The CHESS Annual Meeting 2021 from 7-9 June was successfully concluded. This was the second time we had the meeting in hybrid format, combining remote access with regional hubs in Bergen, Oslo, and Tromsø for local participants to meet physically. Learning from last year’s experiences in optimizing the set-up and tackling the technical challenges, the meeting ran very well and smooth, and participants enjoyed both the scientific discussions and social networking during the meeting. The PhD students, in particular the new PhDs appreciated the chance to meet in person locally, of which they made great use to integrate into the CHESS family.
More than 70 CHESS members had registered for the meeting. There were 20 scientific talks including 4 by supervisors, and 22 poster presentations. Oral presentations by PhDs were given in 4 sessions, with topics on Paleo and Vegetation, Snow and Ice, Ocean, and Atmosphere. Student presenters highly appreciated the feedback from the audience and the assigned evaluation committees. The high level of student presentations and engagement also impressed the supervisors and international evaluation board.
The non-scientific theme this year revolved around the corona pandemic. Two supervisors, one at a more senior level of his career and one an at her earlier career stages, shared personal reflections on experiences of how the pandemic has affected their scientific lives. Their presentations were very well received, and their sincereness and openness were very much appreciated by the audience. Afterwards, participants joined groups to discuss the challenges and opportunities during the pandemic. In particular, participants were encouraged to make concrete suggestions on how CHESS can enhance (re)connectivity within the community.
Before the conclusion of the meeting, the CHESS International Evaluation Board gave some valuable feedback and recommendations on how to further improve the school.
We would like to thank all participants for their enthusiastic engagement and active participation, which turned the meeting into a great success. We look forward to all the upcoming and exciting CHESS activities in 2021 and 2022, hopefully with more and more flexibility for in person participation!
Text: Mandy Kong, Thomas Spengler; photo: Thomas Spengler, Marie Stetzler