ISOS PhD Retreat: Putting Science into Practice

December 20, 2007

ISOS PhD Candidates had their 1st retreat at Sankelmark.


Report of the first PhD Retreat

On the weekend of the 7th and 8th of December 2007 thirteen Ph.D. students met for the first inspiring ISOS retreat at the Akademie Sankelmark. The group was composed of students coming from various disciplinary backgrounds such as Zoology, Physiology, Biogeochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Physical Oceanography, Economics, and Law of the Sea.

We started the session on Friday with a brief opening round, in which each Ph.D. student introduced his research field and academic origin. This was followed by an interesting presentation by Dr. Levent Piker from Coastal Research & Management about his experience in transferring his scientific skills into a business environment. The ensuing discussion reflected the Ph.D. students' strong interest in future opportunities to practice science and research outside the traditional academic environment. Dr. Piker succeeded in conveying the importance of networking and other soft skills, such as teamwork or communication of scientific results.

The second session on Friday consisted of various presentations and discussion on the topic of CO2 sequestration in the form of Iron fertilization. Sparked by a short introduction by one of the participants and a brief podcast from a conference in Woods Hole a fruitful discussion evolved that lasted long into the night.

The next day was reserved for the development of further ideas of future interdisciplinary cooperation between ISOS Ph.D.s. Here the direct input from ISOS Coordinator Avan Antia was crucial. Although this was the first explorative meeting in this format, already several ideas for mini-proposals arose, and we hope to see many of these put into practice in the near future.

The retreat gave great input beyond the scope of personal projects and showed the potential of the ISOS group for supporting everyone's scientific development. We believe that events like this help us to effectively meet the increasing challenges posed by a constantly changing future Ocean.

Till Müller, Walter-Schücking Institute of International Law
Kirsten Ruckes, Insitute of Economics
Kerstin Suffiran, Institute of Physiology
Joana Barcelos e Ramos, GEOMAR

Feedback from Participants

"The ISOS-retreat was a great opportunity for me to met different PhD-students of other faculties. It was very interesting to discuss a topic (in this case CO2 sequestration by iron fertilization) from different point of views. Especially the law and economic students brought a complete new angle of view to my usually very biological discussions. The very informal conversation with the business manager of CRM pointed out different opportunities for a life after the PhD. All in all, it was a great two days, with interesting discussion on the big field "The Future Ocean" but, since I plan some cooperation, also fruitful for my on PhD work."
Sebastian Krug, GEOMAR

"For me it was very informative and interesting to meet all this people and hear what they are doing or plan to do. The location and organisation were nice and I liked that it was not so strictly planned so that there was freedom what to do or discuss."
Agnes Heinemann, GEOMAR

"The 1st PhD-Retreat was well organized as it consisted of different units in a clear but flexible outline. The talk by Levent Piker showed interesting aspects for scientists in a non-academic field. There are a lot of benefits for my own work. To meet students from diverse scientific fields yielded the opportunity to view my own project and ideas from different perspectives. This helps to not get lost in my own way of thinking about certain problems. The discussions with the students and the presentations often resulted in a better understanding of general topics concerning the future ocean. It also aroused more interest in fields that seemed to be far away from my own project. In addition, the establishment and use of a network gives the feeling of "not being alone" out there."
Malte Damerau, Institut für Polarökologie

"In my opinion this meeting was an interesting opportunity to get a picture of the whole cluster and its members. Even though not everything presented at the meeting was currently related to one's own work, the different points of view and approaches of the other cluster members were an enrichment and led to a better understanding of neighbouring science disciplines. Therefore I think meetings like this provide a necessary basis for interdisciplinary work in general and a good starting point for possible cooperation in the future."
Carsten Fehling, Institute of Physical Chemistry