By Sally Rangecroft
Mel, Anne and Sally travelled to Vienna this April to present the findings of the CreativeDrought project at the annual European Geosciences Union (EGU) conference. Mel and Sally presented in two sessions during the week both aimed at progressing knowledge and methods between disciplines, and Anne gave a presentation with a difference at the Panta Rhei day kicking of the EGU week.
Before the start of EGU, Anne represented the CreativeDrought project at the Panta Rhei day which focuses on bringing together world-wide scientists researching change in hydrology and society from multiple angles and disciplines. Anne was asked to give a key note presentation, but with technology setbacks, had to get creative with the CreativeDrought presentation and do it without her powerpoint and use the chalk board instead. The project was received with much interest, allowing people to attend Sally and Mel’s EGU presentations to see more, with powerpoints working. Sally presented an interactive PICO presentation on the Tuesday morning in a well-attended session titled ‘Hydrology & Society: Transdisciplinary approaches to hydrology and water resources management’ (session HS5.1) and Mel gave an oral presentation in to a packed house on the Thursday morning in the session ‘Advances in socio-hydrology’ (session HS5.3). Both abstracts were picked out by the conveners as being highlights of the session in the programme (the two EGU abstracts can be found on the website resources page).
Sally’s PICO ‘CreativeDrought: Transdisciplinary approach to drought preparedness and local water management’ showcased reflections on the method and project overall, with a chance to communicate lessons learnt and invaluable experiences to help shape future interdisciplinary projects. The session format started with a ‘2 minute madness’ to pitch a taster of all the presentations, and then an interactive screen for the presentation with the chance for direct discussion and questions between the audience and Sally about any aspect of the project. The session was busy with a lot of researchers sharing experiences and using the opportunity to learn from the CreativeDrought project in their upcoming projects and proposals. The laptop was also set up at the PICO screen to allow the audience to watch and listen to the CreativeDrought videos (see resource page for the videos).
Mel’s talk ‘Community perceptions of and preparation to drought: an interdisciplinary case study in rural South Africa’ allowed the social side of socio-hydrology to be the focus for the session. Mel was able to demonstrate the novel methodology that was used to achieve the CreativeDrought project and presented some key highlights about the challenges and barriers to adaptation and preparation for the community identified through the work. The conference facilitated interesting exchanges with other scientists throughout the week with a number of meetings to help share the results and recommendations acquired through the CreativeDrought project.