by Edd Hind
Without the International Marine Conservation Congresses (IMCC), I very much doubt I would be where I am today, professionally. At the first IMCC in 2009, I learned from experts in my field the methodology that would become central to my doctoral research. Two and a half years ago at IMCC2 in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, I shared sustainable seafood and locally brewed beer with a group of strangers who are now trusted collaborators. It’s as a result of these experiences that I think the IMCC is one of the “must attend” marine conservation conferences. The board members of the Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) have been putting their heads together over the last week to state why they too believe that IMCC3 should be your “must attend” conference this year. Here’s what they had to say:
- IMCC has a history of getting people with different experience levels and areas of expertise together to exchange ideas for the benefit of all involved. Alongside many interactive workshops and symposia, IMCC3 already has many student events scheduled.
- Some of the best theories or ideas in science have come out because of a couple of strangers, or even friends, getting together over a coffee or a beer. The second IMCC had nine scheduled social events, and IMCC3 will provide similar opportunities.
- Over five days, you will be exposed to a flood of new ideas, hypotheses, methods/techniques, analyses and findings—any scientists that say that’s not valuable might as well burn all their books, disconnect their computers from the internet, and go back to the middle ages while they’re at it!
- The program will include workshops and courses that teach tangible skills, such as software, applications, and communication. Many marine scientists and managers have learned how to communicate with the media and use packages like Marxan at previous IMCCs. In Glasgow, there will be opportunities not only to develop your social media and GIS skills, but to apply those skills to causes you care about. You’ll have the opportunity to rescue marine mammals!
- Conferences are perfect places to network for funding and research contacts. The previous IMCCs have attracted more than 1200 delegates per meeting. That’s a lot of opportunities to connect!
- Remember, astronauts are the only scientists that work well in a vacuum. There will be no astronauts or vacuums at IMCC3!
IMCC3 is being held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 14-18 August 2014. More details about the meeting can be found at the conferences dedicated website. I’m looking forward to seeing you there so we can share ideas over a wee dram of coffee or world-class whisky!
–Edd Hind is a resident lecturer for the School for Field Studies. He is a member of the IMCC3 Communications Committee.