AGU meeting in San Francisco
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AGU meeting in San Francisco

For the first time since the covid-19 pandemic, the AGU Fall Meeting was back in San Francisco and so were we. Last time we were here was in 2019, just before everything got closed down by covid restrictions. You could clearly tell that San Francisco is still recovering from the restrictions of the pandemic. Several of the bars and restaurants we used to go to are no longer there, and there were empty shops here and there in town. Furthermore, the number of homeless people seems to have exploded. That was very sad to see!

Only Erik was presenting this time with a talk about the volcano Askja in Iceland. This is one of Iceland’s many volcanoes showing inflation at the moment – after decades of deflation. Several of our Icelandic colleagues were present at the conference. This is one of the best conferences to stay connected with colleagues from Iceland and the US. Approximately 22,000 people were attending the conference this year and some 3,000 using the online attendee option. The purpose of our trip to California was not only to attend the AGU but also to check out the possibility for Erik to do a sabbatical at UC Davis in Fall 2025. Meeting people and discussing ideas is often much easier than communicating through e-mails, and this indeed turned out to be true. On the first day of AGU we met up with Dr. Michael Oskin from the Earth & Planetary Sciences Department at UC Davis to discuss practicalities for going to UC Davis, i.e., getting a letter of invitation. Later that same Monday we took the train to Davis to visit the university and get an impression of the town. Luckily for us we know Eric Post and Pernille Sporon Bøving from the Penn State University now living in Davis and working at UC Davis Wildlife Department. They took very good care of us, and Pernille did an excellent job of showing us around. Our impression from this short stay is that we think that it could work for us to do a sabbatical there if Erik gets the permission from his work.

I ended up sick on the trip (probably covid for the first time) and therefore only participated in a few days of conference, but Erik wasn’t sick (he was vaccinated with 5 shots) and really enjoyed being back in San Francisco. His talk was well attended and all in all this was a very productive meeting for him. Thankfully, the latest volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland didn’t start till after the AGU.

Photo: Erik Sturkell. The Christmas tree on Union Square. As tall and impressive as always.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. This photo made me realise my hair is now almost white 🙂
Photo: Erik Sturkell. Dinner at the Korean restaurant 707 with ‘Iceland’ colleagues, Eva, Kristin, and Halldór.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. A better shot of Kristin and Halldór with his pile of chicken wings 🙂
Photo: Gabrielle. So much art or kitsch to be bought in the US.
Photo: Gabrielle. This one is cute.
Photo. Erik Sturkell. New and old skyline in San Francisco.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. The San Francisco Skyline.

Photo: Gabrielle. Jeff Kerby from Aarhus University and Erik at Eric Post’s poster. Eric couldn’t be there himself because of foot injury so Jeff was presenting instead.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. Eric Post at home in Davis, slightly less mobile due to his foot injury.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. Gabrielle and Pernille at Eric and Pernille’s home in Davis. Eric and Pernille love Christmas decorations!
Photo: Gabrielle. Erik in front of the Institute for Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Davis, where he can hopefully do a sabbatical in the future.
Photo: Gabrielle. At the Department of Geology, UC Davis.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. Waiting for the Amtrak train at Davis.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. Taking the train was almost like a retro experience of Sweden 30-40 years ago.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. This was such a great idea!
Photo: Gabrielle. And look how popular it was for stressed scientists to play with puppies 🙂
Photo: Gabrielle. Erik giving his excellent and entertaining talk on Askja. Somehow he always manages to make people laugh no matter the topic or how disastrous the topic is.
Selfie. Another dinner with Iceland friends; Iwona and Martin from the Carbfix project.
Photo: Erik Sturkell. The end of AGU Fall meeting 2023. Despite sickness it was a good meeting for me, too.