Thursday, November 29, 2012

ELSA Meeting

Yesterday afternoon, the Earth & Life Systems Alliance Group held a meeting at Norwich’s Institute of Food Research on “Agricultural Transitions: Enhancing scientific impact on a global scale.”  One of my course conveners, Bruce Lankford, spoke at the event.
It was a good afternoon for feeding my inner science geek.  Heard about genetic research on crop breeds, modeling where certain crops will be able to thrive when the Earth warms, etc.  Pretty technical and lots of fun.
By far the most entertaining part of the meeting was Bruce’s lecture, during which he asked me to Vanna White for him.  When discussing irrigation and questioning concepts of “efficiency,” “waste,” and “savings,” Bruce pours marbles in a “field” (i.e., plastic tub) over a large basket.  The “wasted” water really just returns to the basket, or “watershed,” and isn’t necessarily wasted.  But if there’s another “field” nearby who is waiting for their water to be given, the “wasted” water does become an issue, just a temporal one rather than a concern of “water lost.”  I got to hold the tubs.  Definitely the crowning moment of my masters thus far…  ;)

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