Text: Pablo Sebastia Saez
Nods, smiles…How’re the waves? This is the perfect conversation starter for an oceanographer spending the summer in California. Hella chillin, bro!
But let’s get to business… Just a little, after I’ll tell you about the fun part. During the summer of 2023 I spent almost two months at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California. The decision came to life after a brainstorming session with my supervisor on who (a topic-wise related and experienced researcher) and where (an oceanographic institute that could open new doors) could I visit, that could provide further, new, groundbreaking, specialized, state-of-the-art insights about internal gravity waves and their interaction with the background environment. And the winner was … (drum roll, please) Prof. Dr. William R. Young! After developing and proposing a feasable working structure for the research stay and several meetings…, after applying for the visa, finding accomodation, working myself through a whole load of paper work and packing my bags…, I was finally ready to catch this wave, ride it out, and let the californian vibe wash over me.
I went to the USA with a clear and clean research topic, but as in surfing, sometimes it’s better to let the wave tune you into the right direction. During long eye-opening discussions with Prof. Young we stumble upon an unresolved problem within the direction of the scope of my dissertation, so we decided to reformulate the research question of my upcoming work. Within the two months at Scripps I had the chance to get to know other PhDs, PostDocs and professors from various research disciplines. I took advantage and attended seminars offered by both visiting as well as in-house researchers. I joined social events organized by the institute. And I got the great opportunity to present my work, discuss my interests and raise awareness of the research done within TRR181. But most importantly, I came back to Hamburg with far more new and exciting research questions to be answered!
What I liked best?
I arrived in San Diego just on time for ‘May Gray and June Gloom’ with cloudy and cool weather, but we slowly drifted into the summer season with plenty Sunkissed mornings and sunset wave rides. These together with endless nature getaways, road trips around Southern California and the legendary TGF were the highlights of this amazing journey! There remains naught else for me to express but my gratitude to the TRR181.