Summer School – Outreach, Teaching, and the IPCC Report

The delegate from CHESS with 10 PhDs and 3 lecturers, all wearing the traditional Fiji shirts/dresses. (Photo: Thomas Spengler)

For the first weeks of July, ten CHESS PhD students and three lecturers joined Statsraad Lehmkuhl and the One Ocean expedition for a sail around the Fiji islands. Besides learning the ropes to help sail the ship, the thirteen of us stood for half of the teaching of the students on board, a diverse group mixed from different Norwegian universities and all the twelve nations that are part of the University of the South Pacific.

Statsraad Lehmkuhl under sails. (Photo: Thomas Spengler)

But if that wasn’t enough, each of us also wrote two pieces for a blog, typically one describing everyday life within our small microcosm on board, and one more scientific outreach piece linking one’s own research to our experiences there. So if you ever wondered how it feels to sleep in a hammock, sharing sleeping quarters with several dozen other “sailing trainees”, how we were welcomed by the locals, how we make our drinking water on board (or not), how we dealt with ever new Covid cases, or how it feels to be on duty between midnight and 4am every day, well it’s all still there for you to read! And yes, we did manage to do some teaching despite challening circumstances, such that a few more people on this planet now know about the IPCC and its reports. And some of the students very much rose up to the challenge we set for them and turned out to be impressive film makers. Be sure to watch their work!


Text: Clemens Spensberger