The annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offers dozens of sessions on environmental topics. The workshops and presentations offer good opportunities to learn more about the topic at hand, and to identify and interview experts on the panel and in the audience. Every year, major news stories break at this meeting.
The 2012 event will run Feb. 16-20 in Vancouver, British Columbia (so hopefully you already have your passport if you're not a Canadian citizen).
Some of the many topics that might catch your eye include:
- Climate change — including adaptation strategies; food security; indigenous perspectives; the roles of aerosols and gases other than carbon dioxide; observations from outer space; communication efforts by scientists; and effects on wildfire, soils, sea level, and marine protection areas.
- Energy — including photosynthesis strategies; storage for renewable-generated energy; biofuels tradeoffs; the smart grid; CO2 capture and storage; and nuclear waste.
- Mineral resource dependency.
- Oceans — including acidification; overall ocean health; and marine biological diversity as it relates to ownership of undiscovered species.
- Food — including security, meat alternatives, and sustainable fisheries.
- Water — including security and privatization.
- Recovery from natural and human-caused disasters, and lessons learned.
- Critique of science journalism following the 2011 earthquake in Japan and subsequent nuclear plant disaster at Fukushima.
- Science integrity in government agencies.
- Citizen science.