J. D. Yeakel bio photo

J. D. Yeakel

Associate professor at UC-Merced;
Former Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute

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I’ve always wanted to go to the Geological Society of America conference – I have a lot of friends who are geologists/geophysicists and go every year, and always enjoy it. I finally got a chance to go when I was invited to give a talk on techniques in reconstructing paleo ecosystems at the meeting in Vancouver, so I jumped at the chance. It looked like a great symposium and a fun opportunity to meet some people whose work that I admired.

The only issue was that my wife was (and still is) near the end of our first pregnancy, and I’ve already been gone a lot this Fall. No worries - we’d work around that, and this will be instead a short trip! In theory, this was the plan: fly out from ABQ at 6:30pm on Sunday, give my talk at 9:30am on Monday, have the rest of the day at GSA, and fly back on Tuesday morning. Things didn’t quite work out that way…

To make a long story short, my plane was delayed on approach to Phoenix due to lightening storms, and I missed my flight to Vancouver by 15 minutes. The next flight was the next day, and I wouldn’t arrive until 3:00pm – well after my talk, the symposium, and basically the conference for that day, so it was looking like a wash. I couldn’t fly back to ABQ, because that was defined as a different trip by the airline, and would have to be bought separately. I couldn’t stay in Phoenix and wait for my flight back because you can’t catch flights between legs. So the shortest path to ABQ was through Vancouver!

So I flew out to Vancouver, managed to get downtown by 3:00pm to meet with Jon Moore, who I had planned to work on some research projects with while I was there, and then met my old friends from the Koch Lab Kena Fox-Dobbs and Katie Snell for beers afterward. Had a good time, reminisced, met another friend downtown, headed back to the hotel, and flew home the next morning. So ended my most expensive night out ever, and I still haven’t been to GSA!

In case you’re interested, my talk was on our recent Egyptian ecology research, which you can read about here.