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A Confluence of Minds: Reflections on the 28th IUGG General Assembly in Berlin

The 28th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), is one of the one of the most well-known conferences in the field of geosciences and is organized every four years. This year Berlin, Germany had the privilege to host this Assembly. As a Ph.D. candidate attending my first international conference on foreign soil, I found myself both excited and humbled to be part of this prestigious gathering. With over 3,000 participants, the Assembly was a vibrant mosaic of earth scientists, geophysicists, seismologists, atmospheric scientists, and more.

Each day was a treasure trove of knowledge, brimming with invigorating sessions, cutting-edge presentations, poster exhibitions, and specialized events for early-career scientists. The schedule was carefully curated, ensuring a continuous flow of insights and inspiration.

Representing the Department of Hydrology at IIT Roorkee, our delegation included five Ph.D. students, four faculty members, and a respected retired faculty member. Several of our professors had the honor of chairing sessions and organizing career-development events. The networking opportunities were peppered with delightful German culinary experiences, the literal cherry on the cake.

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Figure 1: Prof Ankit Aggarwal, Mr. Ashish Mishra, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Prof Manoj Jain, Mr. Abhishek Kumar, Prof Sumit Sen, Mr. Deen Dayal and Mr. Ravi Guntu from Department of Hydrology, IIT Roorkee, India at IUGG 23 Berlin

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Figure 2: IIT Roorkee faculty members and Students at IUGG 2023

The privilege of engaging with experts and pioneers from diverse geoscience backgrounds was truly enriching. The dialogue and discourse opened new vistas of understanding and potential collaboration. My presentation on ‘A machine learning-based comparative analysis of meteorological indicators within a heterogeneous urban microclimate,’ co-authored with my Ph.D. supervisor Prof D.S. Arya, was a milestone in my academic journey. I would like to thank him for his constant support throughout.

As I reflect on this unparalleled experience, I must extend my profound gratitude to those who made it possible. I was honored to be awarded a travel grant by the Co-PREPARE project at IIT Roorkee, a gesture that speaks volumes about their commitment to nurturing young scholars. I would like to take this moment to express my deepest appreciation to Prof. Ankit Aggarwal (PI), whose unwavering support and encouragement enabled me to attend this pivotal conference.

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Figure 3: Mr. Ashish Mishra presented his work at the 28th IUGG General Assembly 2023 Berlin

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Figure 4: Esteemed retired faculty member Prof M. Perumal presenting his poster, truly a motivation for young scholars

With a sense of immense pride, we received the announcement that the next IAHS General Assembly would be hosted by IIT Roorkee's Department of Hydrology. A fitting acknowledgment of our contribution to the scientific community.

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Figure 5: Christophe Cudennec Vice-President, IAHS announcing the next Scientific Assembly of IAHS at IIT Roorkee, India

The 28th General Assembly IUGG in Berlin was more than a conference; it was a catalyst for growth, collaboration, and innovation. It further ignited our passion for research and the pursuit of excellence in hydrology. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the organizers and fellow attendees for sculpting an event that will be etched in our memories. Returning to our campus, we carry with us a renewed sense of purpose, ready to contribute further to the scientific community.

Berlin, your grace and hospitality will not be forgotten. IUGG, until we meet again at the next assembly, thank you for the learning, the camaraderie, and the memories.