By Ngozi Oguguah & Edem Mahu |
As we approach Cape Town, South Africa, we take the opportunity to reflect on the journey so far from Bremerhaven, Germany. Seven out of the 32 student scientists participating in the 2015 North-South Atlantic Floating Summer School aboard FS Polarstern are Africans. We have travelled the furthest distance in our quest for knowledge. As diverse as our backgrounds and disciplines are, our expectations for participating in the summer school are the same. Out of our comfort zones, we have come to learn, gain hands-on training, exchange ideas, network and collaborate with our fellow trainees and teachers in the field of oceanography from other continents.
As the summer school is about rounding up, our feeble skills in oceanography are evolving into robust ones. All the theoretical lectures on Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR), CTD rosette samplers, Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT), the Ferry box chlorophyll sensor, plankton nets, remote sensing, incubation/dilution experiments, and flow cytometry are now practical. In addition to the hands-on training we have received, our leadership and team-building skills have also improved on daily basis.
We feel even more rewarded because we and the other student participants did not just position ourselves at the receiving end, we also availed our knowledge and diverse experiences to the Floating Summer School making us both students and teachers.
As the future leading scientists of our continent, we will return to our various institutions with our heads high and contribute towards taking oceanography and marine science to the next level in Africa.
We thank the reviewers and our fellow African scientists for contributing to this blog piece.
Ngozi Oguguah & Edem Mahu