In September, 2009, members of the scientific community gathered to discuss the development of a new scientific ocean drilling program to replace the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) that will end in 2013. That meeting: IODP New Ventures in Exploring Scientific Targets (INVEST) was held in Bremen, and involved 584 participants, including 64 sutdents, of which I was one. INVEST was my first exposure to a working group-style meeting, rather than one that consists of primarily attending talks or visiting posters. It was a fantastic insight into how such a large science program works, and I even summonded the courage to actively contribute to the discussions I was assigned to, despite being a very junior member of the community.
At the end, I had an extra day to see the town. The old town is beautiful, as is Dom. St. Petri (visiting the mummies in the crypt was certainly an unusual experience). In the afternoon, I caught a football game, where Bremen beat Mainz 3-0. Thanks to Gail and Beno for the tour!
You can also check out this video summary of the conference: