In the gap year between the World Cup 2014 and the Rio 2016 Olympics, Brazil played host to a major event of the NIR community. The biannual conference on near infrared spectroscopy, organised under the auspices of the ICNIRS, took place in Foz do Iguaçu this year. The theme of the conference, Highlighting South America, emphasized the fact that the event has been organized on this continent for the first time. Situated at the trijunction between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay the area is possibly better known for Iguaçu Falls, one of the new seven wonders of nature.
361 participants from 37 countries came together for a well organised conference covering a wide range of spectroscopy applications across multiple disciplines. With the participation of the principal researchers in the field, the event represented a week for interchange of knowledge and experiences for professionals and students alike and an opportunity to present their contributions to the field. Due to the informal ambience, it was easy to be in close contact with international experts and an excellent chance to discuss research questions. Using spectroscopy as a tool for my own research it was inspiring to learn about the methodological approaches and innovations other researchers developed and I took with me valuable recommendations for my work on the radiative properties of urban trees.
No journey to this part of the world would have been complete without the chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape and luckily a trip to the legendary waterfalls was included in the social program. This made the conference an even more memorable one beyond the professional significance. Até mais ver, Brazil!