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8 (and–a–half) Reasons to attend Portland PlantBiology 2014

This year’s meeting will be great! We’ll have the best science, an outstanding locale, plus new opportunities for connecting at every level.

1. Award-winning science will be featured in symposia and mini-symposia.

This year, top scientists in the US (ASPB) will be joined by others from Canada (CSPB) and beyond, to speak in major and mini-symposia on high-priority topics. Among these are plant responses to abiotic stresses, biosynthesis of secondary products, and “firsts in plants.” Also, special-award symposia and addresses will include newly emerging roles of chloroplasts and mitochondria, insights into proteins affecting grain development, and a session on plant signaling.

2. The grand challenge of “feeding the 9 billion” will be targeted by a multi-session, joint symposium from the editors of Plant Physiology and Plant Cell.

This initiative will focus on the global food challenge, from economics to nutrition, with world-renown speakers who will also address relevant aspects of GMO literacy, human disease, mineral nutrition, extreme environments, and others. A central goal is to broaden our understanding of the full context involved in feeding the 9 billion.

3. Students and postdocs with hot findings will be highlighted in multiple, new mini-symposia.

The purpose is to enhance opportunities for presentations of hot new developments from students and post-docs, especially as oral presentations where they can initiate open discussions with a national and international audience of interested colleagues.

4. Looking for a job or recruiting?
New and expanded avenues for exploring, connecting, and career-development have been added this year. These will extend from informal interactions (over round-table meals or other mixing opportunities), to more structured encounters. All are designed to maximize opportunities for identifying prospective employers or employees. This will be combined with a still-greater depth and breadth of previous strategies for enhancing Career Development of ASPB members (lunches, workshops, resume review, and other).

5. Best networking yet: New opportunities for mingling and informal discussion have been added.
Time to connect is precious, so in addition to coffee breaks with other refreshments, there will be a welcoming coffee and brunch in a nearby park, rise-and-shine breakfast offerings during the meeting, on-site lunch spots for mingling and discussion (with pre-purchased meals or from concessions), poster sessions with fast rotations and enhanced refreshments, plus additional strategies for arranging shared-interest dinners.

6. Special amenities.

This year attendees get free passes for the Portland Light-Rail, free wireless, new mobile apps, plus budget-friendly, subsidized childcare (with a special, Welcome-Night Science Party for children).

7. Evening celebration on our last night!

There’ll be a live, outdoor band, great beverages, fine nibbles, and really outstanding camaraderie! We’ll be under the stars with a hillside view of the late-setting sun and nearby mountains. An adjacent lodge will provide alternate environments for interacting, especially in its 3-story, tree-filled atrium, with forestry encounters that are amusing and informative.

8. What a great place!

From the airy, glass-roofed conference center, to the town itself, and the scenic Northwest US beyond, the Portland experience will be a beautiful one.
The freshness of the area includes its fabulous flowers, fruits, vegetables, “foodie carts,” verdant parks, and abundant outdoor options for walking, talking, and adventuring. Free light-rail passes will open Portland to exploration of its cultural diversity, exquisite arts, phenomenal gardens, and beautiful river. The lakes and mountains nearby provide some of the most beautiful scenery in the US.

8½. Half-pint? Pub-crawl?

Don’t miss Portland’s famed micro-breweries and uniquely crafted beverages.

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