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Lasting impressions from first conferences (with memories of H.S. Gibbs and others)

I attended my first conference of the New Zealand Society of Soil Science in December, 1979. It was held at Telford Farm Training Institute near Balclutha, with John Bruce the chief organiser. With me from Waikato University was mentor Harry Gibbs, who had just retired. Perhaps the most enduring impression I have from the meeting was of the pervasive friendly and supportive atmosphere, a characteristic I have come to associate with all the Society's meetings I have since attended. In part this atmosphere is the result of the relatively small size of the Society's conferences. After I gave my talk, Phil Tonkin kindly took the time to point out several pedological features in the slides I had just shown, one being the evidence for tree overturn in a Kainui soil. This simple act has always remained with me because it showed that someone was interested in my work, which is very important for students feeling their way into the world of 'real' science. John Bruce was another who made an impression in a similar way. He was at the time putting the finishing touches to his report on the soils of Hamilton City (under the watchful eye of editor Rod Furkert). I was quite taken that he wanted to note some of my findings in his report which eventually appeared as a 'personal communication'. This demonstrated to me that undertaking research was more than an exercise: it could lead to publication which was a very alluring siren.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Lowe, D. J. (2002). Lasting impressions from first conferences (with memories of H.S. Gibbs and others). In J. A. Adams (Ed.), New Zealand Society of Soil Science Occasional Publication, Vol. 3 (pp. 130–134). Wellington: New Zealand Society of Soil Science.
New Zealand Society of Soil Science
© 2002 NZSSS. Used with permission.