During my visit to the American Chemical Society National Conference in San Francisco, I presented a poster of my research on the analysis of caffeine as a tracer of wastewater contamination. Presenting my research at a conference of this scale was a new and exciting experience for me. As I arrived at my scheduled session and hung my poster up, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of presenters and the scale of the conference as a whole.
During the session, I had the opportunity to talk and share my research with undergraduate students, graduate students, professors, and industry professionals from around the country. The depth of discussion varied with each person’s interest and background knowledge of the topic, but it was a pleasant experience to be able to talk about my research with other scientists. More experienced members of the field were very supportive and impressed with my research when I explained that I was an undergraduate and encouraged me to continue research.
I also had the opportunity to walk around the hall during the session and see other posters. It was beneficial for my own future research to see and hear graduate students or professors describe their work. Participation in this poster session has not only given me a great opportunity to be a presenter at a national conference, but it also gave me a better appreciation for scientific communication. I am grateful to have been able to participate in this conference and to be a part of the scientific community.