By Nick

The perils of fieldwork involve having to endure sunsets and evenings like these, with a cold beer in hand, and tasty Indonesia cuisine in fork.

June already? Where does the time go. And more importantly, where has all the heat gone? Like many international researchers here at the ANU, we feel slightly duped that having heard wonders about the Australian climate for years and years, we find out that there is such a thing as a Canberran winter. It wouldn’t be so bad if for one thing: Canberra hasn’t yet heard of insulating their houses. Suddenly Australia’s per capita carbon footprint begins to make sense.

The Canberran winter started in earnest about two weeks ago. And many geologists have been planning their escape for a while too. You see, the next two or three months are field and conference season. Time to pack bags, seek some sun, and get out of the office.

With the Northern hemisphere unis taking their extended summer break, the southern hemisphere teaching schedule pauses itself for a short while. Lecturers and demonstrators everywhere breath a sigh of relief., another semester is over.

But its no time for a holiday. Now is the time when the major conferences are being organised, PhD students around the world prepare posters and talks, ready to share their science with the world. Lecturers and Professors plan reunions, collaborations, a chance to talk science with the greater scientific community.

And its field season too. Plane tickets have been booked, lengthy risk assessments written and new tools and equipment purchased. Its time to go into the field, collect samples and see what’s going on for ourselves.

All of these things happen all year round, particularly in Australia when the summer field season is just as big. But during the next couple of months the frequency of these events increases slightly, the seminar room at morning tea will be that bit emptier, the corridors a little more echo-y.

But don’t panic. OnCirculation will be there blogging from the very best geoscience conferences and from all the warmest of fieldsites. I’m excited to be off to Canada for a conference in just a few weeks. Meanwhile Claire is off to Indonesia to go hunting for stalagmites.