Finally – Thank you for a fantastic CHESS Annual Meeting on Hurtigruten after 2 years’ delay!

Photo: Gaurav Madan

Postponed by the corona pandemic for 2 years, our in-person CHESS Annual Meeting from 9 – 13 May 2022 was successfully concluded on Hurtigruten!
This annual meeting was the first physical CHESS conference after 2 years of hybrid meetings. It was well attended by 78 participants, an all-time high! Altogether, there were 24 lectures and 37 poster presentations during the meeting. Apart from participating in the scientific presentations and discussions, CHESS members also enjoyed some sightseeing and social activities together.
The meeting started Monday afternoon in a Tromsø hotel with team building activities to facilitate interactions among participants in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Afterwards, our two guests, Gudrun Sylte and Dallas Murphy, introduced the non-scientific topic “outreach and communication” to the audience. We then divided the cohort into 4 smaller groups, each went for a different tour in Tromsø city. Afterwards, the group had dinner in the hotel before boarding the Hurtigruten ship Trollfjord around midnight.
The next 4 mornings, before the meeting started, there was a 15-minute weather briefing led by our CHESS supervisor member Clemens Spensberger. The first meeting day on Hurtigruten started again with an outreach and communication session. Gudrun, the communication manager at Bjerknes Centre gave a presentation about media relation and journalism in general, while Eirik Heim gave lectures on technical knowledge about cinematography. It was followed by the first scientific session lead by our PhD students. The meeting alternated between scientific talks, outreach session, poster session, and sightseeing during the day. We continued the meeting with the same format for the second and third day.
On the final day, we had the last scientific student presentation session. For the outreach session, the CHESS students were divided into small groups the day before and each group produced a short video clip based on what they had learned. Their productions were presented during the last session of the final day. Some of the video clips significantly impressed our guest cinematographer!
The meeting was concluded with an evaluation delivered by the CHESS International Evaluation Board members, where students and supervisors had also contributed with valuable feedback and suggestions for future improvements of CHESS and its activities.
After having developed personal friendships and professional network during these few days at sea, the participants bid farewell to each other in Bergen! “It was a fantastic meeting” was one of the common comments that floated around upon leaving our ship Trollfjord.

Photos: left: Mandy Kong, middle: Wanyee Wang, right: Iris Mužić

Text: Mandy Kong, Thomas Spengler