Successful first Digital Winter School of Phase 2

From March 10-12, 2021 our new PhDs of Phase 2 met online to get an introduction of the project's topics. Up to 60 TRR 181 members gathered in the three-day Zoom meeting, we are amazed by the positive spirit of everyone!

As everything is a little bit different during the ongoing pandemic, this year’s Winter School was held online. All early career scientists had the opportunity to meet and get to know each other during this virtual event. Although everyone would probably prefer to meet in person, the online Winter School was a full success, nevertheless.

The first day started with some welcoming words and introduction for the new PhDs by TRR speaker Carsten Eden, as an upbeat for three days full of interesting talks and vivid discussions. After a short coffee break, Dirk Olbers gave insights about how the circulation in the ocean works – as promised it was an easy to digest talk with not so many equations. Before the lunch break, all TRR members had the chance to get to know each other better with fun icebreaker questions. In order to have a slightly more social setting aside the Zoom talks, the online platform was used, which provided the opportunity to get in touch with everybody. The afternoon was filled with introductions to the different research areas M (Mathematics, new concepts and methods), T (Turbulence and boundary layer), W (Wave processes), L (Large-scale and balanced processes) and S (Synthesis with climate models) of the project, with contributions by the Young Project Leaders (Young PLs) of the respective research groups.

The second day of the Winter School started with an overview into the functioning of the atmosphere by Almut Gaßmann, aimed at all those investigators who are usually dealing with the ocean. Especially the aspects that are important to understanding the interactions of both systems were underlined. As a second talk of the day, Nikolay Koldunov held a talk about the software and technical skills that will make life easier for any researcher in the TRR. In the afternoon, the coordinators contributed some organizational issues of the project, like the structure of the TRR's new graduate school, the RTG ENERGY. Among other things, the RTG includes an advisory panel system for the PhD students and a mentoring program, which were explained by Lea Diederichsen. Jennifer Fandrich presented the newly implemented outreach project Art&Science: ENERGY TRANSFERS. The basic idea is that scientists collaborate with artists to create a new form of communication and presenting science to the public and explain our fundamental research in a new way. For sure one of the highlights of the Winter School was the pub quiz in the evening, hosted by Jan Streffing. The questions ranging from science and history to sports and pop culture provided ample opportunity for wrong but entertaining guesses and the whole quiz was a great deal of fun for everyone involved.

The last day of the Winter School started with an insightful talk by Ryan North about how measurements are actually taken out in the field, or more precisely – at sea. This presentation gave everyone who never had the opportunity yet to attend a scientific expedition impressions of what it is like to gather all the information in-situ that the project is working with. As Carsten Eden predicted on the first day, this talk definitely provided “cool stuff”. After a quick coffee break, Marcel Oliver gave a mathematics talk on a virtual whiteboard, that contained a lot of (not so) easy to digest equations by nature, providing helpful mathematical knowledge for the work in the TRR. In the afternoon,the Early Career Scientists could seize the chance to anonymously ask any (not so) stupid question in a Q&A about all issues related to the TRR. After a coffee break, the PhD and Postdoc representatives for the RTG Board were elected before this successful first Winter School of the second phase came to an end.