The college where I stayed
Things changed. In Norway I was almost a biologist. The microfossils were not just the hapless bearers of a chemical or physical signal with palaeoenvironmental implications; they mattered in themselves! I had to learn how to recognise hundreds of species.
Now I have returned to environmental reconstruction, but again based on the forams themselves. I am slowly becoming a foram specialist. A micropalaeontologist! And just as I am becoming used to that I have to face being a sea level scientist. But I have quite some catching up to do. It was very good to listen to sea level science seen from all sorts of angles all day. People doing sea level reconstructions in nameless lakes in Finnmark, using jellyfish skeletons, for example. What? People looking for glacial erratics in West Antarctica. People poking around in subtropical dripstone caves, seeing sea level rise in tube worms audaciously growing on stalagmites.
Close up of the campus. Un-English!
And then the poster sessions. Where you meet every caveat in the field, to the extent that you almost lose faith. Do we properly take into account seasonal variations? Pollution? Lateral variability? The difference between infill and subsidence? Noone said it was going to be easy. At about 5 my head was spinning and I wanted a pint. But it had been a good day! And it wasn’t over yet...