A Journey to the Southwest: A Student’s Guide for Botany 2019

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The annual Botany conference is nearly here! With 6 days of formal talks, dual poster sessions, workshops, field trips, social events, networking, and more, you’re probably wondering how you can get the most out of this year’s experience. Well, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered in our student-focused guide below.


1. Finding a Roommate: Are you looking to save $$$ by splitting hotel costs at Botany 2019? Check out BSA’s nifty roommate finder tool at the conference site at http://images.botany.org/housing/roommate.shtml. It can be a great way to connect with your peers, make new friends, and forge life-long professional connections. Also, for more information on discounted hotel rates check out: http://www.botanyconference.org/hotels.html.

2. Volunteer at the Conference: Did you know that you can earn your early registration fee back if you volunteer to assist BSA staff at the conference? In fact, the conference couldn’t happen without the gracious help of students who run the registration booth, monitor ticketed events, and make sure that sections, symposia, and colloquia run smoothly. As long as you registered for the conference by May 31, you should have received the email requesting applications for student volunteers. When you work 10 hours at the conference as an assistant, you earn back your conference registration fee and will be reimbursed.

3. Plan ahead for Next Year’s Travel Grants: Although it is too late to apply for BSA-related travel grants this year, keep these opportunities on your radar for spring 2020! You can find a consolidated list of these awards as well as details pertaining to them online at https://www.botanyconference.org/awards-given-at-botany-2019.html!


If you have already registered for Botany 2019, it is incredibly easy to add events to your conference registration! Navigate to the conference website at http://www.botanyconference.org/ and click the link “Register Online for Botany 2019”. Once you are redirected to the registration page, then click “Modify Registration”. Please note that while some events are free, all of them are reasonably priced!

Saturday, July 27th: Fun in the Field

Field trips: There are several field trips to get to know the area and other botanical professionals! These range from exploring the desert flora of the Tucson Mountains to Bats of Southern Arizona. BSA student members can be reimbursed up to $100 for this field trip, but this is on a first-come basis. Learn more about the field trips by visiting the conference website: http://www.botanyconference.org/field-trips.html.

Sunday, July 28th: Student-Focused Workshops

Every year at the Botany conference, Sunday is filled with many different opportunities to network and learn new skills. Below we highlight some of the studentfocused workshops, but for the full list, visit the conference website: http://www.botanyconference.org/workshops.html.

Professional Writing: Covering Personal Statements, Research Statements, and Teaching Statements: This BSA Student Rep– hosted workshop will be led by professionals that will provide an informational lecture, followed by time to work on an outline for one of these statements. (Free, but please register!)

Tips for Success: Applying to Graduate School: Led by Anna Monfils, this is a panel discussion designed to introduce undergraduate students to the specific requirements for applying to graduate programs in plant biology. (Free, but please register!)

Undergraduate Student Networking Event: This is our third annual Undergraduate Student Networking Event, which will be held before the Plenary Lecture on Sunday evening (5:30 - 7:00 pm). This event was a great success last year! Not only will it provide attendees with an excellent opportunity to meet fellow undergrads, but it will also allow individuals to make some new friends/contacts to help them navigate through the rest of the conference. You’ll also get a chance to hear about different career paths! (Free – food will be included!)

Monday, July 29th: Must-Attend Events

Student Involvement in Botany Luncheon – A Focus on Botanical Career Opportunities: What can you do with a degree in botany? Make sure that you are present at the annual Student Luncheon to find out! We will kick off the event with a short talk from our keynote speaker, Dr. Betsy Arnold, who is a professor at the University of Arizona and the curator of the RLG Mycological Herbarium. Then, you will get a chance to chat with panelists from various career paths in a “speed-dating” format. FYI: the panelists usually have insider information on open positions for graduate school or careers. ($10 - includes a catered lunch)

Student Social and Networking Event: This year's event, sponsored in part by the BSA publishing partner Wiley, will be held at the Playground in Tucson. More information on transportation will be provided closer to the event. Come catch up with old friends and meet new ones while enjoying craft brews and snacks. ($10 - includes a drink ticket)

Poster Session: Whether you are presenting your own work or just there to see what other people are working on, this is a great time to talk science, learn about cutting-edge plant research, and meet people! Poster sessions will happen on Monday, July 29. Be sure to check out a detailed schedule on the web at https://www.botanyconference.org/engine/search or via the Botany Conference app, which will be available soon! (Free - no ticket required)


CV Review Sessions: Want to have your CV reviewed by someone with a lot of experience before you send it out for job/school application? Botany 2019 has got you covered this year! BSA has teamed up with other scientific societies to organize these review sessions. This will be a one-on-one review session where you can get feedback on your CV. This is completely free, but does require you to sign-up for a slot. Sign up here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CC9kgGmO5Js9ZVgjGBldKLKHoKrOiu8QzRp2zuRqVgk/edit?usp=sharing.

For most ticketed events, it’s not too late to register! Tickets for these events are easy to add to your conference registration: Navigate to the conference website at http://www.botanyconference.org/ and click the link “Register Online for Botany 2019”. Once you are redirected to the registration page, click “Modify Registration”. You can also register for events at the registration booth once you arrive at the conference; however, events tend to fill up fast so plan accordingly!


Schedule Planner: With so many events occurring during the conference, planning each day can be a daunting task! However, with the Botany conference app, you will have the freedom to effortlessly browse talks and events as well as create your own easily accessible schedule to stay on track. The app for this year has not been released yet, so make sure to read your BSA newsletters that come via email and keep tabs on the conference website (http://www.botanyconference.org/) for more details!

Share your Botany experience: Social media allows you to share your experiences at the conference, and the number of tweets, posts, likes, and shares are growing every year. The social media aspect lets you share your photos and thoughts throughout the conference, and it can also be a way to share your work and increase your visibility. It’s a great way to see what is going on and keep tabs on all of your conference buddies! Be sure to use #Botany2019 in your posts!