Some of the questions on the application form do not apply to me — should I leave them blank?
What format (PDF, .docx, .doc) can I send you my abstract in?
You can send your abstract in as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) or as a PDF. But, if you have special formulas or characters in the document, please send it as a PDF to preserve that formatting.
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What is an electronic signature?
An electronic signature is a real signature that is scanned and saved as a JPG, and then inserted into another document.
I am at sea/in the field: how can I get my required signatures?
If you are at sea, and do not have access to a scanner and email to send your signature form back to land for further institutional signatures, please email Karen Selph, PODS@soest.hawaii.edu, to set up a time frame for returning the signature form. Please check first that the ship you are on does not have this capability — most ships have these facilities — you need to print, sign, scan, then email the form to land.
My advisor/chair/dean is at sea/in the field/on sabbatical/on vacation; how can I get my required signatures?
Often when such officials are at sea or otherwise unavailable, they have designated officials who can sign for them. This is acceptable.
My advisor/chair/dean is at sea/in the field/on sabbatical/on vacation AND I am writing up my dissertation in a location remote from my degree-granting institution. This means I need 3 signatures on the signature form from 3 locations. How can I achieve this?
You can scan and fax the form between locations.
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I graduated before the eligibility period, but only by a short period of time. May I still apply for PODS VII?
I am not sure when I am graduating — what will be the eligibility dates for the next (2014) PODS meeting?
PODS VIII participants will need to complete their dissertation after 30 June 2013, but by 1 July 2015.
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How do I get to the meeting?
The PODS organizers will reserve and pay for your air ticket, using our travel agent. Fill in the travel form (link provided to invited participants) and the conference organizers will work with you to book air travel to/from the meeting. All travel costs to/from your home institution are covered by your per diem reimbursement check, which will be given to you at the meeting.
When do I have to arrive?
All participants should plan to arrive in time to attend the Sunday night ice-breaker at the hotel. This reception will in the hotel from 6–8 pm on 7 October 2012.
Where will I stay?
All participants will have their own rooms at the Kauai‘i Marriott, reserved and paid for by the meeting organizers. Fill in the travel form (provided to invited participants) with your desired travel plans. If you plan to come early or stay late, let us know on the travel form — if you will be here outside of the meeting window, you may wish to stay at another locale on the island of Kauai‘i. But, during the meeting, you are required to stay at the Kauai‘i Marriott.
Can I get the conference rate at the Kauai‘i Marriott hotel before or after the PODS Symposium?
The special hotel rates we have obtained for the meeting are also available to you for up to 3 nights prior to the start of the meeting and up to 3 nights after the end of the meeting. If you wish to extend your stay you will be responsible for the costs of extra nights, and we will need your credit card information to guarantee them. The program will pay only for the 5 meeting nights (Sun–Thurs) for participants arriving from North America or 6 nights (Sat–Thurs) for those arriving from other countries.
What is covered by the PODS sponsors?
The PODS sponsors, NSF and ONR, are covering the travel, accommodation and food costs of all invited participants.
Participants must arrange their travel to the meeting through the meeting organizers, using the Travel Form provided to supply the needed information (this form will be sent to all invited participants). Transportation costs to/from the meeting originating from the participant’s home address (or address at the time of the symposium) are covered. Any taxi or other transportation fare costs are covered by your per diem check, which you will receive at the meeting.
Meeting organizers will reserve a hotel room at the Kauai‘i Marriott for the participant, covering the days of the meeting. For participants coming from US locales, the sponsors will cover the cost of the hotel accommodation from check-in on Sunday 7 October 2012, to check-out on Friday 12 October. For participants coming from outside the US, the sponsors will cover an additional night (Saturday 6 October), because of the added travel time involved.
What will I have to pay for myself?
The sponsors are paying for the hotel rooms. It is customary, but not obligatory, to leave a tip for the hotel room cleaning staff at the end of your stay.
If you decide to rent a car, you must pay for all costs associated with that rental, as well as any parking fees charged by the hotel. Note that there is a complimentary hotel shuttle to/from the airport.
It is likely that most breakfast and lunches during the meeting (starting on Monday morning) will be organized symposium events, where symposium organizers will pay for food and beverage for invited symposium participants. However, participants are expected to pay for their own dinners (Sun–Wed), and any breakfasts or lunches that not are not organized by the sponsors. The sponsors will pay for the closing Banquet on Thursday night.
Participants will receive a check (in USD) at the meeting itself covering their incidental expenses (travel to/from home airports, non-covered meals during the meeting and en route to meeting, etc.).
Do I have to attend all PODS events?
Yes. All participants are required to attend all daytime and evening events during the symposium. If you are sick or have any other emergency necessitating your absence, please call or otherwise let the conference organizers know as soon as possible.
Can I bring my spouse/significant other/child?
Yes, however please advise the organizers if you plan to bring any family members. And, you will have to bear any additional costs over that incurred by yourself for family members. Each hotel room can sleep more than one person (maximum 4) at no additional charge. We do not provide child-care.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you decide to bring family to this meeting, please note that you, as an invited participant to this meeting, are required to attend all meeting functions. Your family may attend the evening functions, but not the science symposium during the day. Please keep in mind that a goal of this symposium is to create cohort groups of physical oceanographers, so the on-site meeting sponsors expect you to socialize with your fellow meeting attendees, not just with your family, during the entirety of this meeting.
What events can my spouse/significant other/child attend?
Your family can attend the evening social gatherings, but must be prepared for you to socialize with meeting participants. Do not plan to have private evenings with your family during the meeting.
Will it be cold in Kauai‘i?
No, but the meeting rooms are air-conditioned. Bring a sweater or other long-sleeved garment.
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What documentation do all participants (US and non-US citizens) need?
If you are a US citizen, we will need your social security number and other tax information in order to process your travel paperwork. We will send you a form packet to fill in ahead of the meeting that you will need to return to the conference organizers in order to process your travel paperwork and release your per diem check. To comply with IRS regulations, we will need your original signatures on these forms, so they must be mailed to us (USPS, FedEx, or other courier service).
If you are not a US citizen, you will need to fill out the same form packet, plus some additional forms, as well as provide a scanned copy of your passport/visa prior to the meeting. On the first day of the meeting, we will also photocopy your entry visa from your passport.
I am a non-US citizen. What Visa should I obtain for attending the meeting?
Depending on your nationality you may need a visa to enter the US. Please check with your closest US Embassy for details and obtain the visa as soon as possible. One useful website is travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html. Participants are responsible for obtaining the proper visa to attend the meeting. Note that many countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA), so please check the website to find out if your country of origin is included in this program, and if so, follow those directions to obtain the proper documentation and make a copy of your approved ESTA form to give to us. Note that visa requirements to the US are constantly changing — even if you thought you knew what the requirements were recently, check again and be sure they havenít changed!
If you do need a visa, a BUSINESS visa is required to attend this meeting. DO NOT GET A TOURIST VISA. The email inviting you to the meeting should be sufficient documentation to obtain a business visa, however if you have further questions, contact us and we will try to help. We will need to make a photocopy of your visa when you arrive at the meeting to finish processing your travel paperwork.
I am a non-US citizen, residing in the US. What documentation do I need to attend the meeting?
If you are a non-US citizen, residing in the US, we will need to make a copy of your current visa (or you can send us a scanned copy of it) along with your passport, in order for us to process your travel paperwork. For instance if you are on a F1 or J1, we need a copy of your visa documents (e.g., the DS2019 or I20).
When I arrive in the US, what should the customs/immigration agent stamp on my passport?
If you are a non-US citizen entering the US on an ESTA authorization or a B1/B2 visa, this answer applies to you:
ESTA Authorization Users: When you arrive at US Customs, be SURE that the customs agent gives you a WB designation on your I-94, NOT a WT designation. We need to establish to our fiscal officers that you are here for a business purpose, in order to comply with IRS regulations.
B1/B2 Visa holders: When you arrive at US Customs, be SURE that the customs agent gives you a B1 designation on your I-94. We need to establish to our fiscal officers that you are here for a business purpose, in order to comply with IRS regulations.
At the meeting, we will need to make a copy of your I-94 to give to our fiscal people, in order to complete your travel documentation and release your per diem check.
Will the conference organizers help me obtain a US visa?
You are responsible for obtaining the required visa to attend the meeting, however we can send you a formal invitation letter upon request to facilitate that process. Please email Karen Selph, PODS@soest.hawaii.edu for questions/help.
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What is the symposium format?
Please see the section on SCIENCE PROGRAM for a description of the symposium format and an example agenda.
What is the format of the presentations?
You should plan on a presentation length of 20–25 min, followed by 5–10 min of question time. We will be supporting Powerpoint and Keynote presentations. We will also have Acrobat Reader on the computers. The version of these programs that we will have will be sent to you in an email closer to the meeting dates. We urge you also to save your presentation as a PDF, in case there are problems with its compatibility to our computerís software.
When does my presentation have to be ready?
Ideally, your presentation will be ready to load on our computers by the Sunday, 6 p.m. ice-breaker on 7 October 2012. However, your presentation should be ready to load on our computers no later than the night before your talk. Please bring a portable USB hard-drive with your presentation on it to the meeting for this purpose. We will circulate the program with the order of speakers no later than 1 week prior to the start of the symposium.
What computers will you have to show my presentation?
We will have a Mac and a PC laptop that you must load your presentation onto prior to your talk. If you are speaking Monday, then you must load your presentation onto the laptop during the Sunday night ice-breaker. Please bring a portable USB hard-drive with your presentation on it to the meeting for this purpose.
Can I use my Mac or PC laptop for my presentation?
It may be possible for you to use your own computer for your presentation, however we discourage this practice in order to have a smoother flow between presentations at the meeting. Please talk to the meeting organizers upon your arrival if this presents a difficulty for you.
For any other questions not covered here, please email: PODS@soest.hawaii.edu, and we will try to answer them!
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