West & BiOS – SPIE

SPIE Photonics West & BiOS?  The BiOS part stands for Biomedical Optics Conference, and this was the #1 laser and photonics conference, fielding 20,000 attendees, two exhibitions, 1,250 exhibiting companies, and 4,700 papers.  Course subjects ranged from core fundamentals in optical & optomechanical design and engineering to intermediate and advanced topics across a wide spectrum of optics and photonics technology.  SPIE provides educational resources to introduce the fascinating and rapidly expanding fields of optics and photonics into the classroom.  Attendees could build on research and theory from the technical conferences with application-focused training, and learn from instructors with deep knowledge and real-world experience in their respective fields.  The Hands-On Optics program brought science education enrichment to thousands of underrepresented middle school students in more than ten states, including female and minority students, who typically have not been the beneficiaries of science and engineering resources and investments.  Optics-wise, a new way of — um — looking at things…  #SPIE

San Francisco: American Geophysical Union – AGU

AGU stands for American Geophysical Union.  With nearly 24,000 attendees, this is the largest earth and space science meeting in the world. Now in its 47th year, the AGU Fall Meeting was the place to present research, hear about the latest discoveries, trends, and challenges in the field. This was a gabfest that brought together all the “stars” of the earth and space sciences community, for discussions of emerging trends. The technical program included presentations on new and cutting-edge topics, most of which had not yet been published, so delegates could return to work with knowledge they couldn’t get anywhere else.  The meeting offered a unique mix of more than 23,000 oral and poster presentations, a broad range of general sessions, and an exhibit hall packed with approximately 250 exhibitors. Examples of themes under discussion included Characterizing Uncertainty, Computational Methods Across Scales, and Dust and Aerosols.  Hey, buddy, keep your aerosol to yourself, you’re crowding my Uncertainty….  #AGUblogs

Las Vegas: Ground Water Expo – NGWA

The NGWA (National Ground Water Association) Ground Water Expo was held in Las Vegas for the first time since 2012 — not inappropriately, since the Desert City is one of many Western population centers worried about where their water supply will come from in future.  Over 5,200 registered delegates put in an appearance during the show.  The Expo’s 309 exhibitors occupied 71,600 square feet of exhibit hall space, and there were, we were told, 41 first-time exhibitors, which is ten more than in 2013.   The NGWA Activity Area made its debut in the exhibit hall, with 30-minute offerings for attendees to learn skills applicable to their job. The sessions were divided into five stations: The Office, The Well, The Aquifer, The Pump, and Safety Through Leadership. The show offered a diverse collection of educational offerings with, 10 professional development categories. Many of the educational sessions were standing-room only and featured lively discussions.  So hey, what is “ground water”, anyways?  Same difference as “ground coffee”, maybe…?  #groundwater

San Francisco: American Chemical Society Fall – ACS

ACS is the American Chemical Society, and this was their Fall Get-Together, aimed at reminding themselves that “chemistry is central to everything”.  Uh, could you be a little more specific? Well, a look down the list of conference-related releases gives an idea of the topics on people’s minds.  There was the one about “What’s in fracking fluids that raises red flags”, “Sunblock poses potential hazards to sea life”, and “Rooting out skin creams that contain toxic mercury”.  Worried now?  Well, you look kinda worried.  Worry some more about how “Dust (and the microbes hitching rides on it) influences rain and climate”.  Gulp!  On the positive side, we had “Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants”, and the astonishing information that “Tattoo batteries produce power from sweat”.  Who’d’a thunk?  Oh, hey, would you please let me connect my cellphone to your tattoo biobattery?  I seem to be low on power….  #chemistry

Orlando: AudiologyNOW! – American Academy of Audiology

AudiologyNOW!, we heard (and yes, it is indeed all about hearing), is the world’s largest gathering of audiologists. This annual meeting provides participants the opportunity to attend four days of educational sessions, and explore the latest in hearing technology.  As you made the rounds, you could see (and hear!) around 180 exhibitors occupying over 300,000 square feet of exhibit space, all highlighting their audiological products and services.  Which means…?  Well, assistive listening/alerting and signaling systems, audiometers, bone conduction devices, diagnostic instruments, earmold impression material, hearing aid accessories, hearing protection, implantable devices, infant hearing screening equipment, OAE test equipment, real-ear systems, tinnitus devices, vestibular test equipment, vibrotactile devices, and video otoscopes.  Well you asked…  Whad’ya mean you didn’t hear me?  #AN14

Chicago: Pittcon – Conference On Analytical Chemistry & Applied Spectroscopy

Pittcon is the world’s largest annual premier conference and exposition on laboratory science, organized by The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, a Pennsylvania not-for-profit educational corporation comprised of the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP).  Pittcon attracts more than 18,000 attendees from industry, academia and government from 90 countries worldwide.  The target audience is not just “analytical chemists,” but all laboratory scientists — pretty much anyone who identifies, quantifies, analyzes or tests the chemical or biological properties of compounds or molecules, or who manages these laboratory scientists.  Pittcon, we heard, has evolved into an event that now also serves a diverse constituency encompassing life sciences, pharmaceutical discovery and QA, food safety, environmental, bioterrorism and other emerging markets.  Here’s your lab-coat…  #pittcon14