Communication skills in outreach and teaching
Apr 8 – Sep 17 all-day

When: Online seminar series on Thursdays (9:00-11:00) from 8 April to 1 July 2021; Physical workshop in Bergen September 13-17, 2021
Organizers: Mirjam Glessmer and Kjersti Daae at UiB and iEarth
Credit points: 2(3) ECTS
Registration form here (registration closed)

Course description

To become a successful scientist you must master a variety of skills. The science itself is one of these skills, but you will also need to communicate your science with peers and a wider audience. This course covers aspects of pedagogics and didactics related to teaching and learning of climate sciences and generic skills in communication, outreach, and public debates. The objectives are:
1. To build a network of young climate researchers from both CHESS and iEarth that have a common understanding of the role of climate science in society, their agency as scientists, and best practice methods of communication.
2. To get training in using cutting-edge, science-based methods and tools to communicate climate science to (i) the general public, using, for example, Social Media and science poetry, and (ii) students of climate sciences and related topics at high school and university level
3. To practice communication skills and present examples of best-practice implementations of science communication or science teaching activities to your peers and the general public.

Learning outcome: Participants will be able to:
• choose viable, research-based formats (e.g., Social Media, science poetry) and methods and develop activities in which they present their Ph.D. topic to a lay audience
• draw on a network of informed peers for feedback and ideas related to science communication and education activities
• evaluate the effectiveness of science communication and education activities
• reflect on, and continuously improve existing activities

Course organization: 11 weekly 90 minutes digital seminars with short inputs on science communication and education topics, leading up to a one-week workshop for interaction and feedback.


Digital lecture series:

The online lecture series will take place on Thursdays 09:00-11:00 from 08.04.2021

8. April Introductions Mirjam, Kjersti ++
15. April Learning as acquisition vs. learning as participation. Exploring two different ways of thinking about learning. Ivar Nordmo
22. April Justice, equity, diversity, inclusion in science Virginia Schutte (adjust for time zones)
29. April Culture and change Torgny Roxå
6. May Science communications Virginia Schutte (adjust for time zones)
Move to another day due to ascension day? Tuesday? Tips for good outreach J. Bakke
20. May Geoscience learning Kikki Kleiven
27. May Science poetry Sam Illingsworth (adjust for time zones)
3. June (collision with iearth in Rosendahl)
10. June Students as partners Catherine Bovill
Matthias Lundmark
17. June Networking and mentoring Mirjam Glessmer
24. June Supervision Anders Ahlberg
1. July Field teaching Rie Malm ++ (unconfirmed)


Program for the Bergen week 13-17. September

Crash Course on Data Assimilation – Theoretical foundations and advanced applications with focus on ensemble methods @ Online (on TEAMS)
May 31 – Jun 4 all-day

The 5-days online school aims at PhD-level students and early-stage scientists intending to apply data assimilation as part of their research. The school should also be useful for students with beginner or little notions of data assimilation. The crash course will cover the basic concepts of data assimilation, focusing on ensemble methods, illustrated with real-scale / operational applications and with practical exercises. This 3rd edition will also include notions of Machine Learning of relevance for data assimilation.

The event is organised by NERSC and NORCE in the framework of the projects DIGIRES and REDDA from the Norwegian Research Council and supported by CHESS. All classes and practical sessions will be held online on Teams.

For more details and application, please see their webpage:

Deadline for application: 1 April (registration closed)

CHESS Annual Meeting, 7 – 9 June 2021, online with local hubs
Jun 7 @ 10:30 – Jun 9 @ 14:00

All CHESS student and supervisor members are warmly invited to our Annual Meeting 2021. The CHESS annual meeting is an excellent opportunity for all members to extend social contacts across institutions and disciplines. It is also a great chance for student members to practice presenting at conference and get valuable feedback as well as inspiration from fellow students and senior researchers from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines.

One year on, the pandemic still makes travelling and the organization of larger gatherings difficult. So, like last year, the meeting will be online with local hubs for in-person participation in Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø, and Longyearbyen. All information, detailed program, links for oral presentations and posters, as well as other important logistics and arrangements will be posted on a dedicated CHESS webpage for the Annual Meeting.

The program outline can be viewed here.

Student presentations

All students will present their research, either in form of a poster or an oral presentation.

Each oral presentation session will be chaired by two students. The session chairs will give a 5-minute introduction before the session starts and should monitor and manage the timing of the session. If you would like to be a session chair, please indicate this on the registration form.

Duration of each talk will be 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions and discussion. As there is limited time available for student talks, only some students will be selected from the submitted abstracts for lecture presentations. All other students will be awarded poster presentations.

There will be 2 online poster sessions, on Monday and Tuesday evenings. In addition, some posters will be presented physically at local hubs during the extended one-hour coffee break on both days.

A committee, consisting of both students and supervisors, will give comments and feedback to each student presentation.

Non-scientific sessions

The theme this year revolves around the “Corona pandemic” with questions such as: How did the pandemic influence our daily work life? What has changed in the way we do Science? Challenges and opportunities? How to transition to post-pandemic times? There will be a breakout group session with discussion on different topics. Each group will be led by 2 PhD students. If you are interested to be a moderator of one of the groups, please indicate this on the registration form.

Registration & abstract submission

Please register with the form:

Registration deadline: 18 April 2021.

CHESS students submit their abstracts and registration at the same time.

There will be no binding time but please note that any cancellation after the assignment of presentations and evaluation committees will involve a significant amount of work by the organization committee to change the program. Please notify us well ahead of time if you really need to cancel your registration.

For questions regarding the registration and the program, please contact us at:


Dallas Murphy’s annual Advanced Science-Writing Workshop – 2021 @ Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen
Jun 21 – Jun 25 all-day

Responsible: Dallas Murphy and Thomas Spengler
Credit points: 2 ETCS
Max no. of participants: 12
Registration deadline: 7 May, 2021


**Due to the coronavirus pandemic situation, participants can choose to join physically or online.**


Only the science matters in science papers.  Often, however, good science is damaged by its unclear presentation in writing.  Clarity is the science writer’s sole stylistic obligation.  But without a cogent, carefully constructed literary structure, there can be no clarity; clarity is in structure.  We will, therefore, offer techniques and means of attaining structure that can be applied to the present paper, the next paper, and the next.


– We can accommodate a maximum of 12 students.  Each will submit a draft of their papers by 28 May, and everyone will receive a package containing all papers.
– As a group, we will rigorously examine the abstracts, introductions, and conclusions for each paper, asking, first, are they clear?  We will address three papers per day, leaving Friday open for rewrites.
– Working together as a group, we will help improve the paper at hand.  But that alone is not enough.  We will use the papers as a starting point to establish the foundations of a practical writing process – of thinking like a writer about science writing – that will produce better papers, but also alleviate some of the stress most students feel about writing.
– Different faculty scientists will participate in each session to help students clarify the science itself.


Dallas Murphy is a professional writer, author of nine books, a mix of fiction and nonfiction, and two plays.  He conducts science-writing workshops at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, University of Hamburg, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, University of Miami, and Bergen Geophysical Institute.


XRF core scanning for paleoclimate reconstructions in the Arctic @ Linken, Forskningsparken & the Geoscience laboratory at UiT, Tromsø
Jun 28 – Jun 30 all-day

Organizers: Christine Tømmervik Kollsgård (UiT), Carmen Avery Braun (UiT), Vårin Trælvik Eilertsen (UiT), Eirik Gottschalk Ballo (UiO) and Violeth Swai (UiB)
Confirmed speakers: Eivind Wilhelm Nagel Støren (UiB), Jostein Bakke (UiB), Christian März (University of Leeds), Rik Tjallingii (Divison for Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution, GFZ Potsdam), Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz (Aarhus University), Karina Monsen (UiT) and Christoph Vogt (University of Bremen).
Number of participants: 15
Credit points: 1 ECTS

Registration form here. (Deadline: 30 April)

*CHESS will cover the travel and accommodation costs for CHESS members to participate in this course. The information about making travel claim after the activity can be found on our webpage Travel reimbursement for participating in CHESS activities. *

This coming summer, in late June, a group of early career researchers have invited a hand-full of speakers to facilitate a more in-depth understanding of the theory behind XRF (X-ray fluorescence) data. We are organizing a workshop over three days in Tromsø – and invite you to join us.

The main aim of the workshop is to have a meeting amongst PhD-students and professors working with XRF-data and the interpretation of it, to gain a broader understanding of its possibilities. In addition, we see it useful to develop a network of both PhDs and supervisors working with XRF-data as a means of reconstructing paleoclimate in the Arctic to gain a common understanding of its meaning.

Description of the course

The course will focus on the use of XRF data to reconstruct past climate and environments. XRF core scanning is one of the most common and important high-resolution methods to investigate past conditions in both marine and lacustrine sediments. The geochemical element ratios obtained can give insight into environmental and climatic changes and can be tied to other paleo-climate proxies.

Participants will learn the necessary theory on the data collection methods of the Avaatech XRF Scanner at the UiT laboratory and the iTraxx at UiB. Post-scanning data processing will be adressed through lectures and hands-on experience with data analysis and interpretation, including the use of Xelerate conversion software. Lectures will also introduce the different processes and pre- and post-depositional factors influencing the sediment geochemistry and how these are portrayed in the XRF data. Further, students get to learn which element-ratios can be used for reconstructing paleoclimate in any environment, with a specific focus on the Arctic and glacial environments.

Before the workshop, there will be a limited amount of assigned literature and participants should prepare a short introductory presentation. Please bring with you your own XRF-dataset to work on. You will be asked to sort it in a specific way prior to the workshop. If you do not yet have data, a dataset will be provided. At the end of the course, you will present your conclusions to the group.

Outcomes and benefits:
The students will:
• Be introduced to the Avaatech X-Ray Fluorescence Scanner
• Learn how to process XRF core scanner data
• Get in-depth knowledge of how changes in climate are reflected in XRF data
• Learn to interpret their own datasets and practice presenting their work for others
• Gain a broader network within the paleoclimate community

Pre-requisites: Participants should be currently working with XRF data, or will be as parts of their PhD project.


Integral projection models (IPM): From population ecology to climate change studies @ UiB, Bergen + digital
Aug 30 – Sep 3 all-day

Organizer: Ragnhild Gya (BIO & Bjerknes Center for climate research UiB)
Course responsible: Joachim Paul Töpper (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research & BIO UiB)
Course lecturers: Olav Skarpaas (NHM UiO), Eelke Jongejans (Radboud University, Netherlands) & EMERALD representatives: Eva Lieungh (NHM UiO) & Sonya Geange (BIO UiB)
Pedagogical responsible: Roy Anderson (bioCEED UIB & Lund University, Sweden)
Credit points: 2 ECTS (1 week intensive training with pre and post work)
Registration form (deadline: 19 July)

*CHESS will cover the travel and accommodation costs for CHESS members to participate in this course. The information about making travel claim after the activity can be found on our webpage Travel reimbursement for participating in CHESS activities. *

Course description

Studying population dynamics allows us to investigate the underlying demographics of abundance change in species. Thus, population ecology is frequently used to take a closer look at changes observed in target species along climate gradients and in climate-change field experiments to get a better understanding of how climate governs populations sizes and species occurrences.
Integral projection models (IPM) are a powerful tool used to study population dynamics based on demographic data with continuous state variables. The method is based on the principles of matrix projection modelling, but with more flexibility, and quantifies how underlying vital rates (i.e. survival, growth, fecundity, clonality) shape the overall fate of the population.
To fully understand the effects of climate change on populations and communities, we need a better mechanistic understanding. IPMs are a good tool for this, and can be combined with for instance functional trait theory, species distribution models, to better answer questions related to climate change.
Finally, we try to bridge the gap between ecologists and climate modellers by facilitating conversations between the two schools of thought. In the course we will talk about how climate models work, and the potential future ways ecological data could help further develop climate predictions. After the course we organize a seminar for climate modellers where participants of the course present their work and ideas about how ecological data could be integrated into climate models or climate predictions.
We welcome people of all stages of their career, whether they are interested in population ecology, climate science, or both. Through this course we will train novices to IPMs a new methodology, while the more advanced population ecologists can refresh their knowledge and build on their studies. At the same time, climate modellers get an inside view to population ecological data and models. The coure will thus serve as a networking opportunity for people interested in population ecology, climate change research, and novel approaches of combining ecological and climate data for better climate predictions.


The objective of this course is to teach the participants how to build, analyse, and interpret integral projection models (IPMs), preferably using their own datasets of plants or animals over years. We are aiming at a module-based course structure that allows both beginners and more experienced users of IPMs or matrix models to benefit from the course. With this course we hope to strengthen the population ecology network in Norway, and facilitate conversations between ecologists and climate modellers.


Most days will follow the standard set-up of lectures with exercises. At the end of the course the participants will present their own projects and how far they got during the course. Ideally, participants follow our IPM course in Bergen, to have lively interaction during the lectures, exercises and participant projects. For those people who cannot travel to Bergen, we will have an option to follow the lectures live. We expect that people who follow lectures online ask questions and interact with other course participants.

Monday (30.08):
09:00 Welcome and info
09:30 Intro: what are IPMs & how can we use them in ecological climate research
Exercise: Creating an IPM “by hand” part 1
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Continuing: What are IPMs & how can we use them in ecological climate research
Exercise: Creating an IPM “by hand” part 2
16:00-18:00 Presentation of participants’ projects 1-2 slides each
Tuesday (31.08):
09:00 Fecundity
Exercise/own data
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Fecundity II
Exercise/own data
16:00-18:00 Work with own project
Wednesday (01.09):
09:00 Seedbanks & Clonality
Exercise/own data
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Analysis of IPMs
Exercise/own data
16:00-18:00 Work with own project
Thursday (02.09):
09:00 What can climate models and modellers learn from population ecology?
10:00 Parallel sessions to address varying interests/challenges*
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Open slot
14:00 Parallel sessions to address varying interests/challenges*
16:00-18:00 Work with own project
*Suggestions for parallel sessions: IPMS in a climate perspective, Uncertainty in IPMs: bootstrapping, and Bayesian IPMs, Dormancy, Group structured data – IPMs and mixed effects models, Evolutionary demography, Introduction to FATES (The Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator), How can concepts from population ecology improve FATES?
Friday (03.09):
09:00 Participants’ presentations of their projects
12:00 Lunch
13:00-15:00 Wrap-up and planning of the seminar from population ecologists for climate modellers

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course the students should be able to
– Build integral projection models based on your own data
– Analyse and interpret results from integral projection models
– Explain how population ecology can be important in answering questions related to climate change research
– Understand how concepts from population ecology can be used in the next generation climate models