Chelsea Duball (2020)

When the 2020 SWS meeting was canceled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, organizers at The Wetland Foundation were understanding and accommodating, allowing me to shift my conference travel plans around to still meet my personal and professional development goals. Through the support of The Wetland Foundation, I was able to attend four separate virtual conferences in 2020. Funding from The Wetland Foundation allowed me to present at the Western Regional Cooperative Soil Survey, The Ecological Society of America, The Soil Science Society of America, and The American Geophysical Union annual (virtual) conferences. I presented multiple chapters from my dissertation research on “The Biogeochemistry of FeS: towards identifying reducing conditions in soils” at each of these meetings and got excellent feedback that has helped me to improve my dissertation work. My experiences at the annual Soil Science Society of America conference were particularly impactful this year, as my presentations were awarded the “best student presentation award” for both the Wetland Soil division and the Soil Science Society-wide student competitions. Collectively, these conference experiences helped me to expand my network, gain recognition for my research work, and form new collaborations. During these conferences, I was also able to increase the awareness and understanding of wetlands, and hydric soils, in arid regions, towards improving future wetland delineation and conservation efforts. Thanks to the support of The Wetland Foundation, I was able to spend this unique year focusing on my professional development and strengthening my resume for a year of job applications ahead. Am beyond grateful for the support of The Wetland Foundation and know that their support has made a true impact on my career development and overall success.