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vancouver_aaas.jpgGreetings from Canada!

IonE was on the road this past week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Vancouver.

Before I get to the actual conference, I just have to say, "Wow, the city was amazing!" Between the views of the ocean, vast forests and snowcapped mountains, the conference location was a smashing success (despite a few raindrops).

Within the rooms of the conference center, IonE researchers were front and center during a number of fascinating sessions.

During two separate symposia, IonE director Jon Foley pitched a plan for increasing food production while decreasing agriculture's environmental impacts. One of his more memorable quotes: "Two billion more people are coming to dinner ¬- but even so, changing diets is, and will be, a bigger driver of food demand globally."

IonE resident fellow and College of Science and Engineering professor Julian Marshall gave a talk titled, "Verifying Health and Emission Improvements from Stove Change-Outs." One of the main takeaways from Julian's presentation was that the team's research is primarily "market-driven" rather than "research-driven" - which means much of the work is being done on the ground in the community of Karnataka, India. Julian also spoke about the success of the Acara program in a separate symposium focused on addressing grand sustainability challenges through global cooperation.

Dominic Travis in the U's College of Veterinary Medicine presented an overview of the One Health Central and East Africa Network (OHCEA). Global Health and the Environment in Africa - part of OHCEA - was one of the earliest Discovery Grants funded by IonE (along with others, including USAID). The project researchers work at the intersections of animal health, human health and environment

One of the greatest things about the AAAS meeting is the diversity of topics on display. It's a science geek-fest in the best possible way! Some of my favorite sessions covered geo-engineering, marine biological diversity, the atlas of Islamic world science, planetary boundaries, indigenous perspectives on climate change and more.

The most fun I had, though, was during a session titled Bad Presenter Bingo: The Science Communication Game You Don't Want to Win. My favorite comment by presenter Monica Metzler: "You're not dumbing down science [by simplifying your slides]. You're making it accessible to your audience." Great advice, indeed.

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  of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.