ACS Water Conference

I would love to write this blog post after I attend the ACS Water Conference in San Diego, but I want to finish up my posts before the school year starts! August 25th-September 1st I will be in San Diego, California to present a poster on the work we did this summer. My professor will be there as well and she will be giving a presentation. Here’s what my poster will look like:

Dolvin ACS Conference 2019_Final Edits


I’ve made posters before and was able to recycle the layout and the introduction, so this one didn’t take too long. My professor is also a huge help in making suggestions and edits. I like to make posters that focus on figures and diagrams. Most of the information people get from my poster will be gained while they are talking to me, so it’s helpful to have figures to refer to as I’m explaining our research and data. I usually try to plan and rehearse my spiel so that it puts our findings in context and is accessible to a large variety of audiences. The last conference I attended was very broad, so most of the people who came to my poster were not experts in aerosols and brown carbon. This upcoming conference is organized into more niche poster sessions, however, and so I will be presenting to a smaller cohort of people who have much more prior knowledge on the topic.

The point of this poster is to show how fresh aerosols accelerate the photobleaching of brown carbon, but aged aerosols do not. It also discusses why we chose one type of kinetic fit over another and how this improved our analysis. This is important because modeling the behaviors of aerosols is key to understanding our atmospheric warming budget, and the systems that affect aerosols are still largely uncharacterized. Previous research assumes that the effects of aerosols on photodegradation remains constant over aerosol lifetimes, when in fact the impacts of the aerosols rapidly diminish over time. This can also help us explain why certain “tracer” brown carbon molecules can sometimes be found far from their source, despite claims that their photolytic lifetimes are very short.

I’m very excited and a little nervous for this conference! Since my poster is presented in a smaller cohort, I will be talking to scientists that are very involved in this field and certainly more knowledgable than I am. Some of them have authored papers that I cite in this very poster. I only hope that I can communicate our findings well and that they are kind when I inevitably get something a bit wrong!


  1. Hi Luke!
    It’s interesting you mention the benefits of specialized groups because that’s been the topic of a few conversations I’ve had at the conference. I am definitely seeing the benefits of that here in a larger conference setting. Talks are grouped into symposiums that run for half days and I think if this were not the case it would be a lot more difficult to locate and attend talks of interest. It’s nice to hear that most people go to sessions that are a bit outside of their normal purview in addition to those that they do research in. For this conference I think specialization is necessary, but I’ve been talking to my professor about other smaller conferences that gather different disciplines around a specific goal. There are a lot of cases of fields that go stagnant until more interdisciplinary solutions are pursued. It seems that both tactics are necessary to some degree!

  2. lhcampopiano says:

    I’m very interested by your comparison of different kinds of academic conferences. I’ve only presented at one (undergraduate) conference which had quite a broad scope of topics. This meant that my presentation had to be tailored to what was effectively a general audience. It’s good to know that not all professional academic conferences are incredibly specialized. Hopefully, this allows presenters a chance to “zoom out” a bit and think about the broader implications of their research and why it matters for a more general audience. Of course, most research progresses best in small groups with similar academic backgrounds (in the Kuhnian “normal science” stage, at least), hence the more specific conferences. I wish you luck with your upcoming conference!

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