NYSCAA Home Summer 2005 Newsletter

Recap of NYSCAA Reunion 2004 -- San Diego

By Janell Lovelace

Thursday was a day for arrivals, meeting friends old and new at the airport and hotel, and napping to make up for how early some of us had to get up to catch our flights. That evening we went to Balboa Park. We strolled around for a while looking at their rose and cactus gardens, the architecture and fountains of the various museums, and other things in the park. Then we picnicked on the lawn and watched Annie Hall.

Friday there were two activity options, and about half of the group toured the San Diego Zoo while the other half went on a harbor cruise. Our group had a blast -- we spent about 6 hours at the zoo and probably saw 3/4 of the exhibits. It's a big zoo! Many of the primates were snoozing, but some of the reptiles were awake, as well as the Okapi, a baby panda, some sort of gazelle, and many others. Let me just say I love the intellectual fun of going to a zoo with science camp people. Reminds me of going to the zoo in DC the year I was on staph and trying to find all of the fractals that we could. And just don't ask about the bat.

We got back in time to sample the pool and hot tub with a couple of fellow alums before getting ready for dinner, which was in old town. Dinner was Mexican and the restaurant was rather loud, but we managed to talk up a storm anyway.

Saturday we spent pretty much the whole day at Scripps Oceanographic Institute (UCSD). One of the alumnae in the group, Koty Sharp, is in grad school at Scripps, and she'd gotten us the facilities we needed -- a party house to serve as our base of operations, a conference room for the alumni meeting in the morning, and a lecture room for the afternoon alumni lectures.

The meeting went well. There's a lot to do, mostly in terms of communication (including Web stuff), so we'll have our jobs cut out for us. Then we had some free time at the beach to sunbathe, check out the campus, or get a boogie boarding lesson from one of the local alums -- fun!

Afternoon seminars included a history of fMRI (Rick Buxton), fun things going on in the CS dept at UNM (Terran Lane), patent / trademark / copyright law (Dennis Morris), and biodiesel fuel (David Hackleman), followed by a report on this year's camp (Andy Blackwood). They were a small sample of the type of excellent lectures that happen at Science. Dinner was a luau-style party -- Koty mixed drinks, Travis ran around in a grass skirt and coconuts, and a good time was had by all.

Sunday morning we went to the Aquarium at Scripps, and found Koty in full scuba gear feeding the sharks in their kelp tank -- wearing a microphone, so we could ask her challenging questions. Afterwards, we went back to the reunion hotel to eat the leftover picnic food and pack out.

People were leaving for the airport throughout the day. The few of us that didn't fly out until the next day spent the night at the home of Barb McManus. She lives near the beach, and has a rooftop patio with an excellent view of the ocean and the Sea World fireworks. All in all, a great ending to a very fun reunion. Thanks to Barb and all of the reunion coordinators for showing us such a good time in San Diego!