Polarstern Embarks for Cape Town for North South Atlantic Transect Training | POGO

Polarstern Embarks for Cape Town for North South Atlantic Transect Training

32 International Scholars from all scientific disciplines will embark on an Ocean Observation Expedition along a North South Atlantic Ocean Transect, from Bremerhaven in Germany to Cape Town, South Africa, on the RV Polarstern. The training programme is known as the “Atlantic Floating Summer School”. The objective of this cruise is to train Scholars to become Experts in Ocean Observation. 

This is the first of a series of cruises using both the knowledge and ship capacities of international research institutes, including the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, to train young scientists from all over the world. In a competitive process 32 scholars were chosen from 470 applicants to take part. The scholars will learn to sample and analyse waters ranging from shallow shelf waters of the North Sea through deep waters of the Canary Islands and highly productive waters of the upwelling areas in front of the coast of Namibia.

 “In the context of a rapidly changing climate, it is imperative that the World can draw from a pool of ocean experts in generations to come”, said Prof Karen Wiltshire, Chair of POGO and Deputy Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute.” The oceans are key to human survival on this Blue Planet. It is time to secure our knowledge of the ocean and increase our observing capacities for future generations”.

POGO, The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans, with its 37 member Institutes and sponsored by the Nippon Foundation, is committed to furthering ocean observing capacity in the oceans.

The 9 teachers on board have been selected from an international pool of experts ranging from fisheries experts through to satellite experts. The scholars will be using satellite images combined with sampling of the surface waters, both on stations and underway, to analyse the state and productivity of the oceans. 

Dr Pauhla Mc Grane, the Coordinator of the Irish Marine Training programme SMART (Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training) who has taught and managed previous training cruises said “We are delighted that 8 Irish students were chosen to take part in the cruise, considering Ireland’s huge commitment to its Atlantic waters. We hope to continue this transect for many years to come and to relate the data we have to data from previous cruises.”




Notes to editors:
RV Polarstern (meaning pole star) is a German research icebreaker of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Polarstern was commissioned in 1982 and is mainly used for research in the Arctic and Antarctica.
The Floating Summer School is a joint project between the Alfred Wegener Institute, the NF-POGO Centre of Excellence and the Irish Strategic Marine Alliance for Research & Training (SMART) programme. This summer school is jointly supported by the Mercator Foundation and the Nippon Foundation-POGO Centre of Excellence. It is an initiative in the framework of the European Campus of Excellence (ECE).


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